The legacy of David Bowie, widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, continues to captivate audiences long after his passing in 2016. With a vast catalog of 27 studio albums, 11 live albums, 4 soundtracks, and 128 singles, the musician has left an indelible mark on the music industry.
Recently, Gala Music, a subsidiary of Web3 startup Gala Games, announced a groundbreaking partnership with music producer Larry Dvoskin and publisher Warner-Chappell Music to release a never-before-heard version of Bowie’s hit 1983 song “Let’s Dance” via a limited series of NFTs. This exclusive recording, produced by Dvoskin and Bowie in 2002, features a “more dreamy, electronic” version of the iconic song, one of Bowie’s most popular tracks to date.
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues!
— Gala Music (@GoGalaMusic) April 6, 2023
On April 14th, exactly 40 years after the original debut of “Let’s Dance,” Gala Music will release 3,003 NFTs, each featuring a unique piece of Bowie-inspired artwork, that will grant access to the unheard version of the track. These NFTs will be sold using a pay-what-you-wish model, with all initial proceeds going towards MusiCares, a charity that supports the health and well-being of the music community.
Larry Dvoskin, who had long sought to release the revamped version of “Let’s Dance,” shared his excitement about the upcoming release. He explained that the Bowie Estate had initially been hesitant to consider releasing the song via NFTs, but changed their mind after reviewing an email from Bowie expressing his enthusiasm for the recording. As Dvoskin noted, this project represents a creative endeavor that Bowie never got to see released during his lifetime, and this release honors his wish to share the track with his fans.
While this release marks the Bowie Estate’s first foray into NFTs, it is not their first venture into blockchain technology. In September of last year, the estate launched a series of NFTs in partnership with marketplace OpenSea under the title “Bowie on the Blockchain,” which also raised money for charity. However, this initiative received significant criticism from Bowie fans who felt that it did not align with the late artist’s values and ethos.
It is worth noting that Bowie’s entire music catalog is currently owned by Warner Chappell Music, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, which acquired the collection for over $250 million in early 2022. The label has recently announced a partnership with Web3 entertainment incubator Defient to leverage the power of Web3 for songwriters.
Dvoskin’s deal with Warner Chappell Music represents the label’s “first completely native NFT agreement” for a song that had never been released in any physical or digital format. This is a groundbreaking moment in the music industry, and it is clear that both Gala Music and Warner Chappell Music are committed to exploring the potential of NFTs and blockchain technology in the music space.
Gala Games, best known for their Web3 gaming efforts, has also been exploring the potential of NFTs and tokens in the entertainment industry, with forays into music and film. While the startup faced some scrutiny earlier this year over an overzealous tweet about upcoming film projects involving Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark Wahlberg, it remains committed to exploring innovative entertainment use cases for NFTs.
Overall, the release of this never-before-heard version of “Let’s Dance” as an NFT represents a significant moment for music fans and blockchain enthusiasts alike. With all proceeds going towards charity and the involvement of major players like Gala Music and Warner Chappell Music, this release is poised to make a significant impact on the industry and pave