Contact Us

35 Years Ago: David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ Album Released

Virgin Records

In 1977, David Bowie was in the midst of yet another transformation. With the Oct. 14 release of ‘Heroes,’ he took further steps into a more electronic flavored sound that first reared its head on the ‘Low’ album released earlier in the year. Often referred to as his ‘Berlin Trilogy’ due to the influence of the city where much of the recordings were made, the trio would be complete with ‘Lodger’ from the 1978.

All three albums are distinctly different, yet have a unifying sonic theme. Produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti, they were all collaborative efforts with Brian Eno, who brought influences from such artists as Kraftwerk and Neu! into the picture. What is commonly referred to as ‘Krautrock’ served as a template for the sonic exploration Bowie, Eno and Visconti were submerged in. Unlike much electronic music, there was a genuine warmth to the music of these artists, and Bowie was able to capture that.

This is most evident on the album’s title song. ‘Heroes’ is one of the most perfectly beautiful songs ever recorded. It practically glows as it emanates from the speakers. Based on a simple Velvet Underground-esque riff, the haunting quality envelopes its own simplicity. Though not a hit at the time, the song has become a genuine rock classic over the years.

Elsewhere songs like ‘Joe The Lion,’ ‘Beauty And the Beast’ and ‘Blackout’ employed an aggression that was in tune with the edge of the punk movement surrounding the music business. There is much experimentation at play here in the handful of instrumental tracks such as ‘V-2 Schneider’ and ‘Neuklon,’ which is very reminiscent of the first Harmonia album. ‘Sons of the Silent Age’ is nothing short of astonishing in its beauty, while ‘The Secret Life of Arabia’ closes the album on an upbeat, danceable note. Much of the sonic beauty of the album is due in no small part to guitarist Robert Fripp, whose distinct style adds the perfect touch.

Bowie would complete the trilogy, and the decade, with the 1978 album ‘Lodger,’ and though ‘Low’ is pretty hard to beat, ‘Heroes’ may have the winning hand in the end. It’s a complete picture of the artist at that moment in time. Bowie uses his influences to perfectly suit the material while maintaining his own unique vision. The RCA marketing of the album included the tag line ‘There’s Old Wave, there’s New Wave, and there’s David Bowie.’ The album did make it into the Billboard Top 40, peaking at No. 35.

Unlike so many artists who specialize in one sound or style, Bowie made a career out of playing chameleon, and those artistic risks were what made him such an amazing artist. Nowhere were those risks striking as on ‘Low,’ ‘Lodger’ and in particular, ‘Heroes.’

Next: Top 10 David Bowie Songs

Watch David Bowie Perform ‘Heroes’

Best of the Web

More From Around the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://ultimateclassicrock.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!