JUST LISTEN: David Bowie “Let’s Dance (Demo)”, Previously Unreleased Demo


JUST LISTEN: A place for the latest singles we are digging. The words aren’t so much important, listen for yourself, and maybe find something new you will dig too. These are our latest finds. No words needed, just listen…..this one is a special JUST LISTEN on what would be David Bowie’s 71st Birthday

JUST LISTEN: David Bowie “Let’s Dance (Demo)”

The Deets:

Who: David Bowie
Song: “Let’s Dance (Demo)”
Appears On: To celebrate what would have been the 71st birthday of David Bowie today, the previously unreleased LET’S DANCE (DEMO) is available now as a special digital-only single via Parlophone for streaming and download.
Current Location: Living throughout all of the many many people he inspired
Info: (Via Bowie’s website) In late 1982, David Bowie was visited at his home in Switzerland by Nile Rodgers to listen to songs for the album that became LET’S DANCE.

Inspired by the new songs that Bowie had written the pair decided to record a set of demos straight away. Without a band, the Montreux Jazz Festival organiser, Claude Nobs, was asked if there were any local musicians that could join the sessions to work on the demos. Turkish born Erdal Kızılçay, who would later work extensively with Bowie on Labyrinth, The Buddha Of Suburbia & 1. Outside, was recruited to play bass along with an unidentified drummer and second guitarist.

On 19th and 20th December, 1982, this makeshift band entered Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland with David Richards (who also worked with Bowie on “Heroes”, Under Pressure, Labyrinth, The Buddha Of Suburbia and 1. Outside) engineering. On their first day, they recorded a funky stripped back demo for Let’s Dance.

Thirty five years later the track has been mixed for the first time especially for this release by Nile Rodgers and Russell Graham at Nile’s Le Crib Studios in Westport, Connecticut.

Speaking of those early LET’S DANCE pre-production sessions, Nile Rodgers commented:

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“I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career but my creative partnership with David Bowie ranks very, very, very high on the list of my most important and rewarding collaborations. This demo gives you, the fans, a bird’s eye view of the very start of it! I woke up on my first morning in Montreux with David peering over me. He had an acoustic guitar in his hands and exclaimed, “Nile, darling, I think this is a HIT!”.

This 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 blue print not only for Let’s Dance the song but for the entire album as well.

If you played 2nd guitar or drums let us know who you are!

The time we spent mixing it just before Christmas was full of tears as it felt like David was in the room with us. Happy Birthday David, I love you and we all miss you!”.

At the end of the track, Bowie’s voice can be heard laughing saying “That’s it, that’s it! Got it, got it!”. Within four months ‘LET’S DANCE’ would be one of the biggest and most influential hits of the decade.

Comments: Funky and raw, we love and miss you Starman. Happy Birthday David Bowie.


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Mike Gerry

Head music fiend at OpenEars Music

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