Needles and Pins (song)

Needles and Pins (song)
"Needles and Pins"
Single by Jackie DeShannon
Released April 11, 1963
Format 7" single
Genre Rock and roll, beat
Label Liberty F-55563
Writer(s) Jack Nitzsche, Sonny Bono
"Needles and Pins"
Single by The Searchers
B-side "Saturday Night Out"
Released January 7, 1964 [1](UK)
Format 7" single
Genre Merseybeat
Length 2:14
Label Pye 7N15594 (UK)
Kapp 577 (USA)
The Searchers singles chronology
"Sweet Nothins"
"Needles and Pins"
"Don't Throw Your Love Away"
"Needles and Pins"
Single by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Stevie Nicks
from the album 'Pack Up the Plantation: Live!'
Released December 30, 1985
Format 7" single
Genre Rock
Length 2:23
Label MCA
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Stevie Nicks singles chronology
"Make It Better (Forget About Me)"
"Needles and Pins"
"Refugee (Live)"

"Needles and Pins" is a song written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono. In his autobiography, Bono states that he sang along with Nitzsche's guitar-playing, thus creating both the tune and the lyrics, being guided by the chord progressions.[2]

The song was originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon. Other hit versions of the song were recorded by The Searchers, Cher, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Stevie Nicks, Willie DeVille, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Smokie and by the Ramones.


Jackie DeShannon version (1963)

The song was first recorded by Jackie DeShannon in 1963; in the US it peaked at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in May of that year.[3] Though it was only a minor US hit, DeShannon's recording of the song topped the charts in English Canada, hitting number one on the CHUM Chart in early 1963.

Chart (1963) Peak
Canadian CHUM Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 84

The Searchers version (1964)

The Searchers heard British performer Cliff Bennett perform "Needles and Pins" at a club in Hamburg, Germany[citation needed], and instantly wanted it to be their next single. The Pye Records single was released in January 1964. It was number one in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the United States. Soon after, in April 1964, "Needles and Pins" appeared on the Searchers' next album, It's the Searchers.

Audible during the Searchers' recording of "Needles and Pins" is a faulty bass drum pedal, which squeaks throughout the song. It is particularly noticeable during the opening of the number.

Part of The Searchers' version can be heard as the intro of the song "Use the Man" from American thrash metal band Megadeth.

Chart (1964) Peak
Australia Kent Music Report 2
French Singles Chart 29
German Singles Chart[4] 8
Irish Singles Chart[5] 1
Swedish Singles Chart 5
UK Singles Chart[6] 1
US Billboard Hot 100 13
Norwegian Singles Chart[7] 8
South African Singles Chart 1

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers version (1985; live)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their first live album in 1985, Pack Up the Plantation: Live!, on which singer-songwriter and vocalist Stevie Nicks performed "Needles and Pins" alongside Tom Petty at the Forum in Los Angeles, California.

Chart (1985) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 37
U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks 17
Canadian RPM Top Singles 85


  1. ^ release date
  2. ^ Sonny Bono, And the Beat Goes On (New York: Pocket Books, 1991).
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990, Record Research, Inc., Menomonee Falls WI, 1991
  4. ^ "Chartverfolgung > The Searchers > Needles and Pins" (in German). Media Control Charts. 1984-04-19. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  5. ^ "The Irish Charts – All There Is To Know". Irish Recorded Music Association. 1984-01-22. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  6. ^ UK Singles chart
  7. ^
  • Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 Record Research, Inc., Menomonee Falls WI, 1990 ISBN 0-89820-089-X
Preceded by
"Glad All Over" by Dave Clark Five
UK number-one single (The Searchers version)
30 January 1964 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Diane" by The Bachelors

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