Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Dancing in the Street" by Mick Jagger and David Bowie

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2446
Date:  08/31/1985
Debut:  47
Peak:  7
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  As things were gearing up for the big Live Aid charity concerts that would take place in London and Philadelphia, the idea of having Jagger and Bowie perform this song as a live international duet came about. Jagger would perform from Philadelphia and Bowie from London. However, it was determined that sound delays from the satellite feeds would prevent the artists from being synced correctly. Other ideas came up such as either artist miming the performance, but the pair were not on board with that. Instead, it was decided that they would record the tune in the studio and then make a video that would be broadcast during the event. Bowie was already recording a project a London, so Jagger flew in to do the song. It was quickly done in about four hours and then the pair ran off to film the associated video. Within a thirteen-hour span, the song and video were completed. The video was shown during the broadcasts of the concerts and both Bowie and Jagger still did their regularly scheduled performances at their respective venues. The video was then picked up for play on MTV and a single of the duet was released with proceeds going to the Live Aid charity. The song would be a big hit in the UK reaching #1 and staying there for four weeks. It also did well in the US reaching the Top 10 and getting to #3 at Rock and #4 at Dance. Oddly, it would be both Jagger's and Bowie's final single as solo credited artists to reach the Pop Top 10.

ReduxReview:  I'm not sure whose idea it was to cover this song or why, but it resulted in one of the worst mega-star collaborations of all time. Believe me, it is hard for me to say that as I love both of these artists - especially Bowie who nearly tops the list of my favorite artists. Yet what made the duet even worse what the atrocious video that was made. It goes beyond a "what were they thinking" to "who actually let them do that??" The video has them goofily dancing and preening all over the place in awful 80s clothes. Now, I get that they probably just wanted to have fun and be kooky, especially since they really had limited time to shoot the video, but it just didn't work. It's nearly painful to watch. It has been made fun of for years and there was even a music-less version of the video that someone created that hilariously showcased just how bad the video was. The song wasn't quite as bad, but it was close. When this song pops up in a playlist, I'm hitting the forward button as fast as I can. It's a total stink bomb from two of rocks greatest artists. Ah well. At least it was a sizable hit and that certainly help the Live Aid charity, so something good did come out of it.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by Martha and the Vandellas. Their 1964 version reached #2 at Pop and became a Motown classic. Marvin Gaye co-wrote this song just as his own solo career was kicking into high gear. Many artists have covered this song over the years but only five artists have managed to get their single release on the Pop chart. The Mamas & the Papas got to #73 with their 1967 version. Jazz artist Ramsey Lewis hit #84 that same year with his take. Disco singer Teri DeSario got to #66 in 1980 with her duet on the song with K.C. from K.C. & the Sunshine band. The song returned to the Top 40 for the first time since the original when Van Halen's remake got to #38 in 1982. Then the Jagger and Bowie collaboration got the song back into the Top 10. As of this posting date, it is still the last version of the song to get on the Pop chart.



  1. 3/10 for me. Boy, was this cover a huge embarrassing mistake! LOL

  2. I went to a movie at that time and right amid the "coming attractions" trailers they showed this video in its entirety. It was the only time I've seen that done.

    1. Yes, it was rare that they did that. I remember seeing one back in the day as a preview, but I can't remember what it was now. But better than most of the previews we have to suffer through these days!

  3. A 2!!!! You're getting generous on us! I truly believed you'd go no higher than a 1. This is beyond atrocious. I firmly believe those in charge of this debacle figured since it was Live Aid related, they could throw out any piece of garbage and the public would buy it. Clearly, there were correct.

    1. Ha! I gave it a sympathy extra point due to my love of David Bowie...pity point...