Lost in the ’70s: Bryan Adams, “Let Me Take You Dancing”

I realize I’ve sort of hit upon a theme lately when it comes to LIT70s, but I don’t think it’s fair to limit just the Beach Boys to the Disco Hall of Shame. As we’ve seen over the past few months, there are plenty of other artists who jumped the disco bandwagon to revive a flagging career. There are also quite a few who started as disco artists, only to later change direction and deny their humble beginnings once they hit it big in their new genre.

Take, for example, “Cuts Like a Knife” rocker Bryan Adams.  Or as we will all now know him, Disco Chipmunk.

Yes, it’s true: our leather-clad, fist-pumping, “normal” dude next door was once shaking it on the dance floor, and he wanted you to join him. His first single at the tender age of 18, “Let Me Take You Dancing” (download) was cowritten by Adams and his longtime writing partner Jim Vallance. The original Canadian version, a snippet of which you can hear on Vallace’s website, was more in a Nick Gilder vein, but the disco beat was still there. The single made a little noise up north, so for its American release, disco remixer John Luongo was called in to disco-fy the track even more.

Luongo’s solution was to beef up the beat a bit, add some percussion and handclaps, and speed up the track a bit. Trouble is, he didn’t bother to have Adams re-record his vocal track to match the new, obviously higher pitch, so — bam! — Disco Chipmunk.

Adams was understandably unhappy with the end result, but it did score a bit of disco club play and ended up helping garner Adams a full-fledged record deal with A&M Records, so it all worked out in the end.

Now is “Let Me Take You Dancing” a bad song by any stretch? That really depends on your tolerance for disco. If you enjoy some disco, like I do, it’s really not that offensive, if a little bland.  The pre-chorus is actually sort of neat, and there are definitely flashes of Bryan Adams songs to come buried under the percussion and helium vocals. Unfortunately, Adams isn’t a big fan of the track, and so far the only place it’s made an appearance on CD is on a disc called Disco Box Vol. 2, Disco Heat released in  2000. If you have a real jones to own it, you can find it on Amazon, but you listed under Disco Heat Vol. 2.

Disco Chipmunk, awaaaaayyy!

“Let Me Take You Dancing” peaked at #76 on the Billboard Disco Top 80 Chart in 1979.

Get Bryan Adams music at Amazon or on Bryan Adams




  • Malchus

    I had an interest in this song because Adams discussed it on his recent CMT “Crossroads” appearance. He said the lesson it taught him was to take hold of the reins and never let anyone have creative control over his music. Having just heard the song, I can see why. This is just God awful.

    Of course, the chorus is insidiously catchy and I'm going to have it stuck in my head all day. Thanks, John.

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    I always wondered how Reckless Adams could fall so far. From the swamp-assitude of this song, the truth comes out. Reckless = dumb freakin' luck.

  • Eric S.

    I listened to the original version and it doesn't sound half bad except for the still-too-high-for-comfort vocals. Makes you wonder how many other “disco” songs would become bearable if they had the right production. I can't blame Bryan for too much of this aside from his original vocal. The song itself is respectable.

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    I just can't be that generous. Doing the desire/fire thing in the first section? Right up front? Fail!

  • http://popdose.com MatthewBolin

    Holy shit!

    This song sounds like Wham!

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    Well, the first part of your comment is spot-on.

  • kingofgrief

    Thanks for the desire/fire warning. I haven't listened to it yet and that's my ultimate lyrical goat-getter. *right-clicks DL link, braces self*

  • Chris K.

    Only thing I can say is I wish I had a song on the billboard chart when I was 18. Some of ya'll are pretty harsh…

  • Chris K.

    Oh, and John, your posts are awesome!

    It does sound like a cross between Wham and Leo Sayer…lol.

    Let me steal your heart tonight…gawd this is gonna be stuck in my head all weekend. I feel sorry for my teammates as I will be singing this all weekend throughout our softball tournament…as it officially supplants the Mini Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich jingle I have been recently crooning. Maybe that's a good thing…

  • SteveA

    Although I am no big fan of Wham! – they were definitely better, and at least had one of the best pop songs ever – Wake me up before you go! C'mon – what a guilty pleasure.

  • Ray

    Ok before you all start flogging me, I still have a 12″ vinyl disco single of this (I also have Alanis Morissette's first two Canada-only CDs… it's kind of like collecting rookie baseball cards, you know what I mean). This actually got quite a bit of airplay in Chicago on the notorious Disco 'DAI back in 1979, and I also remember seeing a few couples boogieing to this on DANCE FEVER.

  • Pete

    I'd actually like to get my hands on the original Canadian 7″ version…I think the song is cheesy fun.

  • Pete

    I'd actually like to get my hands on the original Canadian 7″ version…I think the song is cheesy fun.

  • http://cartooncouchpotato.blogspot.com/ Stephen

    It should be noted the sped up vocals are only on the 12″ remix, not the 7″ remix. The 7″ remix has the same vocals as the original Canadian single.

  • http://cartooncouchpotato.blogspot.com/ Stephen

    It should be noted the sped up vocals are only on the 12″ remix, not the 7″ remix. The 7″ remix has the same vocals as the original Canadian single.

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