Happy 40th: David Bowie, “HEROES”

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
David Bowie - Heroes

40 years ago this week, David Bowie released his twelfth studio album, an LP which also served as the middle chapter of his so-called “Berlin Trilogy.”

Recorded at Hansa Studio by the Wall in West Berlin (and, yes, that’s definitely one of the big reasons that the “Berlin Trilogy” was so named), “HEROES” was co-produced by Bowie with longtime collaborator Tony Visconti. Brian Eno also played a part in the recording process, not only by contributing synthesizers and keyboards but also by bringing in Robert Fripp of King Crimson to play guitar. Fripp can be heard on the album’s second single, “Beauty and the Beast.”

It’s the album’s first single, however, that’s most familiar to mainstream audiences: the title track was a UK hit, climbing to #24, and although it didn’t chart in America, Bowie’s version has become a classic-rock staple, and when it was covered by The Wallflowers, it hit #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s also worth noting that Depeche Mode just released a cover of the song in celebration of its 40th anniversary.

As you might’ve guessed from the fact that the title cut didn’t chart in the States, “HEROES” was not a massive success in America, climbing only to #35 before beginning its descent. In the UK, however, it hit #2 and stayed on the UK Albums chart for the next six months, and it was named Album of the Year by both Melody Maker and New Musical Express.

But here’s the big question for a 40-year-old album: has it aged well?

You’d better believe it. “HEROES” can be found in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Seems like a solid testament to us.

Listen here.

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