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  • re: Bowie’s vocals on Let’s Dance demo

    Bowie had said that what made the Let’s Dance album different (for him) was that it was “a singer’s album.” I’ve always taken that to mean that the songs were an opportunity for the singer (i.e. him) to express things his earlier songs couldn’t, or maybe it was just that the more commercial style of the songs compelled him to sing in ways his earlier LPs had not.

    Another demo that’s very interesting to me is Blondie’s “Once I Had a Love (aka the Disco Song.” This is of course an early version of “Heart of Glass.”

    So the backstory is that they created a song they weren’t very enthusiastic about, referring to it somewhat derogatorily as “the disco song,” but their producer recognized it as something more (even if still ultimately a disco song …). The result was a lot of studio time spent, ideas exchanged, and ultimately one heck of a monster hit song.

    I sorta like this earlier iteration better, some days. The vibe is just so different from the well-known final version.


  • As a classical music fan – especially choral and organ – this episode was particularly engaging for me. The discussion about recording the Britten in the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, was fascinating. While I do not own that recording, I did purchase “1615 Gabrieli in Venice” from iTunes shortly after its release, terminally hooked by a short video taken during a recording session. I had no idea your frequent and expert guest Andy was involved until I heard him mention it. The recording is a masterpiece. Many thanks for this particular episode and for the broad appeal of “The Next Track.”