By 1983, David Bowie had been away from the pop mainstream for almost three years. Inevitably, his return to action with the "Let's Dance" single and an album of the same name was greeted with wild enthusiasm, all the more so when his latest transformation revealed him to be more than ready to accept the mega-superstardom he had merely flirted with for so long.
Recorded in New York with Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers at the helm, and the then-rising Texan guitar star Stevie Ray Vaughan in audible attendance, "Let's Dance" itself is one of Bowie's most overtly commercial compositions, further blessed by one of his most simplistic lyrics -- the sociological content with which the song has historically been credited derives entirely from the accompanying video, as opposed to a lyric which does little more than repeat the title around scattered invocations of "serious moonlight" and scarlet footwear.
Over seven minutes long in its LP form, "Let's Dance" was edited down for single release and promptly rewarded Bowie with a number one on both sides of the Atlantic. Of course, it was a staple throughout the ensuing Serious Moonlight tour, and remained part of his repertoire throughout the 1980s. A live version, featuring Tina Turner, was recorded in 1985 and appears on her Live in Europe album.
Bowie appeared to lose interest in the song following the Sound and Vision tour in 1990. However, it reappeared in 1995 in a vastly different arrangement, and Bowie has continued toying with the song's structure ever since.