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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 6 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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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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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible., 11 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
In contrast to other reviews for this record I'd say "Heroes" is not to be seen as tracks weighted against each other. The record stands out on its own merit and its avant-guardish style is seldom seen in other works of Bowie, except perhaps in the recent "Outside" (also with Eno).
One can distinguish the record split into a part with vocal songs (tracks 1-5) and an instrumental part (tracks 6-9) followed by "the secret life of Arabia" which is rather a bridge to the next part of the trilogy "Lodger" which begins with the similar "fantastic voyage".
The instrumentals very well derive as extra-tracks from the soundtrack of "The Man Who Fell To Earth", Roeg's film in which Bowie starred the leading role a year before the release of "Heroes". The ambience and intensity of the music can hardly be attributed completely to Eno. Bowie himself when asked told he was highly influenced by early works of KRAFTWERK in making this part of the record.
As for the title song (or anthem rather) the connection with the Velvet Underground is more than evident (Bowie and Reed where soul mates at the time) with the piano riff being like an alternate take of VU's "White Light-White Heat" blended with Eno treatments. The result is breathtaking. Nico's later interpretation of the same song reveals the common vibes shared.
Credits must also be given to the personnel involved. Musicians of the magnitude of Fred Frith, Carlos Alomar among others and of course Eno in his most creative era tell the high musical output attained on all levels. One of the greatest and most influential works of Bowie, "Heroes" is indispensable.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars monochrome metal disco, 13 Aug 2009
By 
Paul Taylor (Cumbria UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
This is simply Bowie's best, most complete work of art. Apart from having one of the greatest songs of all time in the title track, the whole album has a completeness to it, right down to the monochrome graphics which perfectly match the compressed industrial, metallic, grinding steaming leviathan production values. The album is more than a selection of songs, hanging together with a widescreen cinematic intensity that starts with the thrilling, threatening opening of "Beauty and the Beast" (which for some inexplicable reason seems under appreciated by almost all other reviewers- it's a great hulking heavy metal disco song with real funk amidst the burning diesel and acid) through the ambient landscapes of what used to be side two, finishing on another exhilarating grind up of funk, machinery and silent movies in "The Secret Life of Arabia".
Along the way Bowie reconciles his previous enthusiasms for soul, (this is still a great soul album despite the Germanic values) rock (the thumping, screaming multi layered sound), Rolling Stones (distilled to much greater impact than on Aladdin Sane in "Blackout") German art rock and electronica (all of it) and pained, compromised beauty ("Heroes" and "Moss Garden"- a fabulous evocation of a Japanese Zen garden in the midst of a contemporary city.) If surrendered to it overwhelms the senses like some great unmade art movie - cool, passionate, modern, difficult but with great humanity underneath all the grime and steel.
And it has "Heroes" on it as the great centre piece, six minutes of romance wrought from concrete, jet engines and industrial waste. A masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant second cd in "Berlin Trilogy" + top bonus tracks, 23 Nov 2005
By 
This review is from: Heroes (Audio CD)
The extended tracklist is
1. Beauty And The Beast
2. Joe The Lion
3. Heroes
4. Sons Of The Silent Age
5. Black Out
6. V2 Schneider
7. Sense Of Doubt
8. Moss Garden
9. Neukoln
10. Secret Life Of Arabia
11. Abdulmajid
12. Joe the Lion
Tracks 11 and 12 only appear on this rare Ryko copy of the album, which is also excellently mastered. They are worthy additions to a great album.
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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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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Heroes
Heroes by David Bowie
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