In celebration of what would have been the 71st birthday of the incomparable David Bowie, a previously unheard demo version of his 1983 hit Let’s Dance has been revealed.
Celebrate David Bowie’s birthday with this previously unheard demo of Let’s Dance, recorded with Nile Rodgers and a band of session musicians in Montreux, Switzerland in 1982.
Let’s Dance was the lead single from Bowie’s 1983 album of the same name. As The Quietus note, Nile Rodgers visited Bowie in Geneva, Switzerland, in late 1982 to start working on tracks that would form the album.
Upon jamming through a few songs, the pair wanted to get stuck into recording right away and asked the Montreux Jazz festival organiser Claude Nobs if he could pull together some session musicians for them.
The demo was recorded at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland, with Bowie and Rogers working alongside a drummer and two guitarists, one being Erdal Kizilcay, who later worked with Bowie on the soundtracks for Labyrinth and The Buddha Of Suburbia, and his concept album 1.Outside.
Rodgers recently mixed the demo at his studio in Connecticut especially for the release. He recently spoke about the Let’s Dance demo sessions:
“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!”.
Have a listen below!