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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 19 November 2007
There is a line of thought which exists that says all bands and artists have a purple patch when they produce their best work, then after that it's all rubbish - not even downhill, just not worth bothering about. The Rolling Stones, Lennon, McCartney, even the likes of Blur have suffered this fate, just as Bowie has. Well, while in the case of ex-Beatles it may be true, when it comes to Bowie it ain't.
The received wisdom is that Let's Dance was the Thin White Dukes first fully-fledged turkey. Certainly, the 1980s were a low period for him but that was almost a decade away.
Let's Dance chimes perfectly with the period. The songs are fantastically catchy - only Ricochet is ropey, relying on a turgid nursery rhyme structure, hence the docked star - with a soft soul sheen that harks back to Young Americans' attempt at the target, but much successful.
Of course, the first three tracks are worth the price of entry alone, but to discard the rest is to miss how finely balanced the whole record is. Certainly it is redolent with the shiny production that would become ubiquitious to the point that it removed any emotion or feeling from music during that period. However, to these ears, it has more in common with The Pixies 'Planet of Sound' than the likes of Sade or any other funk soul hybrids that followed it.
Either way, I can appreciate why some dislike this record, because it is, relatively speaking, very straightforward compared with the likes of Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory or Low, but that's to miss the point: this was yet another chameleon-like change in what had already morphed more times than any artist before. The the fact it was a move into a commercially-minded soul star with a hard edge doesn't mean it was a capitulation of artistic intent. Even the title 'Let's Dance' is playful, an invite to boogie or to fight, which is exactly what Bowie was doing at this point. Whether the records that followed are proof that somebody had tied his shoe laces together is, however, open to debate...
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VINE VOICEon 14 January 2013
I remember reading a review in a local paper 30 years ago that said "Let's Dance take off where Scary Monsters left off". What twaddle. It also said the the reworked CAT PEOPLE (fantastic 12" original) was "heavy metal" more twaddle. I was looking forward to hearing this lp as I love Scary Monsters... . Oh what a shock. So from being a rock fan I had to now appreciate dance, and all of sudden I did. I like this album a lot. Says it all really. 30 years later and I still love this lp.

The following info is designed to help new-comers to point them in the right direction for their own tastes.
The No. * rating is very personal to me and these ratings have never really changed in all the 33 years I've been listening to Bowie. They are how I rate the whole LP/cd compared to other BOWIE output.
During 1990 and 1991 EMI released digitally remastered cds under the title of "SOUND + VISION". Most had bonus tracks... some tracks are poor but some are worth getting.
The following list is not definitive but points out the most accessible cds to newbies of Bowie.

1967 DAVID BOWIE - try getting the DELUXE EDITION, or DERAM ANTHOLOGY (not as complete but a good collection). 60's pop / whimsical / musical hall / very folk. 2*
1969 SPACE ODDITY - Electric folk / folk / soft rock - just like Hunky Dory 5*
1970 - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD - Rock / hard rock - not unlike early Black Sabbath. 4*
1971 - HUNKY DORY - Folk / folk rock - just like Space Oddity 5*
1972 - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (aka ZIGGY STARDUST) Rock / glam rock 4*
1973 - ALADDIN SANE - Rock / glam rock 3.5*
1973 - PIN-UPS - 60's cover versions in rock / glam style. 2*
1974 - DIAMOND DOGS. An Orwellian style, bleak lyrics, up-beat rock and shades of soul hidden within. 5*
1974 - DAVID LIVE - The soul is starting to come thru. Not rock, more funk in style but without the funk... confusing !! 1*
1975 - YOUNG AMERICANS - Soul / funk 3*, but every time I play it I think hang on, this is 5* (confused again !!). Try and get the version with, "Who can I be now?", "it's gonna be me" & "John, I'm only dancing, again".
1976 - STATIONTOSTATION - The start of electronics can be heard here. Soul / soft rock 5* at least.
1977 - LOW - and enter BRIAN ENO. This is my fave LP. Bleak, depressing, alienation and very electronic with quiet rock . 5* at least. Also see "Heroes".
1977 - "HEROES" - and BRIAN ENO. This is one of my fave LPs. Bleak, depressing, alienation and very electronic with quiet rock . 5* at least. Also see LOW.
1978 - STAGE - live and brilliant but with fade-outs and gaps between songs. 4*. Life is tried to be pumped into some tunes which are, for me, left more barren and desolate.
1979 - LODGER - and more BRIAN ENO. A right mishmash of sounds and tunes. Took me years to get into this LP. 3* Pop (in a word).
1980 - SCARY MONSTERS & SUPER CREEPS - and this is where I came in. Rock with hints of funk, depression and it contains "Up The Hill Backwards"... my all-time fave single (strange choice I know, especially when I adore Bohemian Rhapsody)
1983 - LET'S DANCE. Disco-esque / soft rock. 4*. This is Bowie's biggest selling LP.
1983 - ZIGGY STARDUST THE MOTION PICTURE. Rock/glam 3.5*
1984 - TONIGHT. See LET'S DANCE but only 1*.
1987 - NEVER LET ME DOWN - see TONIGHT but 2*
1989 91 - TIN MACHINE 1 & 2. Rock. Both 3*
1993 - BLACK TIE /WHITE NOISE Rock/pop with hints of modern R&B. 2*
1993 - THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA. Pop 3*
1995 - 1.OUTSIDE. God I was wetting myself to hear this when I heard it was the return of BRIAN ENO. God I was disappointed. It's a story (a murder mystery) with only patches of brilliant music. 1*
1997 - EARTHLING. Not knowing what drum & bass is, the making of this cd documentary kept referring to it an D&B. I never got into it. 2*
1999 - HOURS... - pop / soft rock 5*
2002 - HEATHEN - pop / soft rock 4*
2003 - REALITY. Omg, it's 10 years old now. I hadn't realised he had a new cd out upon my return after a holiday. So it went into the shopping trolley my wife was pushing and it has never been very far away from the cd player. For me, I can hear shades of ALADDIN SANE. Pop / rock 5*
2013 - THE NEXT DAY. With it's altered "Heroes" cover ...(to be updated after its release)
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on 16 November 2015
There are some who tut and say this is where the rot started to set in, but to this fan who'd got hooked with Aladdin Sane and followed Bowie pretty religiously thereafter it was right up there with his 70s milestones. The Nile Rodgers groove is a big part of the album, but it's not all 'play that funky music, white boy' by any means. Cat People, for example is a fabulously muscular rock workout that would not seem out of place on Lodger or Diamond Dogs.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 March 2012
This is just a great album. I have been a Bowie fan since 1972,and his music has provided the soundtrack to my life - and in many ways still does. And this is the music of the 80s - Let's Dance, China Girl and Modern Love are great songs, which were included in Bowie's most recent tour - so he must like them too. Cat People is a great track as is Criminal World. Ok, so there are a couple of tracks which rather signposted the way the next albums were heading; Shake It is rather a filler for example, but for all that this is a great album, which bears the test of time well.

If you don't have this or haven't updated from vinyl or cassette - you really should do it now - you won't regret it.
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on 24 May 2016
what often goes unmentioned with lets dance is the impact of Stevie ray Vaughan on this album. Without his contribution this would sound very different. I really like lets dance, it may not compare with hunky dory or ziggy but it is a great mainstream album! Nile Rodgers also played a large part hence the pop tunes. After this it was downhill for a few years.
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on 19 June 2016
I own everything on vinyl before his bad venture into Tin Machine. I went to Milton Keynes to watch him perform the Serious Moonlight tour and It's a must have for any serious fan. The CD sounds just as good as the vinyl.
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on 14 March 2016
loved this album when it first came out. glad to have got the cd now to replace the long since stolen vinyl.
Bowie doing his thing of immerse and absorb then create album(s) that is the essence of the chosen style or world.
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on 9 March 2016
I know many long time hardcore fans of Bowie found "Let's Dance" and the whole 80's output disappointing but you cannot argue that this album is a well crafted pop/rock album! It has sold multi millions (one of Bowie's biggest selling albums!) and contains three excellent worldwide hit singles in the title track, "China Girl" and "Modern Love". There are great songs here to be enjoyed "Criminal World", "Without You" and the reworked "Cat People" being perfect examples and all are highlighted by the guitar sonics from Nile Rodgers and the great Blues Rock legend in the making Stevie Ray Vaughan who gained an introduction to the world via his work on this album. "Let's Dance" has been wonderfully Produced by Nile Rodgers and even today it still sounds fresh and vibrant, no dates 80's production here! It's Bowie's best of the 80's and it is an excellent album by any artists standards!
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on 20 April 2012
David Bowie is awesome.As is 1983's colossal album Lets Dance.....
1.The title track is an effortless piece of pop perfection,monumental chorus,a tune that just owns it.Contemporary sospisticated pop at its best.Hands down one of the best,if not the best comeback singles of all time.
2.Theres an awful lot of pseudo Paul Morley mojo inspired chin rubbing where boring divorcees lament the commercial nature of this album.Yes it has choruses,yes lots of people liked it...so what?
If you don't like the album you have a previous decade of genius to chew on.
3.From some of the career "appraisals" you'd be forgiven for thinking before 1983 no one knew who Bowie was.
A myth.Bowie had numerous number one albums in Britain,number one singles in Britain....America?
Oh....played Madison Square Garden,number one single with Fame.
Obviously Lets Dance inducted a large portion of a new audience but Bowie was a star already.This album and singles magnified this.
4.Bowie knows EXACTLY what he wants,as uncredible as it was for him to admit years later this man wanted stadiums,wanted the american dollars....
5.Urrrghh....Paul Morley....two words that bring bile to my mouth.An overweight,obscenely pretentious egotist...just watch this guy on youtube,anything from the 80s and CRINGE,RECOIL in horror at the sheer arrogance and sixth form intelligence.
6.Steve Ray Vaughan.The type of guitar player that almost causes me to grow my hair,wear a bandanna and say mmman.
Beautiful guitar work.Man.
7.A great album that in the context of Bowie's catalogue is essential.If an album gets Bowie a bigger audience,GOOD.
Hopefully they will buy all his previous work and finally develop a true sense of taste.
For me Bowie introduced me to so much whether it be Lou Reed,Iggy Pop,Trent Reznor....
8.I notice the Phil Collins insults.Bowie himself made a jibe about playing to a "Phil Collins audience"....
Well i love The Collins,a GENIUS of ford mondeo rock penning gigantic pop hits for uncles to dance to at weddings or for 40 something dumped lovers to lament their terrible love lives whilst drinking copious amounts of gin.
Mamma.....wicked tune.
9.If i hear "chameleon" one more time.A chameleon changes to suit its environment,to not be seen,to become the same.Surely Bowie simply does not fade into the background...?
9.Bowie.Greatest living englishman.I salute you sir,you are a genius.
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on 14 January 2010
David Bowie's 1983 album "Let's Dance", is a fantastic album. This album is different to previous albums, as it contains dance, Pop/Rock music. This album includes the singles "Let's Dance", "China Girl" & "Modern Love".

I will rate each track and explain why:-

1. Modern Love 10/10 - This is a fantastic start to the album, as its a good pop rock, dancing kind of song for the start of this dance album. It is notable to be similiar to Elton John's song "I'm Still Standing" which was recorded exactly the same time.

2. China Girl 10/10 - The newer version of Iggy Pop's version back in 1977 from the album "The Idiot". This song is really good! it sounds really good and the lyrics are good.

3. Let's Dance 10/10 - This song is really good as well. The song has a good beat all the way through, and a good bridge/chorus which makes it even more better. This song was made number 1 in 1983.

4. Without You 10/10 - This song reminds me of the beat from "Ashes To Ashes" back in 1980, but in a different style given. This song is really good as the lyrics are really touching. worth a listen to.

5. Ricochet 6/10 - This song in my opinion the worse song on the album, it just bores me silly. The song has a boring beat and it doesn't stand out for me when i first heard this song.

6. Criminal World 10/10 - This song is great! this song has a good beat all the way through and is worth the listen too.

7. Cat People (Putting Out Fire) 10/10 - This song ROCKS! the song is just fast paced and is a proper pop rock song. The song has a great chorus and its funny when Bowie says "I'm putting out fire with gasoline". Its just ta fantastic song.

8. Shake It 8/10 - This song is good but no the best for me. The song reminds me of the title track (Let's Dance), as it seems to have a similar beat. A good end to a dance album.

In conclusion, this album is just fantastic, 5/5 or 10/10, its just a good dance album for ya by David Bowie. The best songs for me are "Modern Love", "Let's Dance", "China Girl", "Criminal World" & "Cat People". If you like David Bowie and maybe you want a change from his 70s rock and want to experiment with some 80s classics , then buy this.
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