David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ demo released to mark his 71st birthday

Put on your red shoes and dance the blues...

An early demo of ‘Let’s Dance’ has been released to celebrate what would have been the 71st birthday of David Bowie. Check it out below.

The track, which featured on the 1983 album of the same name, was recorded a year previously after Chic founder Nile Rodgers headed to Bowie’s Switzerland home to work on new songs that the music icon had penned.

After joining forces with bassist Erdal Kizilcay and engineer David Richards, they then headed into Montreux’s Mountain Studios to record an early stripped-back demo of the track.

Now, the demo has been released for the first time in 35 years after it was mixed by Rodgers – and it’s a far cry from the fully rounded sound that would eventually end up on Bowie’s seminal 1983 album.

The demo also includes Bowie’s visible delight at nailing the vocal take, with the music icon remarking ‘That’s it, that’s it! Got it, got it!’ at the end of the track.

Let’s Dance – Demo

Let’s Dance – Demo, a song by David Bowie on Spotify

Nile Rodgers said: “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.”
He added: “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!”.