In 1983, David Bowie released Let’s Dance, and it was one of the most important records of his career.
Though not as overtly experimental as his work during the famed Berlin years, nor as coolly stylized as his early 70s glam-era output, the album’s three hit singles — “Modern Love,” a cover of “China Girl” by Iggy Pop, and the title track — paired with production by Chic’s Nile Rodgers connected with listeners in a huge way, propelling Bowie to new levels of pop / rock stardom; the subsequent Serious Moonlight world tour was massive.
Comprised of nearly 100 shows in 15 countries, the year-long run saw Bowie’s audience expand exponentially, and Denis O’Regan was there to shadow him and capture the proceedings on film. As the photographer told The Guardian recently:
“Bowie started playing to venues of 10,000, moved to 50-60,000 and he became a superstar. He really enjoyed playing to that many people. Everything went right for him, the reviews were incredible, the album was a huge success and he was a very happy man.”
O’Regan is publishing a new book next year — Ricochet: David Bowie 1983 — and it will collect hundreds of photos from O’Regan’s archives into a massive book, limited to 2000 copies and set for release in May of 2018.
The book is not cheap; The Guardain reports that the museum-quality limited edition version will sell for £3,000 (that’s $3,918.90). But it contains 15 kilos worth of memorabilia, such as “handwritten lyrics, tickets, set lists, three large limited edition prints and a 12-inch picture disc of ‘Ricochet’ and ‘Let’s Dance’ remastered by Nile Rodgers.”
If that still sees like a hefty price tag, though, publisher Moonlight Books is releasing a smaller edition with just the photographs, due out in August of 2018. To whet your appetite, The Guardian published a teaser gallery of some of the photos from the book today, and it is simply dazzling — you can see photos of Bowie onstage, suave and commanding against a colorfully pointilist backdrop of thousands upon thousands of concertgoers. You can see candid moments, like the singer stretched out on an afternoon boatride in Bangkok or mugging with Jerry and Mick Jagger in New York City. A mixture of color and black & white images, these are true fly-on-the-wall scenes documenting a big star on the cusp of becoming an even bigger one.
Look at The Guardian‘s gallery of photos here. Information on ordering the book (both editions) can be found here. And for more Bowie ephemera, an incredible vinyl box set dropped just in time for the holidays, documenting the era just before this collection of photographs; find out more about A New Career In A New Town: 1977-1982 at Bowie’s website.
- Categorized Under: