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Mick Jagger's favourite David Bowie song speaks to their special relationship


Mick Jagger and David Bowie shared a bond for five decades, but it was during the 1980s when their friendship came alive and really bloomed. During this period, they were inseparable, and Jagger’s favourite song by Bowie reminds him of those precious times.

The pair are two of the most charismatic, eccentric, and accomplished musicians that Britain has ever produced. It wasn’t until the early ’70s that their paths first crossed, although Jagger later admitted that he couldn’t remember exactly where or when they met, “which is weird”, he said. 

Both Bowie and Jagger attended the same glitzy parties in London and found themselves magnetically drawn to each other. Over the years, Jagger saw the development of Bowie from not just an artistic standpoint but as a human too. Later in life, both men found themselves living in New York during the 1980s, and they cemented their friendship by covering ‘Dancing In The Street’.

Jagger’s favourite song from Bowie came from that same era, and his reasoning isn’t solely for musical reasons. ‘Let’s Dance’ reminds The Rolling Stones frontman about those Manhattan nights they spent together. “We were very close in the ’80s in New York,” the singer remembered to Rolling Stone in the aftermath of Bowie’s death. “We’d hang out a lot and go out to dance clubs. We were very influenced by the New York downtown scene back then.”

Adding: “That’s why ‘Let’s Dance’ is my favourite song of his — it reminds me of those times, and it has such a great groove. He had a chameleon-like ability to take on any genre, always with a unique take, musically and lyrically”.

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‘Let’s Dance’ saw Bowie move with the times and stay in vogue without compromising his artistry. It was poppier than anything he’d done and made under the watchful eye of Nile Rodgers, who helped usher ‘The Starman’ into a new era.

While ‘Let’s Dance’ is a mnemonic of their glorious friendship, working with Bowie remains his most cherished souvenir of the time they spent together for Jagger. “My favourite memory was the time we did ‘Dancing in the Street’ together,” he said.

“We had to record the song and film the video all in one day. We walked straight from the studio onto the set of the video,” Jagger added. “At the end of the day, we were saying, ‘See, it can be done! Why are spending years in the studio?’ We enjoyed camping it up. The video is hilarious to watch. It was the only time we really collaborated on anything, which is really stupid when you think about it”.

When they both lived in England, the pair were on cordial terms, but their affinity for each other magnified when they became neighbours thousands of miles away from home in a foreign land. Those delightful days in New York were captured by Bowie on ‘Let’s Dance’, and whenever Jagger presses play, he takes an emotional trip down memory lane.