When David Bowie invited Chic guitarist and all-around funk/disco guitar genius Nile Rodgers to make an album of “hits” in Switzerland, Rogers recollects considering, “k, ‘hits’ with David Bowie, that’s a great venture.” The manner he deadpans may make us assume he wasn’t tremendous stoked about it, however the reality is, it’s arduous to provoke Nile Rodgers. He has produced, written, and performed guitar—the very Stratocaster he’s conserving in the video above—on “loads, perhaps 1000’s” of information, he says. What’s another, with another celebrity?

The album, it grew to become out, would turn into Let’s Dance, runner-up to Thriller for album of the yr in 1984, containing such danceable hits as the name observe, “Modern Love,” and “China Girl.” It used to be to be Bowie’s best-selling album—as he described it, “a rediscovery of white-English-ex-art-school-student-meets-black-American-funk.” He indubitably introduced the first section of that equation, a song he strummed for Rogers on his 12-string acoustic that “gave the impression of folks tune to me,” the guitarist says.

“Since I knew David beloved jazz and he understood the vernacular, I mentioned to him, ‘David, can I do an association of this track?’” (What he has remembered announcing elsewhere is way funnier: “I come from dance tune. You can’t name that factor you simply performed ‘Let’s Dance.’”) Rodgers displays how he substituted and moved Bowie’s chords, giving the track its unique voicing. “Running away from funk as a result of of the entire disco sucks factor,” Rodgers says, he simplified his strumming, letting a extend impact “make the groove.”

While he won’t have long past into the revel in anticipating a lot more than the same old hit-making collaboration, the revel in, “modified my existence,” he says, “it modified David’s existence, and we wound up operating in combination on any other 5 tasks over the subsequent 5 years.” In an NPR interview last year, Rogers debuted the first demo of “Let’s Dance” with Bowie making a song over his new association. You can pay attention simply above.

The video at the most sensible is a component of Fender Guitars’ instructional collection, so Rodgers wraps up with an crucial takeaway for guitarists about the significance of “excellent theoretical wisdom,” the foundation of his “Let’s Dance” transformation from folks to jazz to New Wave post-funk. Sadly, we can not pay attention from Bowie himself or from his different well-known guitarist-collaborator on “Let’s Dance,” Stevie Ray Vaughan. But Bowie additionally credited the Texas legend for serving to him get admission to his internal American to create tune, as he as soon as noticed, with a “European sensibility, however owed its affect to the blues.”

by means of Boing Boing

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Josh Jones is a author and musician primarily based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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