Let's Dance - 35 Years

Today marks 35yrs since the release of the magical collaboration between David Bowie and Nile Rodgers

David Bowie, 1983. (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

35 years ago today David Bowie’s smash pop album Let’s Dance was released. This album helped to carry Bowie and his stardom into the start of the 80s. The pop fans of this time absolutely loved this album. “There are very few records shinier than this one,” BBC said. “Let’s dance was literally the template for 80s Bowie - blonde, suited and smiling.”

Let’s Dance was so successful because of Bowie's ear for pop, as well as his choice in a producer. As Nile Rodgers moved away from the disco scene, he became THE guy cool rock acts would hire for his expertise in funk, rock, and pop.

Bowie and Rodgers met in a New York City bar and hit it off. Bowie took the Chic star to his home in Switzerland and showed him a folk-sounding chord progression he called "Let's Dance", but Rodgers was not impressed. “I come from dance music,” Rodgers remembers saying. “You can’t call that thing you just played ‘Let’s Dance.’”  With the magic touch of Rodgers, the song became an international sensation.

Singles on this album included “Let’s Dance,” which reached no. 1 in several countries including the U.S. and the U.K., “Modern Love” and “China Girl,” which both reached no. 2 in the U.K.

Let’s Dance became Bowie's first platinum studio album in the U.S., “solidifying his return to full-on pop stardom,” said Rolling Stone. In 1989, the album was ranked number 83 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Albums of the Eighties.