“To the song they're playin' on the radio”
David Bowie’s worldwide smash hit single, Let’s Dance, was released 35 years ago today in the UK. Previously recorded as a March 17 release, new evidence points to the fact that the single was actually issued on Monday March 14, 1983.
Considering the previous album, Scary Monsters, Let’s Dance heralded yet another sharp change in direction for Bowie and this single and it’s flipside (a rerecording of Cat People) were perfect tasters for the album of the same name which followed in April.
Aside from the new sound that producer Nile Rodgers brought to the table (albeit very much influenced by the sound of his own band, Chic), the late Stevie Ray Vaughan also provided his distinctive signature guitar sound for solos on both sides of the disc.
The massive success of the song was unquestionably helped by Bowie and David Mallet’s iconic video, with its observations of oppression, symbolised neatly by a pair of red shoes.
The album and attendant tour would provide Bowie with a bigger commercial success than he had previously known. But that’s a whole other story.
Released on both 12" and 7" 45s, Let’s Dance was also issued two weeks later as a cassette single. In the UK the record entered the chart at #5 and two weeks later it was at #1, where it remained for three weeks.
We’ll leave you with an indicator of the single’s success via this list of some of the peak chart positions held by Let’s Dance back in 1983.
Australian Singles Chart - 2
Austrian Singles Chart - 2
Canadian Singles Chart - 1
Dutch Singles Chart - 1
German Singles Chart - 2
Irish Singles Chart - 1
New Zealand Singles Chart - 1
Norwegian Singles Chart - 1
Swedish Singles Chart - 1
Swiss Singles Chart - 1
UK Singles Chart - 1
US Billboard Hot 100 - 1
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play - 1