David Bowie was rightly crowned the chameleonic king of art-rock during his lifetime. With a brand of glamorised rock and roll sneer that few could stay away from for too long, what is often forgotten is that, beneath all the glitz and glitter, there was a consummate singer and supreme vocalist. When dissecting his most potent pop hit, ‘Let’s Dance’ and isolating the vocal track, we get a sense of just how talented he was.
No song typifies the pop career of David Bowie more accurately than ‘Let’s Dance’. Released in 1983 as part of the singer’s resurgence on the pop charts, this track proved that Bowie was not an artist who would be restricted by the musical fashion of the time or by the dwindling of time. He would ensure that he was always at the cutting edge of creating music.
Using the acclaimed producer Nile Rodgers, the musical maestro behind chic, Bowie confirmed himself to the new decade as a relevant pop star once more. While it’s easy to dismiss this song, it’s damn well impossible to resist its charms. The song is brimming with dancefloor credibility.
The fact remains if someone puts on the cracker ‘Let’s Dance’ and flicks the volume past a socially acceptable level, then, chances are, you won’t be able to stop yourself from having a little boogie. And, after all the artistic merit, isn’t that really what Bowie was all about? Having a good time? We think so.
But, as with everything Bowie did, if you strip back the layers of the track, more and more humanity is revealed. When listening to Bowie’s isolated vocal on ‘Let’s Dance‘, the song transforms from a glossy 1980s pop hit into an impassioned piece of poetry proclaiming the freedom of artistic expression.
It’s a piece of pop history that rarely gets dissected, so, with the opportunity in front of you, we suggest you take your time to review just exactly what Bowie is trying to say on his pop classic ‘Let’s Dance’.