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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Overlooked Sister to 'Low'
David Bowie's catalogue is very diverse in terms of styles and personas he's adopted over the years. Most people familiar with his work are likely to name 'Ziggy Stardust,' 'Station To Station' or even 'Let's Dance' as milestone albums. But when someone mentions "Heroes," one immediately thinks of the monolithic title track, which to this day retains a place in David's...
Published on December 8, 2003 by Joe

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good songs but a score would have been better
Heroes the soundtrack is a good blend of songs used in the television show .
The only problem is most of are available in other formats or cd collections
Its is the score that was so striking, pulling of mind and heart.
Published on April 21, 2008 by Dawn Dayton


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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Overlooked Sister to 'Low', December 8, 2003
By 
Joe (Howell, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
David Bowie's catalogue is very diverse in terms of styles and personas he's adopted over the years. Most people familiar with his work are likely to name 'Ziggy Stardust,' 'Station To Station' or even 'Let's Dance' as milestone albums. But when someone mentions "Heroes," one immediately thinks of the monolithic title track, which to this day retains a place in David's live shows. In my opinion, 'Heroes,' the album, has always been rather overlooked; the spotlight being stolen by it's sister, 'Low.' And while 'Low' is most definitely a masterpiece, 'Heroes' is an excellent work in it's own right and deserves re-evaluation.
'Heroes' takes the listener away to an alternative world filled with chaos ("Beauty and the Beast"), desperation ("Blackout"), nostalgia ("Sons of the Silent Age") and humor ("Secret Life of Arabia"). David's voice hits startling new heights here, and he's singing as though his life depended on it. The ambient instrumental tracks range from murky ("Sense of Doubt") to soothing ("Moss Garden") to horrific ("Neukoln").
I find it almost a cathartic experience listening to 'Heroes,' for it's as if David is purging all these raw emotions out of his system and trying to make the best of a difficult situation (relevant to his circumstances during the time the album was recorded). Depending on my mood, it's not uncommon that I feel either drained or refreshed after listening to the album in one sitting.
'Heroes' evokes a whole gamut of feelings, and is a most provocative listening experience. It's a wild runaway-train of an album, by an artist who was always far ahead of his time. Highly recommended to all DB fans (new or old) or anyone who likes music that takes you on an adventure.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bowie's half-dozen best from his long career, April 18, 2009
This review is from: Heroes (MP3 Music)
The "Heroes" album in its entirety isn't necessarily going to be for everyone's taste but even if your palate doesn't quite reflect my own, there are a number of choice tracks with broad appeal.

"Heroes" was the second album of what is in retrospect called the Berlin trilogy. The first of that trilogy, Low, is probably my favorite Bowie; "Heroes" was a strong followup that provided a more jarring approach in constrast to the meditative and sometimes drifting melancholy of its predecessor. Both are among the most important albums of Bowie's career.

If you've ever picked up one of the many compilations of Bowie hits you've probably gotten the edited version of the title hit. Somehow "Heroes" doesn't sound right when it opens with the verse about swimming like dolphins. The most memorable lyrics are right there in the first verse of the full length version included here. The opening phrase that starts,

"I, I would be king, and you, you can be queen..."

But just in case the listener gets too carried away with the princess delusion, Bowie makes sure it gets right back down to earth...

"And you, you can be mean, and I, I'll drink all the time..."

The album opens with one of Bowie's choicest songs ever, the harrowing "Beauty and the Beast". That and "Heroes" are the two most accessible vocal numbers on the album. What used to be side two of the album is made up of four instrumentals, followed by one more vocal to wrap things up. "V-2 Schneider" will have the broadest appeal of the instrumentals. Those who had some Bowie's 45s from this era may remember it as a b-side as well. The song is a tribute to Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk, a kind of mutual recognition after Kraftwerk namechecked Bowie and Iggy Pop in the title song of their classic 1977 Trans Europe Express.

"Sense of Doubt" is a foreboding instrumental that someday will make its way to a film soundtrack I'm sure. It flows right into "Moss Garden", an evocative, atmospheric piece that is appealing as either foreground or background ambience. Close your eyes and you can almost feel the drips of water and the moisture in the air as you're transported to a peaceful solitude in some hanging gardens. This flows into the final instrumental, "Neukoln", which sounds like Bowie wrestling with his sax. What I appreciate most about this number is that so many lesser artists invoke the sax when they want a trite boogie sound or they want to, as Zappa put it, "make a jazz noise here". Bowie's treatment of the sax is entirely off the map compared to most performers' limited roles for this instrument. Nowadays I tend to have a scorn for that most predictable of instruments, the sax, but Bowie avoided the trap of tedium with "Neukoln".

"Joe the Lion" and "Blackout" are jagged, angular rockers which no doubt jarred the old fans of his pub rock Ziggy Stardust sound. These aren't the most easily digested Bowie numbers for the casual fan accustomed to commercial radio fare, but numbers like this kept Bowie interesting and cemented his credibility in the face of the upcoming generation of punk rockers. As the promotional materials of the day read, "There's old wave, there's new wave, and there's David Bowie".

If, upon listening to the samples you find that you might prefer a more accessible Bowie album, I strongly recommend Station To Station from the previous year, 1976. Only six songs but every song is top shelf Bowie, and the title track in particular is a showstopper. Or if you're more inclined toward the power crunch of guitar rockers, check out that little atom bomb, Aladdin Sane. Diamond Dogs from 1974 is a fan favorite as well, perhaps the most eloquent, eerie and erotic of Bowie's apocalyptic albums.

Just be warned, Bowie's best albums act like a gateway drug. Land one of those and before you know it you've picked up a half dozen more Bowie albums. Keep it up and you find that the Bowie section of your CD collection takes up a whole shelf in itself. Given this legacy, that's a very good thing.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pinnacle of the brilliant Bowie/Eno achievement., May 7, 2000
By 
Nigel Funge (Redwood City, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
When U2 released their excellent `Achtung Baby' CD in the early 90s, critics and fans alike praised the "new" sound, admired them for their risk-taking, and generally fawned over the rock/electronica mix. Obviously Bono and the band were instrumental in this, but were it not for Brian Eno's influence and presence, it's unlikely if this album would have emerged as the great collection it did. Also, those who lauded this collaboration as groundbreaking need only to go back 20+ years to Eno's work with David Bowie with the Low/Heroes/Lodger trilogy to see that they were doing it back then.
This (`Heroes') album marks the pinnacle of their trilogy in my mind as I find it to be much more accessible than the dark (but brilliant) `Low' and not as (forgive me) odd as `Lodger'. The most recognizable track on the album, "Heroes" is still a wonderful song. "Joe The Lion", "Sons of the Silent Age", and "Beauty and the Beast" are other highlights of the non-instrumental pieces.
However, side B is the true gem of this album. The combination of "Sense of Doubt", "Moss Garden", and "Neukoln" are some of the most beautiful and haunting instrumental work that Bowie and even Eno have produced. These three songs surrounded with the non-instrumental "V-2 Schneider" and "The Secret Life of Arabia" make for a spectacular 20 minutes of music.
If you're just starting to dabble in Bowie's work, this is definitely a good starting place.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowie at his best!, August 2, 2004
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
Before I begin I just want to say I can't possibly put into words what this album means to me. With that I mind let us begin.

If you do not know it already, "Heroes" was the second in a trilogy of albums ,including Low and Lodger, that Bowie made in Berlin. To end his cocaine habit, he rented a small apartment above a garage in Berlin and roomed with Iggy Pop.

On "Heroes", he again teamed up with Brian Eno (of Roxy Music fame) to make this classic album. Although, mose people think Eno produced this album it was actually Tony Visconti who did but nonetheless Eno's presence was definitely felt. Along with Eno, Bowie brought in one of the greatest and underated guitarists of all time, Robert Fripp (of King Crimson fame.)

The album opens up with 2 pretty guitar heavy songs, Beauty and the Beast and Joe the Lion. Beauty and the Beast is a pretty upbeat song compared to the rest of this pretty dark album. Joe the Lion has a giant guitar riff by Fripp about performance artist Chris Burden.

Then comes in my opinion the best love song of all time, "Heroes". The song has one of the best guitar riffs of all time. It's cool, dark, and hauntingly beautiful at the same time. Fripp is a genius of feedback and you can definitely tell it on this track. The song is a true story about 2 lovers Bowie seen everyday at the same time by the Berlin Wall. The lyrics are just genius and some say it's Bowie's best song. I got the pleasure of seeing him do this masterpiece live during Bowie's Reality tour.

Sons Of The Silent Age has some pretty out there lyrics by Bowie but has a killer chorus.

Blackout is a very cool song using some great synthesizer work by Eno and perfect guitar work and genius lyrics.

V-2 Schneider is a mostly instrumental song using saxophones and a lot of keyboards. It's a pretty catchy, upbeat song.

The next 3 songs are all ambient songs collobrating with the creators of ambient music Eno and Fripp.

Sense Of Doubt has a dark piano riff but is oterwise pretty boring.

Moss Garden is a heartbreaking song that evokes so much emotion without using any words. It's like you've been transported to a dreamlike world when listening to it. It uses Asian guitars to create a pretty original sound. Definitely an underated classic.

Neukoln is a dark track that uses a saxophone as a main instrument but not in the usual way. Bowie hits some some ear piercing notes using it and is a really unique song. Bowie is a really good saxophonist but never gets any credit for some reason.

The Secret Of Arabia is one of catchiest, coolest, danceable songs I've ever heard. It has a bass line that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head for days. The piano is just downright funky and this song uses a bunch of handclaps that you will drfinitely be imitating while listening. Coming out of athe instrumentals it's an odd choice to close the album but works really well oddly enough.

If you buy this album make sure you have a lot of time on your hands. This album will take a few listens all the way through to fully appreciate it, but it is definitely worth it. Buy it right now!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Berlin Tryptich, November 7, 2005
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
Simply put, people are obsessed with this album. Everything from the cover pose to the subject of "heroes" is mulled over.

Now then, ahem...the cover (Im obsessed too) mimics a self-portrait of one of Bowie's favorite painters. However, I think it is clearly Bowie 'miming', taking off his hat to the listener, as he had worked in a famous mime group in England.

The story of the albums' creation is one of the most interesting and mysterious in rock. The mystique of Bowie was at its height. He supposedly cleaned up and left LA for Wall era Berlin 1977, living in a Turkish ghetto, de facto perhaps to focus in on his depression, recording a few feet from the Wall. "Heroes" is one of the greatest songs in rock, while the second half of the album is icy germ-rock, with an overpowering oriental overtone. It gets written about more than listened to, as it is an austere listen. 'Low' and 'Heroes' seem works of a piece, as both become instrumentals in their second half.

This Berlin era influenced countless bands. While "Nevermind the Bullocks..." was the birth of punk rock in 1977, this was the birth of what came after punk rock...postpunk and new wave. Joy Division and New Order at best, Duran Duran and anyone with a synthesizer/haircut at worst, all seemed under his influence just a few years later.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second installment in "Berlin Trilogy" is brilliant, July 27, 2001
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
David Bowie made three albums while living in Berlin. The second of them, "Heroes," sees Bowie continuing his bare-bones production, ably assisted by Brian Eno. The title track of this album remains my all-time favorite Bowie composition, both for its poetic quality and for the harmonics, hooks and production values. Bowie utilizes several unusual instruments on this album, including the Japanese samisen (a stringed instrument). Another favorite piece on this album is an instrumental, "Neukolnen," inspired by Bowie's Berlin neighborhood. This is an album not to be missed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's no "Sense of Doubt" about this album: It's a classic, March 5, 2006
By 
John Smith (Somewhere, U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
David Bowie and Brian Eno improved upon the already perfect 1977 album LOW with the ambitious HEROES. The album starts off with the legendary "Beauty and the Beast," and from that moment on it's obvious that this album defines Bowie's excursions in electronic, German-influenced music. It's the best Bowie album in the entire catalogue besides ZIGGY STARDUST, and one listen to each of the album's tracks is all it takes to realize this.

First thing is first: breaking down the music into why it works and why it doesn't work is an essential building-block in any music reviewers process, and that is exactly where I'll start on this review. There is nothing on this album that doesn't work. Every song is perfect and sounds well-thought out, yet it still avoids that certain, distinct sound most classics have (you know, that sound where the artist sounds like he knows he's making a classic record?), and it sounds like it's perpetually stuck in the future. One may go as far to say that it's aged as well as (if not, much better then) ZIGGY has. Also, another reason HEROES works so well is that Bowie's vocals and lyrics seamlessly mesh together into a desperate growl, and unlike ZIGGY, where Bowie goes to the top of rock-stardom and then the bottom of heroin and cocaine addiction pitfalls, HEROES starts off in the pit of doom and gloom and then sort of climbs up towards sanity (the exact opposite of ZIGGY). Sure, the story isn't as fleshed out as ZIGGY's (some may even say there is no story on HEROES), but be honest. Who the hell understands ZIGGY's story, anyway?

Although the music does take backseat to Bowie's screeching wails on some of the tracks, HEROES does include four instrumental tracks as LOW did before it, and they're all magnificent. In particular, "Sense of Doubt" is one of Bowie's best word-less tracks. Over some creepy background noises and ancient-sounding (that's a compliment, by the way) synthesizers, you can hear something moaning quietly, and then you can hear cars passing by. Despite the undeniable effort Bowie and Eno put into HEROES' instrumental songs, they aren't quite as good as those on LOW.

Then, after a half-hour of being in Bowie's crazy world of surreal analogy's, drug-induced paranoia, and quiet yet creepy songs showing sings of ambiance and subtle distortion, Bowie, Eno, and Carlos Alomar bring the triumphant album to a mystifying, middle-eastern-inspired ending with the outstanding track "The Secret Life of Arabia". This song is funkier then Bowie's own "Fame," and it is one of his best moments.

All in all, I'd say this and LOW both tie as Bowie and Eno's best `Berlin Trilogy' albums. 5 stars, respectively. LODGER, eat your heart out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pick of the Bunch, April 12, 2007
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
Bowie's second instalment in the Berlin trilogy is a criminally underrated masterpiece, brimming with invention and vigour.

'Low' was most certainly an amazing achievement and an absolute treat to listen to, but unlike most, I feel that "Heroes" tops it in every regard.

The first side (like 'Low', containing the more conventional songs) has more urgency than the tracks on 'Low'. There is more energy and more depth to the song writing. Where 'Low' was fragments/ideas with magnificent textural framing, Heroes' first side shows really intricate song writing being beautifully combined with dense and innovative arrangements that take the clunky synth and electronic sounds of 'Low' and fuse them into a more sophisticated whole.

The lyrics are also much more intriguing. 'Low' was lyrically and vocally quite sparse, but on "Heroes", Bowie delivers some of his most compelling lyrics. Just couple of the fantastic snippets that pop up include:

'Your lips cut a smile on your face'

'There's slaughter in the air
Protest on the wind
Someone else inside me
Someone could get skinned'

'Sons of the silent age... Don't walk, they just glide in and out of life
They never die, they just go to sleep one day'

And of course we all know the gorgeous lyrics that the title track possesses. Not to mention Bowie's ultimate vocal performance on this track. In fact, the vocals on the "Heroes" album soar like on no other release of his. The songs climax and Bowie belts out some amazingly expressive and emotive performances. Overall, the first half of the record takes the best parts of `Low's' first half and 'Station to Station' and turns it into the most successful and engaging group of tracks that he has ever released.

The second half of the album sees Bowie reprising the ambient themes explored on 'Low' but once again this album outdoes its predecessor. The instrumental tracks on "Heroes" are even more evocative than those on 'Low'. Bowie and Eno once again strip away the clunky synth and electronic sounds and create more focused and more atmospheric pieces second time around.

Bowie feels like more of a presence on this album overall. Less detached, and not hiding away from himself as much. This is further displayed by the re-introduction of his sax playing on a number of tracks. He adds personality and flair to 'Sons of the Silent Age', provides one of many gorgeous melodic layers on 'V-2 Schneider' (which trumps both 'The Speed of Life' and 'A New Career In A New Town'), and his free-jazz styled, heavily treated playing on 'Neukoln' is oddly appealing. Bowie also plays the Japanese Koto on 'Moss Garden' giving a beautifully subtle and sensitive performance on what is a perfect ambient piece.

If you own 'Low', love it, and are wondering which album to get next... well I can't recommend "Heroes" highly enough. If you own 'Station to Station' and love it... ditto. If you have some of Bowie's other albums from some of his other periods and are curious about which of the more experimental albums to start with, this is the one. It's one of those albums that is experimental without compromising quality song writing. It takes the ideas first generated on 'Low' and expands and improves upon them, while introducing a highly unique and infinitely appealing aesthetic all of its own. It is also more timeless than 'Low'. It's sounds are still fresh and haven't dated a bit in the 30 years since its release.

It is not only the best of the Bowie and Eno collaborations (The Berlin Trilogy), it is also, in my opinion, the greatest achievement by this most amazing artist.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highroad Gone Right, February 25, 2006
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
Though Bowie laments about his highroad gone wrong in the opening track of this album, the general consensus is that his better music requires some insanity on the side.

This effort has something very nordic about it, despite the fact that Mr. Bowie himself is not technically a squarehead.It's the musical companion to any one of Ingmar Bergman's more wacked-out films, like "Personna." The premise is that you don't hold back and if the viewer gets scared, well, the phone book is full of shrinks. Also, the pictures of Bowie are quite elfin, with him staring as never before in black and white at some troll or other. You'd not be surprised if he turned and spoke to you in old Norse.

But generally, this is an English product, extremely well-polished and mindfully transcendental, and, of course, a bit insular thank you very much. To create something as exquisite as "The Secret Life of Arabia," you have to cut through much red tape and refuse to countenance many things, like "does it float?" A koto and a barking dog - only Bowie would think of both of these things and only he (and Eno) would know just how to mix them. The socially marginalized are deep sleepers: please don't disturb them. This is as close to nirvana as a Westerner can come without getting permanently stuck in the lotus position. "Moss Garden" is (Hendrix') way over yonder across the hill, where lonliness opens the door to enlightenment and all silences are pregnant. It occasioned a dream I'll never forget, with an opening in the middle of a rapid-filled river, into which I descended to meet the buddha. A very terrifying quiet place, just like 1977. This music can be classified but I think only a few people really understand it; maybe not. Especially now that reality has reached such a level of noisy insipidness that even the dog has stopped barking and retreated under the chair. It's hard to believe such a schizoid walden could have existed. But it's not the same; you really need some bonified dementia on the outside to put things in perspective. And, despite all the trouble brewing, we've lost our psychotic edge I think. We've misplaced the trolls don't you think?

The problem is that circa 1979, the pretty people staged a coup (Elvis Costello's "emotional fascism") and we have be living under their dictatorship for 30 years now. This Hefneresque void leaves little room for group spirituality, creativity or enlightenment, however perverse and/or pure because there are a couple of clowns getting it on in the closet. We are still doomed as we were circa 1977, but not in an invigorating, interesting way, certainly not under the torqued stress that sprung out at us on "Heroes."

Bowie is hence (in its temporal sense) part of the problem. (He's pretty, rich, famous, vintage.) Today, the hero, if he existed, would say little if anything, calmly, yes calmly enjoying his glass of absinthe. As Thomas Merton put it, "the time of the end is the time of no space." What this means to a dope like me is that, at some point, it's time for Judgment Day, not the next avant-garde statement. This time has already passed as even Bowie on "Reality" admits indirectly that he simply can't out avant-garde himself. The "underground" reclaims its original meaning - Hell, Hades - and there are things called "resurrections" and states called "in majesty" and a book called the Catholic missal. Staging some assinine art show at an abandoned elevated train track in New York City does not, I'm afraid, do much to slow the pace of space-reduction. The age of the Warholian individual-freak is giving way to that of the real Messiah, who unfortunately doesn't care that much for rock and roll and its self-annointed saints.

But van Gogh and Gauguin had this all figured out 120 years ago and look what good it did them.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pinnacle of David Bowie's collaborations with Eno., April 18, 2009
By 
Nigel Funge (Redwood City, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Heroes (MP3 Music)
When U2 released their excellent `Achtung Baby' CD in the early 90s, critics and fans alike praised the "new" sound, admired them for their risk-taking, and generally fawned over the rock/electronica mix. Obviously Bono and the band were instrumental in this, but were it not for Brian Eno's influence and presence, it's unlikely if this album would have emerged as the great collection it did. Also, those who lauded this collaboration as groundbreaking need only to go back 20+ years to Eno's work with David Bowie with the Low/Heroes/Lodger trilogy to see that they were doing it back then.

This (`Heroes') album marks the pinnacle of their trilogy in my mind as I find it to be much more accessible than the dark (but brilliant) `Low' and not as (forgive me) odd as `Lodger'. The most recognizable track on the album, "Heroes" is still a wonderful song. "Joe The Lion", "Sons of the Silent Age", and "Beauty and the Beast" are other highlights of the non-instrumental pieces.

However, side B is the true gem of this album. The combination of "Sense of Doubt", "Moss Garden", and "Neukoln" are some of the most beautiful and haunting instrumental work that Bowie and even Eno have produced. These three songs surrounded with the non-instrumental "V-2 Schneider" and "The Secret Life of Arabia" make for a spectacular 20 minutes of music.

If you're just starting to dabble in Bowie's work, this is definitely a good starting place.
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Heroes
Heroes by David Bowie (Audio CD - 1997)
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