Get things done: The commodification of David Bowie in 1983

Coley, Sam (2024) Get things done: The commodification of David Bowie in 1983. Popular Culture Review, 35 (1). ISSN 2831-865X

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This paper employs David Bowie’s 1983 album Let’s Dance as a central focus to explore notions of authenticity and compromise within popular music and to question the concept of integrity for artists seeking mainstream international success. The analysis evaluates Bowie's career from a commercial standpoint, delving into the underlying financial motivations that may have influenced his creative decisions. The study utilizes a multifaceted approach, incorporating primary interviews, insights from biographical sources, and contributions from the field of Bowie studies. Furthermore, it integrates perspectives from business, marketing, and public relations theories to investigate the influences and decisions which shaped the Let's Dance phase of Bowie's career and its subsequent repercussions. The paper suggests Bowie’s mainstream reinvention in 1983 can be seen as form of creative business endeavor, demonstrating astute business instincts and entrepreneurial aptitude. Despite subjecting Bowie to allegations of 'inauthenticity' and 'selling-out,' this strategic rebranding ultimately resulted in significant wealth accumulation and the consolidation of his star status.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
1 March 2024Accepted
5 March 2024Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: David Bowie, Let’s Dance, Branding, 1983, Popular Music, Authenticity
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > College of English and Media
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 20 May 2024 15:23
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 15:12

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