David Bowie—widely regarded as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century—created a prodigious repertoire of 27 studio albums, 11 live albums, 4 soundtracks, and 128 singles during his career. However, it appears that the late singer-songwriter, who died in 2016, still has one song left to sing.
Gala Music, a subsidiary of Web3 company Gala Games, announced a collaboration with music producer Larry Dvoskin and publisher Warner-Chappell Music on Thursday to release a never-before-heard version of David Bowie’s classic 1983 song “Let’s Dance” through a limited run of NFTs.
On April 14th, 40 years to the day after the initial release of “Let’s Dance,” Gala Music will issue 3,003 NFTs, each with a piece of Bowie-inspired artwork, that will grant the bearer access to an unreleased version of “Let’s Dance” that Dvoskin made with Bowie in 2002.
The NFTs will be sold on a pay-what-you-want basis, with all initial earnings going to MusiCares, a nonprofit that offers health and human assistance to the music community.
In a statement, Dvoskin described the music as a “more dreamy, electronic” rendition of the mega hit, which remains one of Bowie’s most successful songs ever recorded. The music producer and songwriter has long desired for the tracks to be reworked. With the 40th anniversary of “Let’s Dance” approaching, Dvoskin approached Bowie’s estate in an attempt to persuade them to release the song via NFTs.
“When I first spoke with the executor of the Bowie Estate, he said he planned to listen to my pitch about releasing this as an NFT and then politely pass,” Dvoskin said in a statement. “However, he changed his mind after retrieving the original 2002 email in which Bowie expressed his enthusiasm for doing the recording.” This was a creative undertaking that David never saw completed throughout his lifetime. We are fulfilling his request by publishing it now.”
The release next week will not be the Bowie Estate’s first journey onto the blockchain. In September, Bowie’s estate launched “Bowie on the Blockchain,” a series of NFTs in collaboration with marketplace OpenSea. That collection, which was also auctioned to generate funds for charity, drew strong criticism from Bowie fans, who saw the blockchain experiment as incompatible with the late artist’s ethos and ideals.
Warner Chappell Music, a division of Warner Music Group, presently owns Bowie’s complete music library, which was bought early last year for upwards of $250 million. The music company established a partnership with Web3 entertainment startup Defient in November 2022 to “unlock the power of Web3 for songwriters.”
Dvoskin’s arrangement with Warner Chappell Music is touted as the label’s “first completely native NFT agreement” for a song that had never been released in physical or digital media.
In the midst of a massive layoff, Warner Music Group said last week that it would spare personnel participating in its growing portfolio of Web3 and AI activities, citing “new tech initiatives as central to the company’s future.”
Gala Games is most known for its Web3 gaming initiatives, but the company has also made inroads into music and cinema as it investigates additional entertainment use cases for NFTs and tokens.
The startup came under fire earlier this year when it tweeted about new film projects with celebrities Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark Wahlberg—an announcement that appears to have increased the value of its native token GALA by 115%—only to remove the post and apologize for being “a little overzealous.” Gala noted that the production businesses of both stars are co-producing documentary film projects unconnected to their personal lives or professions.