Friday, November 25, 2011

David Bowie - Let's Dance. A Holy Trinity of Musical Force

Not his best, but his all-time best-seller: David Bowie's Let's Dance.  This record came out in the distant days of post-disco, in 1983.  A whole chapter is devoted to the making of this record in Nile Rodger's autobiography, Le Freak.   To me, it's the quintessential '80's record.  The album is one of the most unique blendings of three highly disparate musically genius-level forces:  Himself, the Think White Duke - Bowie, the historic Artist and chameleon.  Add the hottest record producer of that era, Nile Rodgers - try to un-stitch the Scarlet Letter D (for disco) from his sweater.  And the emergence of a Force, a bright comet that will flame out prematurely: the heretofore unknown Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Nile tells of Bowie being without a record contract, like a free agent.  Nile himself had just made Diana Ross's comeback smash record and would soon man the controls of Madonna's sophomore effort, Like a Virgin.  But here - David tells Nile to make hits for this record.  Nile can do that.  He created Atlantic's largest selling single ever.   David had seen Stevie breakout performance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival.  Nile brought in most of The Chic Organization, tapping Bernard Edwards, sadly, for only one song.  The somewhat obscure yet talented Rob Sabino (Chic) is on keyboards.  I think Stevie joined David on his subsequent Serious Moonlight tour.

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