"Let's Dance" is the title song from British singer-songwriter David Bowie's 1983 album. It was also released as the first single from that album in 1983, and went on to become one of his biggest-selling tracks.

The single was one of Bowie's fastest selling to date, entering the UK singles chart at number five on its first week of release, staying at the top of the charts for three weeks. Soon afterwards, the single topped the Billboard Hot 100, Bowie's only single to reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic. In Oceania, it narrowly missed topping the Australian charts, peaking at number two, but peaked at number one for 4 consecutive weeks in New Zealand.


 [hide*1 Music video

Music video[edit]Edit

The music video was made by David Mallet on location in Australia including a bar in Carinda in New South Wales and the Warrumbungle National Park near Coonabarabran. It featured Bowie playing with his band while impassively watching an Aboriginal couple’s struggles against metaphors of Western cultural imperialism. The red shoes mentioned in the song's lyrics appear in several contexts. Bowie described this video (and the video for his subsequent single, "China Girl") as "very simple, very direct" statements against racism and oppression.[1]

Track listing[edit]Edit

7": EMI America / EA 152 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Let's Dance" (Single Version) (Bowie) – 4:07
  2. "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" (Bowie, Moroder) – 5:09

12": EMI America / 12EA 152 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Let's Dance" (Bowie) – 7:38
  2. "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" (Bowie, Moroder) – 5:09


"Let's Dance" introduced Bowie to a new younger audience oblivious to his former career in the 1970s. Although the track was his most popular to date, its very success had the incongruous effect of distancing Bowie from his new fans, with Bowie saying he didn't know who they were or what they wanted.[2] His next two albums, made as an attempt to cater to his new-found audience, suffered creatively as a result.[3]

Live performances[edit]Edit

The track was a regular on the Serious Moonlight Tour (the name derived from a lyric in "Let's Dance"), and was released on the 1983 concert video Serious Moonlight. It was also performed live on Bowie's 1987 Glass Spider Tour (and released on 1988's Glass Spider), the 1990 Sound+Vision Tour, and was then reworked semi-acoustically for tours in 2000 and later.

Charts and certifications[edit]Edit

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Chart (1983) Peak


Australian Singles Chart 2
Austrian Singles Chart 2
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Dutch Singles Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 1
Swiss Singles Chart 1
German Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US BillboardHot Dance Club Play 1
US BillboardTop Rock Tracks 8
US BillboardHot Black Singles 14

Sales and certifications[edit]Edit

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[4] Gold 873,000[5]
United Kingdom (BPI)[6] Gold 839,000[7]
United States (RIAA)[8] Gold 1,000,000^

  • sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Preceded by

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler

Irish Singles Chart number-one single

9 April 1983 – 16 April 1983

Succeeded by

"Words" by F.R. David

Preceded by

"Is There Something I Should Know" by Duran Duran

UK Singles Chart number-one single

9 April 1983 – 23 April 1983

Succeeded by

"True" by Spandau Ballet

Preceded by

"Twisting by the Pool" by Dire Straits

New Zealand Singles Chart number one

22 April 1983 – 20 May 1983

Succeeded by

"Beat It" by Michael Jackson

Preceded by

"She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby

Canadian "RPM" Singles Chart number-one single

7 May 1983

Preceded by

"Angel Man (G.A.)" by Rhetta Hughes

Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single

30 April 1983 – 4 June 1983

Succeeded by

"Flashdance... What a Feeling" by Irene Cara

Preceded by

"Beat It" by Michael Jackson

Billboard Hot 100 number-one single

21 May 1983

Production credits[edit]Edit

Other releases[edit]Edit

Cultural references to the song[edit]Edit

Cover versions[edit]Edit

Chic 2013 live at itunes festival,O2 arena


"Lets's Dance" is sampled in a 2013 American car commercial for Kia Cadenza.

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