Listen: Demo version of ‘Let’s Dance’ surfaces for Bowie's birthday with Nile Rodgers on guitar
Parlophone

Monday would have been the 71st birthday of David Bowie had he not passed away from liver cancer back in 2016. While Bowie may no longer be physically present on this earth, his music still lives in the many shapes and styles that it came through over the years. To celebrate the birth of his longtime friend, Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Parlophone Records have shared an unreleased demo version of Bowie’s famous 1983 party anthem, "Let's Dance.”

As heard in the audio-only video above, the stripped down demo was recorded in Switzerland the year prior to its release in 1982, Spin reports. Rodgers, who has played a role in co-writing numerous hit singles over the years, plays guitar on the demo, and is also credited with being the track’s “Arranger, Mixer, Producer,” according to the YouTube video. The latest version of the song might not have the same production quality as the finished product that has since gone on to become an anthem to millions, but Rodger’s energized and glistening guitar lines to go along with a Bowie who is heard beaming with excitement at the end, is sure to find a place in the hearts of fans.

“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!” Rodgers said in a statement about the project. “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!”

The equally famous Chic guitarist and singer goes on to admit that he didn’t quite remember who played the second guitar part or drums on the track, but whomever it is should step forward and claim their credit for being a part of rock history!

“The time we spent mixing it just before Christmas was full of tears as it felt like David was in the room with us,” he continued. “Happy Birthday David, I love you and we all miss you!”

In addition to working with Bowie, Rodgers has made a lasting career by collaborating with artists including Daft Punk, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger and many more.