Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"Let's Dance" by David Bowie

#1 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1395
Date:  03/26/1983
Debut:  54
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Rock, Dance

Pop Bits:  After being on the RCA label since 1971, Bowie made a switch to EMI. For his first effort for the new label, the rock chameleon decided to change up his sound once again and move towards something more commercial and hit oriented. He hired producer Nile Rodgers (Chic) and the pair set out to record the album "Let's Dance." This title-track song would be the first single released and it quickly became a worldwide hit. It would be Bowie's second (and last) #1 in the US while becoming his fourth #1 in the UK. The hit would propel his album to #4 and it would become his first platinum studio album in the US. Worldwide, it remains his best-selling album moving over 7 million copies.

ReduxReview:  C'mon - how can you not love this? From the instantly recognizable opening through to the final guitar solo, this was just pure gold. Bowie had had a few hits over the years including the #1 "Fame" (1975), but he had never done something so pop-hit oriented. Getting Nile Rodgers on board was a brilliant move and shooting a memorable video for MTV exposure certainly upped the ante. Bowie was already a superstar, but this album took him to an entirely new level. He gained a lot of new fans, many who had zero clue about Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, or the Thin White Duke. It was incredible, but Bowie paid a price for it later. In the meantime, everyone was putting on their red shoes to dance the blues.


Trivia:  The guitar solo in the song is done by blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. Bowie was completely floored by Vaughan's perform at the 1982 Montreaux Jazz Festival and the two struck up a conversation after the show. Months later, Bowie tracked down Vaughan and asked him to come in to play lead guitar on the new album. The success of the album helped Vaughan's career which led to his own successful recordings. Initially, Bowie wanted Vaughan to go out on tour in support of the "Let's Dance" album (the Serious Moonlight tour). Vaughan was set to do so, but squabbles over his fee and other things led to him dropping out of the tour just a few days before the first show. Soon after, Vaughan and his band Double Trouble would get a contract and issue their first album "Texas Flood." It would be the first of four platinum albums Vaughan would issue. Sadly, in 1990 he would die in a helicopter crash following a performance with Eric Clapton.


No comments:

Post a Comment