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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like wading through nettles
This really is a seminal album. Almost thirty years later it still may be too heavy and uncomfortable for pop-pickers. Like Low, the B-side/second half is predominantly instrumental, but darken the room, dig out the head-phones and you will be rewarded.

The first half is a bunch of hugely powerful songs, in a strange way it is almost punky, infact ,at times,...
Published on 23 Dec 2006 by Sally Snodgrass

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Album of Contrasts
The second of what was to become known as the Berlin Trilogy. This was an album of contrasts, but to me a poor relation of Low. The first side of the original album (we are talking vinyl here) had vocals that were almost shouted.

There are a few interesting tracks - Heroes has been adopted as an anthem of the good and great and Sons of the Silent Age has a...
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Peter Steward


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like wading through nettles, 23 Dec 2006
By 
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
This really is a seminal album. Almost thirty years later it still may be too heavy and uncomfortable for pop-pickers. Like Low, the B-side/second half is predominantly instrumental, but darken the room, dig out the head-phones and you will be rewarded.

The first half is a bunch of hugely powerful songs, in a strange way it is almost punky, infact ,at times, it is probably a bit harsher/rawer than most punk. I've just finished reading a book (Coming Out As A Bowie Fan In Leeds, Yorkshire, England) by a guy called Mick McCann, a wonderful, vibrant romp through the time in which this album was released. It is very a funny book about being a cross-dressing teenager in a hard place, it's strangely philosophical and very `gritty', it made me see the world slightly differently. Anyway he makes a few references to this album and in one, when talking about the title track, he says that listening to Heroes through a PA brings out a physical reaction, `Like wading through nettles in short pants.' I can't argue with that. `Sons Of The Silent Age' also does that for me, it gets me right in the chest.

This is a special album but it may, like that book, offend sensitive ears - Get me to the Doctor...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, Dave, 7 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
As a whole this is a very strong album. It starts with the rather mediocre "Beauty & the Beast". Just when you think your in for a rather uninspired album, it kicks off with the second track, the storming (and quite batty) "Joe the Lion", things get even better with the classic "Heroes". Things get even better than that though, with "Sons of the Silent Age", one of my all time favourite Bowie songs (WHAT a chorus:). A few tracks later and we're into an ambient/instrumental section of tracks, which bleed one into another. The mood is slightly haunting. This was certainly extrememly progressive during its day (the late 70's) and the surprising thing is that it sounds fresh and not at all embarrasing today. The final track, "Secret Life of Arabia" is very enjoyable, and leads on logicaly to the next album "Lodger". All in all this is great stuff, strong throughout, and really grows on you with repeated listening!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cool, bleak masterpiece, 2 July 2012
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
If I had to choose three essential and influential Bowie albums, I'd go for Ziggy Stardust, Low and this one. Quite simply, if youre at all interested in the history of rock music, this is a key moment. Punk was breaking in the UK and many of the "old" generation were being labelled dinosaurs. Bowie had already released Low earlier in 1977 and Heroes, like it's predecessor, has a run of instrumentals in its second half. Low had confused many critics at the time, and the instrumental Side 2 of that album had sounded to some like an unwelcome diversion into ersatz mood music or even the dreaded prog. Unlike Low, Heroes has a brace of more fully formed songs rather than the Eno-esque song fragments that made up Side 1 of Low. The monochromatic cover art with Bowie's intense stare sums up the overall mood: this is an album of cool, bleached out sounds, often harsh and treble-y, perfectly evoking the Cold War atmosphere of its recording close to the Berlin Wall. None of the bright stabs of colours seen on Low and little of the lush warmth of his plastic soul days here (the nearest we get is the album closer, The Secret Life of Arabia). Standouts include the mighty title track, of course, which builds on a rolling riff of Frippertronics guitar from Bob Fripp, but also songs such as Beauty & the Beast and Sons of the Silent Age, the latter harking back to songs from his Aladdin Sane phase. Weakest track is probably Blackout, a song I can never put a title to whenever I hear it! Heroes as an album was pretty well received on release, if my memory holds out, no doubt as journalists were prepared now for an almost entire second half of instrumentals having heard Low earlier in the year. The four instrumentals on offer here work well together, unlike the four on Low which were too different to coalesce into whole. The sprightly V2 Schneider kicks off Heroes' cycle, evoking something of the bustle of Berlin to me with it's Sax motifs and rat-a-tat drumming. The title has been explained many ways but the one I always recall is it was intended as a chilly repost to Kraftwerk, who had name-checked Bowie and Station to Station in Trans-Europe Express earlier that year. Sense of Doubt abolishes any upbeat mood and establishes a well-proportion air of chilly gloom with its repeated descending piano scales and tremulous Chamberlain/Mellotron lines. The track then segues into the beautiful Moss Garden via a glorious phased "burn" of noise which owes much to the tricks of the German bands of that period such as Faust and Neu! Moss Garden, named after those Japanese gardens known for evoking a landscape and an air of tranquility and reflective calm, certainly comes up trumps in that respect, with Bowie playing a Japanese koto and birdsong in the background. Its a little oasis of calm before NeuKoln, named after a cosmopolitan suburb of Berlin with a high immigrant population, which features some of Bowie's most abstract sax playing (particularly the desolate parping at the end) over some organ sounds that owe a lot to Pink Floyd's Meddle album. With its oreiental vague feel and successful re-establishment of the feeling of dread and alienation established with Sense of Doubt, it good to have the gloom punctured finally by the upbeat Secret Life of Arabia. This track also continues the global travelogue that Bowie would explore more on Lodger and which Eno would take further in his collaboration with David Byrne, My life in the Bush of Ghosts. Heroes cemented Bowie's reputation as a chameleon and game-changer, found immediate favour with the critics (album of the year for several) and more importantly, chimed well with the emerging post-punk scene who shared similar themes of alienation and isolation. He had side-stepped the dinosaur trap.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars someone fetch a preist! u can't say no yo the beauty and the beast, 19 April 2006
By 
Mr. J. Gould (Newbury, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
After Bowie's last two albums, "Station to Station" and a career high point of "Low", he had alot to live up to.

Thankfully he released "Heroes", a jarring, experimental mish mash of brilliant instramentals and haunting tunes. To be truthfull it will not be everyone's cup of tea; many of the songs are hard on the ear, and have some strange and frankly awful lyrics. However this adds to the album's charm, and makes it all the more fulfilling (that's Bowie for you). The instramentals are outstanding and, although not quite as good as the ones on "Low", make for wonderful audio landscapes (be sure to listen to with headphones for the full stereo experience). However the albums high point is of course the title track. It is truely uplifting and the music eclipses anything else on the album, and is possibly Bowie's best song.

This album is a definate for Bowie fans and anyone else looking for something different and challenging. "Heroes" stands up by itself next to the brillience of "Low".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars F***ing Brilliant, 13 April 2013
By 
Mr. M. A. West (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
This Bowie album ranks with the classics , with its classic title track , also Beauty and the Beast, Joe the Lion , and the creepy Sense of Doubt (play in the dark lol), and the fantastic V-2 Schnieder, brilliant brilliant stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The noise an alien would make..., 2 July 2012
By 
Donald Lush "lushd" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
One of the reasons I really love Bowie is that he sounds like someone who is not from round here, trying very hard to fit in and almost but not quite making it. For me, his sense of estranged familiarity is at its most extreme and exciting on this album.

Bowie has plainly listened carefully to our Earth music and tried hard to write and perform in its structures and language. And yet the culture of whatever world he calls home keeps disrupting things.

So this album, while excellent in our terms, disrupts our sensibilities as much as it gives them pleasure. Which means it's never a comfortable listen. We're swept away in the romance of Heroes, but we can feel the distance and the lofty strangeness of its creators mind.

I love all of it (especially the gorgeous title track) but respect "Beauty and the Beast" the most - perfectly executed, high energy, original rock. But what the hell is it about and why is it worth such commitment from the performers? It probably makes sense to Bowie's race in a way that we will never grasp. We can just dance along with a slightly puzzled, uneasy feeling at the back of our minds.

One of the great masterpieces of 20th century music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funf stars, 16 Jan 2012
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
What a long way from Ziggy to this in 5 years. Indeed, 5 years - that's all we've got. It's worth the extra effort to get the version where the Dame barks Heroes in German.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knee deep in anguish., 28 May 2011
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
This is turgid stuff, but in the best way. The title track still strongly affects me every time I hear it. There is an ambient section in the middle after all the tub-thumpers which I am ambivalent about. The finale of 'Secret Life of Arabia' rounds the album off splendidly with a foray into north African stylings and Dave sounding very melodramatic and very much from south London. It is a masterpiece, I think Dave does not get the recognition he deserves, and as ever Bowie was way ahead of his time (with a little help from Can and Cluster etc.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forever and ever, 4 Aug 2009
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heroes [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Heroes was the second album in Bowie's trilogy of Brian Eno produced electronic albums. It follows the pattern of Low in its mix of short pop/rock songs and moody instrumentals and semi-instrumentals. Somehow it lacks the trenchant edge of Low, although the title track is truly spectacular in its evocative imagery and great emotional impact.

On the title track, Bowie's voice is as emotive as on Word On A Wing (from Station to Station) over the wailing drone of the synths as it paints a scenario of lovers meeting beneath the Berlin wall. Truly breathtaking, this song was also released as a single in German and French versions in the seventies.

The melancholy Sons Of The Silent Age has a spacey feel, beautiful lyrics and a ghostly chorus, while Blackout is harsh and discordant. I love the sax and the driving beat of V2 Schneider as Bowie's voice intones the title. Moss Garden is a delicate instrumental, a sound I recognized later in some pieces by e.g. Autechre and Cabaret Voltaire, but Secret Life Of Arabia drags a bit.

Lodger, the third album in the trilogy, is nowhere near as good as the first two. Heroes remains my favorite of the three, primarily on account of the unsurpassable title track.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Begging to differ, 28 Jan 2011
By 
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
I'm mystified as to why Caitlin Moran has been chosen to review this record for Amazon. Obviously she's welcome to her view but she might just as well be anyone else off the Clapham omnibus - me for instance. And I beg to differ from her statement that Heroes is "not your essential Bowie". That's exactly what it is - cohesive, unique (how is "B&theB" to blame for "Love Action"?), inspirational, intense, dark but joyful - if we could only have one Bowie album, this would have to be it. Dreadful cover pose and all.
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Heroes
Heroes by David Bowie (Audio CD - 1999)
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