Today, David Bowie would have turned 71 years old, and to celebrate the late guru’s birthday, HBO is releasing a documentary tonight about the last five years of his life. In his waning years, Bowie became extremely prolific, recording two albums and helming a musical all while secretly battling cancer.
In addition, famed producer Nile Rodgers has teamed up with Parlophone Records to release an early demo of their 1983 hit single “Let’s Dance.” The demo, recorded in Switzerland, is so raw that they still haven’t identified two of the musicians on it. Here is what Rodgers had to say about the demo:
I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career but my creative partnership with David Bowie ranks very, very, very high on the list of my most important and rewarding collaborations. This demo gives you, the fans, a bird’s eye view of the very start of it! I woke up on my first morning in Montreux with David peering over me. He had an acoustic guitar in his hands and exclaimed, “Nile, darling, I think this is a HIT!”
This recording was the first indication of what we could do together as I took his ‘folk song’ and arranged it into something that the entire world would soon be dancing to and seemingly has not stopped dancing to for the last 35 years! It became the blue print not only for Let’s Dance the song but for the entire album as well.
If you played 2nd guitar or drums let us know who you are!
The time we spent mixing it just before Christmas was full of tears as it felt like David was in the room with us. Happy Birthday David, I love you and we all miss you!
We hope Nile plays this one when he performs with Chic at Coachella.