Forty years ago, on 14th October 1977, David Bowie released his twelfth studio album album “Heroes”.
The second instalment of the ‘Berlin Trilogy’, three albums consecutively recorded during his residence in Berlin, “Heroes” was the continuation of Bowie’s exploration of electronic and world music.
Of the three albums (Low , “Heroes”  and Lodger ), “Heroes” was the only of the three to be recorded entirely in Berlin. Released back in the day where albums were divided into ‘Side One’ and ‘Side Two’, the difference is still easily identifiable. “Heroes” truly identifies Bowie as a musician, rather than just another pop artist; Side One is home to the titular track ‘Heroes’ that is still loved and known today, as well as ‘Joe the Lion’.
Although we all love ‘Heroes’, Side One’s first track ‘Beauty and Beast’ is perhaps the most memorable. The crescendo at the beginning of the track paired with the non-linear lyrics show the battle between the personalities of Beauty and the Beast until they merge and fade out together. It has also been interpreted as Bowie’s battle within himself, against his addiction to cocaine “Nothing will corrupt us // Nothing will compete //Thank god heaven left us // Standing on our feet” particularly describing how he made it through the dark period.
Side Two is where Bowie truly begins to explore his musical influences within the album, with his voice being treated as an instrument within the tracks, rather than his voice and lyrics being the primary focus of his songs. The focus of the listener is directed completely on the instruments, with Bowie’s vocals adding a discreet texture to the music.
You probably don’t need reminding of the titular track, but check out ‘Heroes’ below: