Listen to a Previously Unreleased Demo of David Bowie's "Let's Dance"

January 8, 2018
David Bowie

Press Association

Parlophone Records has shared a previously unreleased David Bowie demo in honor of what would’ve been the late musician’s 71st birthday. The song is an early demo of the 1983 classic “Let’s Dance” that’s been freshly mixed. Listen to the stripped-down gem below!

According to Rolling Stone, this just-released version was recorded by Bowie and Chic’s Nile Rodgers on December 19-20, 1982 in Montreux, Switzerland. At the time, Bowie apparently greeted Rodgers as he woke, excited that he thought he had a hit on his hands. Referring to the original as a “folk-like version,” Rodgers asked if he could do an arrangement.

Bowie was so ready to record the song that a motley crew of local musicians was quickly put together to record what you just heard on the early demo—and the “band” of local musicians was slapped together so haphazardly that some of its members currently remain unknown.

In any case, the song was a hit, just as Bowie suspected. Compare the early demo to the more familiar version of “Let’s Dance” below!