This week in 1983, David Bowie hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time, with the title track from his fifteenth studio album, Let’s Dance. The now-classic song recently had hit number one on the UK singles chart just a few weeks earlier, making it Bowie’s first (and only) single to top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic – if you can believe it!
Let’s Dance, produced by Chic hitmaker, Nile Rodgers and featuring a prodigal solo by blues guitar-great, Stevie Ray Vaughan, was one of Bowie’s all-time biggest and fastest-selling singles of his career. It introduced the glam-rock icon to a whole new generation of fans, oblivious to the transformative that ignited his career throughout the 1970s. Rodgers crafted Bowie’s original dark and folky acoustic demo into a polished dance floor hit that would define the next era of the ever shape-shifting glam icon's career.
In 2018, Rodgers recalled: "This [demo] recording was the first indication of what we could do together as I took his 'folk song' and arranged it into something that the entire world would soon be dancing to and seemingly has not stopped dancing to for the last 35 years! It became the blueprint not only for Let’s Dance the song but for the entire album as well."
In 1987, with Peter Frampton on guitar in place of Vaughan, oozing an overwhelming measure of confidence, Bowie delivered an incredible live performance of Let’s Dance to a crowd of very lucky Aussie fans at the Entertainment Centre in Sydney. Enjoy below!
David Bowie | ‘Let's Dance’ [Live, 1987]
Interestingly, the song’s official music video was also shot in Australia, at various locations across New South Wales, including a bar in Carinda, the Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran, and around Sydney Harbour and CBD. Check it out below!
David Bowie | ‘Let's Dance’ [Official Video]
And, going back to when Bowie's otherworldly transformation became a fully-realised prophecy...
On the 17th of June, 50 years and one day after the original U.K. release date, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars will be issued as a limited-edition 50th-anniversary half-speed mastered LP and a picture disc, featuring the same master and a replica promotional poster for the album. Pre-order, here.
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