Sorrow (The McCoys song)

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"Sorrow"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Pinups
B-side "Amsterdam" (Brel, Shuman)
Released October 1973
Format 7" single
Recorded Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, France, July 1973
Genre Folk rock, glam rock
Length 2:53
Label RCA
2424
Writer(s) Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer
Producer(s) Ken Scott, David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Life on Mars?"
(1973)
"Sorrow"
(1973)
"Rebel Rebel"
(1974)

"Sorrow" is a song first recorded by The McCoys in 1965. It became a big hit in the United Kingdom in a version by The Merseys, reaching number 4 in the UK charts on 28 April 1966. A version by David Bowie was also a hit in 1973.

The song contains the lyric "with your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue", which reappears as a musical quote on the The Beatles' track "It's All Too Much" from Yellow Submarine.

The Merseys version is more up-tempo than The McCoys folk-rock original. Propelled by Clem Cattini's drumming it features a powerful horn arrangement (most probably the work of John Paul Jones). The horns also take the solo which, on the McCoys version, is performed on harmonica. As the number and quality of subsequent covers demonstrate the Merseys single was highly regarded among British musicians.


David Bowie version[edit]

David Bowie's remake of "Sorrow" was the only single released in the UK from the Pinups covers project, reaching UK No. 3 and staying in the charts for 15 weeks. The B-side, “Amsterdam”, was a cover of a Jacques Brel song (originally called "Port of Amsterdam"), had been performed live by Bowie since 1969, and was recorded in 1971 for the Ziggy Stardust album. It was dropped from the final release of the album, but was used as the single B-side as it fitted with "Sorrow". In France, it was billed as the A-side of the single. "Sorrow" was featured in the 2008 John Cusack film War, Inc.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Sorrow" (Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer) – 2:53
  2. "Amsterdam" (Jacques Brel, Mort Shuman) – 2:39

The Spanish release of the single had "Lady Grinning Soul" as the B-side.

Production credits[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
Canadian Singles Chart 77
UK Singles Chart 3
Irish Singles Chart 2
German Singles Chart 39
Australian Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1

Other releases[edit]

References[edit]

Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5

External links[edit]