Year 3, Day 12: David Bowie – Heroes
- Beauty and the Beast
- Joe the Lion
- Sons of the Silent Age
- V-2 Schneider
- Sense of Doubt
- Moss Garden
- The Secret Life of Arabia
About the Album
Heroes is the twelfth studio album by English art/glam rocker, David Bowie. The album was recorded in July and August of 1977 and released in October of the same year through RCA Records. The album peaked at number 35 on the United States Billboard 200 and peaked at number three on the United Kingdom Albums Chart.
Thoughts on the Album
Produced and released during the height of the Cold War, David Bowie‘s Heroes holds up to the test of almost 30 years later. Prior to Heroes being released in 1977, Bowie released earlier that year, Low. Low, was both groundbreaking and baffling at the same time; as well as not very easy for the causal listener to get into. The difference between Low and Heroes is accessibility and energy, as Heroes provided both energy and accessibility while maintaining the sound and style that Tony Visconti (producer) envisioned.
Heroes starts off way more dynamically compared to it’s predecessor with the opening track, Beauty and the Beast. While containing some of the more classic Bowie lyrics, it is as catchy as some of Ziggy Stardust‘s tracks. It has less rock flourishes and more synth style mischief going on. The follow track, Joe the Lion has wonderful lyrics and continues the momentum that Beauty and the Beast started.
However, it is the next track that makes this album what it is. The third and titular track, Heroes overshadows everything on the first half of this album (if not the whole album). The track is a true classic. It’s a song that everyone will be singing along to. It is the definition of a rock and roll anthem, meant to played in arenas packed with tens of thousands of people. Clocking in at over six minutes long, you kind of wish it could go on forever. Lyrically and musically speaking is it extremely anthemic, and the lyrics make various German/World War II/ and Berlin Wall references. A spirited and moving track that makes the previous two tracks pale in comparison. Believe me, Heroes would be half as grand if it wasn’t for Bowie’s simply awesome and breathtaking vocals.
As for the second half of the album, while the tracks can’t hold up to Heroes on their own, they are still arguably good-to-great tracks. Of course, my only complaint with the second half is the album’s closer, The Secret Life of Arabia. The last sounds of this album we should have heard is the bizarre/squealing sounds of Neuköln. I mean seriously, why finish with a track that is neither instrumental nor the same quality as the first songs? I mean, it’s a good track, but it just doesn’t fit. But that is the curse of second half of the album tracks. Usually second half tracks lose their momentum or their quality.
But at this point, it’s just nitpicking I guess.
Heroes is an amazing album that still holds up to the test of time. The album is a pioneer for the usage of heavy rock synthesizers. The album strongly expresses musical ability and expression, as it contains many different and various sounds and styles mixed together. Though I will say that album at times left me a bit confused as to the album’s tone. Seriously it goes from rock to mellow, and from dank and dark to upbeat extremely swiftly. Simply put: it is another highlight in the long list of them for Bowie. So let me tell you: we could be heroes, just for one day…