Celebrating what would have been David Bowie’s 71st birthday, Parlophone Records have shared a previously unreleased demo version of ‘Let’s Dance’ and you can listen to it below.
The demo was recorded when producer Nile Rodgers visited Bowie in Geneva, Switzerland, late 1982 to start working on what would become the Let’s Dance album. The pair wanted to start recording straight away and asked the Montreux Jazz festival organiser Claude Nobs if he could sort a band of session musicians for them. He recommended a drummer and two guitarists, one of whom was Turkish born Erdal Kızılçay, who would go on to work with Bowie on the soundtracks for Labyrinth and The Buddha Of Suburbia as well as 1.Outside.
This stripped back version of ‘Let’s Dance’ came out of the recording session which spanned December 19 and 20 1982 at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland with David Richards as engineer.
Speaking about the recording session recently, 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.
“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!”.