Dec 04

THE SEARCHERS – “Needles And Pins”

Popular8 comments • 2,420 views

#162, 1st February 1964

That slight increase in tempo on “she will see just how to say please – and get down on her knees” – the sudden enthusiasm in “hurtin’ her! hurtin’ her!” – in this song there’s a hint of whitened knuckles, tightened expressions, a savage quality that’s surprising and discomforting. At the same time the band are playing with a lightness and control that makes the surges of quickened anger that bit more effective – and the sounds they’re drawing out of their guitars are nothing short of lovely. How can something so delicate be so bitter?



  1. 1
    Doctor Mod on 31 Jul 2006 #

    Oh, but those lyrics are simply the usual sentiments of disappointed romanticism. And if you want to hear the wrath that hell hath none like, try the original Jackie DeShannon version.

  2. 2
    bramble on 7 Sep 2006 #

    Cher did a version that was a carbon copy of Jackie de Shannon’s phrasing. Still I think the Searchers have the definitive Needles and Pinsa version

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 12 Feb 2009 #

    TOTPWatch: The Searchers performed ‘Needles & Pins’ three times on Top of The Pops. (The Christmas show I’ll list elsewhere);

    22 January 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Billy Fury, Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Merseybeats. Pete Murray was the host.

    29 January 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Gerry & The Pacemakers, Manfred Mann, The Bachelors, The Fourmost and The Rolling Stones. Jimmy Saville was the host.

    Neither edition survives.

  4. 4
    crag on 13 Apr 2011 #


    Ann Sharpley, Journalist (1967)

    Bill Kenwright, Theatre Producer (1998).

  5. 5
    Lena on 28 Jun 2011 #

    Another hit from The Searchers is here: http://musicsoundsbetterwithtwo.blogspot.com/2011/06/thats-what-hits-are-made-of-searchers-html thanks for reading, as ever!

  6. 6
    hectorthebat on 18 Mar 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    Dave Marsh (USA) – The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (1989) 239
    Greil Marcus (USA) – STRANDED: “Treasure Island” Singles (1979)
    Pause & Play (USA) – Songs Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Track at Each Week
    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (USA) – 500 Songs That Shaped Rock (1994?)
    Rolling Stone (USA) – The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years (1988) 64
    Vox (UK) – 100 Records That Shook the World (1991)
    Gilles Verlant and Thomas Caussé (France) – 3000 Rock Classics (2009)
    Rolling Stone (France) – The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years (1988) 67
    Giannis Petridis (Greece) – 2004 of the Best Songs of the Century (2003)

  7. 7
    lonepilgrim on 17 Mar 2015 #

    There’s something quite folk-rock about the guitars on this that suggests the Byrds to me – perhaps 12 strings? Co-written by Jack Nitzsche who went on to play with Neil Young – there’s a lot of teenage angst bordering on masochism in the lyrics

  8. 8
    Gareth Parker on 28 May 2021 #

    I always love the sound on the Searchers’ records. 7/10 from me.

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