David Bowie’s Heroes, entering its fortieth anniversary will be the focus of a new fifty-three minute long BBC special. Hosted by Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine, it will feature appearances from Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, and Tony Visconti. Heroes was also reissued as part of a new box set that collects Bowie’s releases from 1977 to 1982, called A New Career in a New Town.
Heroes is Bowie’s twelfth studio album. Released on RCA records in 1977 as the second installment in his “Berlin Trilogy.” The trilogy was recorded with Eno and Visconti between 1977 and 1979. Heroes continued themes started in the first of the three, Low, with its ambient experimentation, but was the only one wholly recorded in Berlin. It met positive reception and was named NME Album of the Year. It was recorded about 500 feet from the Berlin Wall on its western side, and generally reflected the feeling of the Cold War.
John Lennon, when making Double Fantasy, said he mainly wanted to “do something as good as Heroes.”
The album’s namesake, “Heroes,” has been widely covered. Phillip Glass, who had written a symphony for Lows, wrote an accompanying one for Heroes. Depeche Mode recently released a video covering the song in honor of its anniversary, Motörhead, LCD Soundsystem, and more.
The BBC special takes its audience on a tour of Bowies life as it relates to Heroes. Bowie had been lost in drug addiction when he decided to move to Berlin and make a change. Florence Welch explains why Bowie chose Berlin and how the city’s culture influenced his music. She recalls Iggy Pop’s presence, as well as Eno’s, and drug addiction as well as a custody battle for his son.
Bowie always rode at the cutting edge of sound. His career had so much momentum that Eno mentions he thought he was trying to duck it, so that it wouldn’t crush him. His work has been entered into Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. His work has been wildly influential across the world and though his death was a tragedy, the man was able to leave his mark. Enjoy the special here.