Great information. Thank you.
It would be nice to have a "Dancing in the Streets" album with all of the versions. I don't think the "Dancing in the Streets" Instrumental version ever appeared anywhere but on the vinyl 7" single.
version was done by Mick Jagger and David Bowie as a duo in 1985, as part of the Live Aid charity movement. The original plan was to perform a track together live, with Bowie performing at Wembley Stadium and Jagger at John F. Kennedy Stadium, until it was realized that the satellite link-up would cause a half-second delay that would make this impossible unless either Bowie or Jagger mimed their contribution, something neither artist was willing to do. In 1968 Jagger and Keith Richards had already "borrowed" a line from the song in "Street Fighting Man" - "Cause summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy."
In June 1985, Bowie was recording his contributions to the Absolute Beginners soundtrack at Abbey Road Studios, and so Jagger arranged to fly in to record the track there. A rough mix of the track was completed in just four hours, at which point the pair went straight out to London Docklands to film a video with director David Mallet. Thirteen hours after the start of recording, this also was completed. Jagger arranged for some minor musical overdubs with Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero in New York.
The video was shown twice at the Live Aid event. Soon afterwards the track was issued as a single, with all profits going to the charity. "Dancing in the Street" topped the UK charts for four weeks, and reached number seven in the United States. Bowie and Jagger would perform the song once more, at the Prince's Trust Concert on June 20, 1986. The song has been featured since on several Bowie compilations.
It was also shown in movie theaters before showings of Ruthless People, for which Jagger had recorded the theme song. It was the first instance in which a promotional clip was used outside of MTV or broadcast television.
In a survey conducted by PRS for Music, the song was voted as the top song the British public would play at street parties in celebration of the 2011 Royal Wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William.
In the May 2011 episode "Foreign Affairs", the nineteenth episode of the ninth season of Family Guy, the music video is played in its entirety as one of the show's trademark cutaway gags.
7": EMI America / EA 204 United Kingdom
"Dancing in the Street" (Clearmountain Mix) – 3:07
"Dancing in the Street" (instrumental) – 3:17
12": EMI America / 12EA 204 United Kingdom
"Dancing in the Street" (Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero Mix) – 4:40
"Dancing in the Street" (dub version) – 4:41
"Dancing in the Street" (edit) – 3:24
Produced by Alan Winstanley and Clive Langer
Lead vocals: David Bowie and Mick Jagger
Guitar: Kevin Armstrong, G.E. Smith and Earl Slick
Bass: Matthew Seligman and John Regan
Drums: Neil Conti
Percussion: Pedro Ortiz and Jimmy Maclean
Trumpet: Mac Gollehon
Saxophone: Stan Harrison and Lenny Pickett
Keyboards: Steve Nieve
Backing vocals: Helena Springs and Tessa Niles
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT STYLE FROM BOWIE AND JAGGER'S "DANCING IN THE STREET"
By Dashing Barnett
The biggest lesson I learned about style and possibly, the universe, from Bowie and Jagger's seminal 1985 cover, was that as long as you fully commit to something, you can probably sell it with jazz hands. Take two aging rock icons, mix in some PJs, some alarming dance maneuvers and, just for spice, a spritz of sexual frisson and you have their promo for "Dancing In The Street."
No matter how rushed the production was, and it was—after four hours spent recording the song, they went to shoot this video, wrapping at dawn—Bowie and Jagger's commitment to their performance transcends the lack of planning and costume changes.
By 1985, musicians of their era were starting to show definite signs of ageing. They had kids, financial advisors, and MTV was pumping out younger, faster rockstars each and every day. So when Bob Geldof put together the Greatest Hits Collection Of Extremely Wealthy Musicians™ at Live Aid (kind of like the Justice League, but instead of Superman you had Sting), it was a chance for the great and good to promote their music across the planet, hoiking up their own record sales in the process raise a ton of money to help those suffering from starvation in Ethiopia.
To further this cause, Bowie and Jagger—longtime friends and alleged sometime bedmates—decided to cover Martha & The Vandellas' smash, "Dancing In The Street." The Marvin Gaye-penned song seemed appropriate because it mentioned lots of cities around the world (Live Aid was inclusive), and talked about good times and "a chance for folks to meet."
They probably ignored the fact that the song, with its "invitation across the nation," was accused of inciting riots back in the 60s. If only this was a real protest song where B&J took the opportunity to stick it to the man, fight yuppies, and stir up discontent. But by 1985, they both kinda were the man.
Nevertheless, I have to give them props, particularly in the era of big budget promos, for keeping this video stripped back and DIY. The video's wardrobe concession consisted of one outfit per singer and the plot involved them camping around an abandoned building before finishing things off dancing, by themselves, in the street.
CHECKLIST TO BE LIKE BOWIE/JIG LIKE JAGGER
1. A kimono/bathrobe/trench hybrid.
2. High visibility sneakers.
3. Slow motion leaping through the air.
4. Extemporaneous dance moves, largely gesture-based, from behind doorways or in unison with your partner. Ideal.
5. Do not care two craps about what anyone thinks of said dance moves, kimono, sneakers, or almost-kissing moments.
Initially, the main star of the video appears to be Mick Jagger's washed-out highlighter pen kicks; a sort of early DIY rave shoe. These shoes take up at least 18 seconds of this video. That's about 9.56% of the entire run-time. They look comfortable, like the shoes you decide to buy when you know, deep down, that this decision is the first of many leading to the grave.
On another note, Jagger's frenzied, on-the-spot sprinting is also a reminder that keeping fit is important. Raising your knees up to your chest is a great work out for your rear. In fact, I'm not completely convinced that Jagger realizes this is a music video and not an aerobics demonstration.
When Jagger eventually swings round a pole and into shot, I'm instantly struck with the wish that my family get-togethers were populated by eccentric characters who I could now compare to Mick Jagger. As in: "He's just like my weird crazy uncle." He's like that guy in your family who used to play bass in a funk band, and now has a much younger, not very bright girlfriend, and wears wacky shirts to Thanksgiving, which in turn, inspire disapproving looks from his siblings.
Well, that's Mick Jagger. Trying so hard that his eyes are constantly trying to escape their sockets, meanwhile his hair is a glorious bouffant–mullet hybrid. A brave mutant just trying to stay alive in a world rife with glinting steel scissors.
On another note, his green silk blouse is absolutely the kind of thing Equipment sells to girls right now for over $200 a pop. So he's clearly doing something right.
There are those shoes again. By this point, the dye is cast; we're watching a video made by dads, for dads. Jagger is dressed like Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear.
But Bowie's here to save the day! He appears resplendent in… patterned PJs. I bet at the time Jagger was rather nonplussed by Bowie's PJ-and-flowing-overcoat combo, but actually Bowie predicted and sported the bedwear-as-daywear trend 25-plus years ahead of everyone else.
One more thing on form versus function. If you can't jump sky-high and do the splits easily and without splitting the crotch, then your clothes are no good for you.
Unfortunately, watching this video at a young age completely ruined my game. It warped my rhythm. It warped my brain. I would go to gatherings, identify a potential make out partner and dance like these two, thus instantly diminishing my ability to score. My moves would wither away my tongue-on-tongue chances from 75%-hey-he's-kinda-dreamy, down to 7.5%-do-I-know-this-freakshow-no-I-do-not. Thanks to this video, my go-to party move is the old "stand behind the door and wiggle your hands dance." This is one lesson about style and dancing and LIFE that I could have done without.
The whole video ends here. I know it looks like I've cack-handedly screengrabbed a couple of crappy quality YouTube clips. And I have. Throughout this whole article. But this is the money-shot to end it all. Mick Jagger and David Bowie's butts, booty-tooched with conviction. Yet another schooling in style. A maxim to tattoo on your inner thigh: a well-cut pair of pants does a lot for your ass. Thanks guys.