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David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” Unreleased Version to be Sold as Music NFT

David Bowie, a legendary musician who influenced many other musicians of the 20th century, has an unreleased song that is about to see the light of day.
David Bowie's "Let's Dance" Unreleased Version to be Sold as Music NFT

On April 14th, Gala Music, an offshoot of Web3 startup Gala Games, in collaboration with Larry Dvoskin, a music producer, and publisher Warner-Chappell Music, will release a never-before-heard version of Bowie’s hit 1983 song “Let’s Dance” via a limited series of NFTs. The music producer produced the track with Bowie in 2002, and the NFTs will unlock the holder’s access to the unheard version of “Let’s Dance.”

The Partnership and Charity

The 3,003 NFTs will be sold on a pay-what-you-wish model, and all initial proceeds from the sale will benefit MusiCares, a charity that provides health and human services to the music community. The Bowie-inspired artwork accompanies each NFT, and the NFTs will be sold on April 14th, 40 years after the original release of “Let’s Dance.” The NFT sale will allow Bowie fans to own a unique piece of Bowie’s legacy and support a good cause.

The Unreleased Song

The track is described by Dvoskin as a “more dreamy, electronic” version of the hit song that remains one of Bowie’s most popular tracks ever released. Dvoskin has long wished for the song’s revamp to see the light of day, and with the 40th anniversary of the release of “Let’s Dance” approaching, he turned to Bowie’s estate to attempt to convince them to release the song via NFTs.

“When I first talked with the executor of the Bowie Estate, he told me he initially planned to listen to my pitch about releasing this as an NFT and then politely pass,” Dvoskin said in a statement. “But when he pulled up the original 2002 email in which Bowie expressed his enthusiasm for doing the recording, that changed his mind. This was a creative endeavor David never got to see released during his lifetime. We are honoring his wish by releasing it now.”

Bowie’s Estate and NFTs

This week’s release will not mark Bowie’s Estate’s first foray onto the blockchain. In September, Bowie’s estate launched a series of NFTs in partnership with marketplace OpenSea titled “Bowie on the Blockchain.” That collection was also sold to raise money for charity, and it received substantial backlash from Bowie fans who derided the blockchain experiment as inconsistent with the late artist’s ethos and values. Bowie’s entire music catalog is currently owned by Warner Chappell Music, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, which purchased the collection early last year for upwards of $250 million.

In November 2022, the music label announced a deal with Web3 entertainment incubator Defient to “unlock the power of Web3 for songwriters.” Dvoskin’s agreement with the label is described as Warner Chappell Music’s “first completely native NFT agreement” for a song that had never been released through physical or digital formats.

Gala Games and their Involvement

Gala Games is best known for its titular Web3 gaming efforts, but it has also made inroads into music and film as it explores other entertainment use cases for NFTs and tokens. The startup faced some scrutiny earlier this year when it tweeted about upcoming film projects with actors Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark Wahlberg—an announcement that appears to have boosted its native token GALA some 115%—only to later delete the tweet and call

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