Let’s get the semi-embarrassing part of this out of the way: the first version of “Heroes” I became familiar with was the late ’90s remake by The Wallflowers that was on the soundtrack of the Matthew Broderick Godzilla movie. Did I know that “Heroes” was a Bowie song? Yes. Had I heard it a few times before? Maybe, but it didn’t stick. I certainly paid attention to the original after the cover became a hit, though. The Wallflowers’ version is good. Bowie’s original is amazing.
I’ve written a lot during this exercise about songs that sound cinematic, and “Heroes” is one such song. Of course, Bowie (especially ’70s Bowie) had a reputation for being dramatic. But the image of two people embracing with love as war rages all around them, combined with David’s increasingly desperate delivery, paints quite the picture.
Here’s an interesting fact; although “Heroes” is considered one of Bowie’s most enduring and popular singles, it didn’t actually chart here in the U.S. I was thinking earlier today about how the charts have not always been representative of the best music out there (and that’s readily apparent in 2020) and many songs that stand the test of time historically aren’t the biggest hits. Here’s a perfect example.