After a three year break from making music, Bowie decided it was time for a big change. He bleached his hair blonde, put on a yuppie outfit, and wrote music that pandered to a wide international audience to an extent he'd never done before.
The result was Let's Dance
, his biggest seller of all time. Its title track even hit No.1 on the Billboard charts for a week, which was considered quite an accomplishment in the 1980's.
Yes, Bowie completely threw his artistic ambitions out the window. Let's Dance
isn't interesting to my 'art-loving brain' at all - this is an air-headed 1980's pop album and little more. However, considering the first three songs on it totally kick ass, I think he can be forgiven.
There are five other songs on this album, and they suck my butt, but we're not going to talk about those. The three monster classics are loaded at the beginning, and it's pretty easy to forget the other ones exist.
“Modern Love” rules! You'll know that right away the moment those awesome, muted riki-tiki-tiki-tiki sounds make their way into your ears, before those huge stadium drums start blasting away like Greek gods playing with thunder. I'm not usually a fan of loud 1980's-style stadium drums, but when they're played in a danceable fashion to a catchy riff, it can be fun. Bowie's singing is full of gusto too, even though the lyrics make no sense to me. But lyrics aside, I love listening to every second of it, and it even makes me want to dance. And I'm not a dancey sort of person.
Perhaps the song people remember the most from Let's Dance
is “China Girl”, which Bowie had co-written earlier with Iggy Pop for 1977's The Idiot
. I can't say for certain which version is better, but this slicked-up version is about the coolest suavest moment of Bowie's career. The Oriental-ish riff is memorable, and so is the main vocal melody, which Bowie sings in a smooth deep voice.
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews