April 14 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s hit album Let’s Dance, which was his first album after leaving RCA Records. Co-produced by Nile Rodgers of Chic, the album was recorded at the Power Station in New York City and featured a then-unknown Stevie Ray Vaughan on lead guitar.
“David opened a door for me that never closed, and for that I am grateful,” Rodgers told Variety in 2018 about working with the rock star.
The album went on to be a huge commercial success for Bowie, spending three weeks on top the U.K. album chart and peaking at four on the U.S. chart. Its success was aided by three hit singles: the album’s title track, which went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100; “China Girl,” which peaked at 10; and “Modern Love,” which landed at 14. All were accompanied by stylish music videos that got continuous play on MTV.
Bowie supported the album with the Serious Moonlight tour, which was his first trek in five years. Lasting from May to December, the tour became the biggest tour of 1983.
Let’s Dance went on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide to become Bowie’s bestselling album. It was certified Platinum by the RIAA and was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year, but lost to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
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