Web3 startup Gala Music revealed Thursday its collaboration with publisher Warner Chappell Music and music producer Larry Dvoskin to launch the unreleased version of David Bowie’s 1983 hit “Let’s Dance” as a limited series of NFTs.
The limited series is scheduled to debut on April 14, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the initial release of Let’s Dance. These 3,003 NFTs will feature Bowie-inspired artwork and grant owners exclusive access to the unreleased song.
The NFTs will be available for purchase using a pay-what-you-can pricing model — with all of the initial sale proceeds going to benefit MusiCares. This charitable organization provides health and human services to individuals in the music community.
According to Dvoskin, the unreleased version of Let’s Dance is a more electronically-influenced and dreamy interpretation of the original hit song. Dvoskin has long waited for this song version to be released to the general public.
The producer said in a press release that he initially discussed with the Bowie Estate’s executor about releasing this version as an NFT. Later, Dvoskin was informed that the idea would likely not be accepted.
However, the executor had a change of heart after reviewing an email from Bowie himself in 2002, in which the late singer expressed his excitement about the recording.
Dvoskin believes that releasing this recording now is a way of honoring Bowie’s desire to share this creative project with the world — which he could not do during his lifetime.
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues!
— Gala Music (@GoGalaMusic) April 6, 2023
Not Bowie’s first blockchain venture
The upcoming release of “Let’s Dance” via NFTs is not the first time the Bowie Estate has been involved with blockchain technology.
In September, the Bowie Estate collaborated with the OpenSea marketplace to release a collection of NFTs called “Bowie on the Blockchain.” This collection comprises 15 unique NFTs that pay homage to the legendary British pop icon and his artistic legacy.
All proceeds from their sale were donated to CARE — a non-profit organization committed to combating global poverty and hunger.
As part of the “Bowie on the Blockchain” NFT launch, nine visual artists have created NFTs based on Bowie. It also involved the participation of artist manager Andrew D. Keller and filmmaker Joaquin Acrich’s newly established company “We Love the Arts.”
The collection’s centerpiece — made by FEWOCiOUS — is an animated video coupled with a seven-foot-tall sculpture adorned in one of Bowie’s bespoke suits — highlighting the colorful themes and motifs prevalent throughout his career.
The NFT called “It Became A Myth Land,” created by artist Defaced, fetched the second-highest bid. The artwork was a digital creation on a 12-hour clock — depicting six phases of Bowie’s life and career. The buyer also receives an Atomic Form digital frame to showcase the piece.
Ryan Foutty, the vice president of business development at OpenSea, said that the collection of Bowie-inspired NFTs is a fantastic way to “bring a new generation of fans together in Web3.”
However, the “Bowie on the Blockchain” NFT faced criticism from fans. Many felt that the use of blockchain technology was not in line with the values and beliefs of the late musician.
Bowie, a highly influential musician of the 20th century, created an extensive body of work throughout his life, including 27 studio albums, 11 live albums, four soundtracks and 128 singles.
Warner Chappell Music acquired the rights to Bowie’s entire music catalog for over $250 million in early 2022. In November of the same year, the label joined forces with Defient — a Web3 entertainment incubator — to leverage the power of Web3 for songwriters.