To defeat his demons, Bowie needed space and stability. His estranged wife Angie no longer provided it. For much of the time, she kept their son Zowie later Duncan Jones away from him, in London or Switzerland. She ordered in blank canvases and tubes of oil paint. She read Nietzsche beside him, beneath the fluorescent portrait he painted of Japanese author Yukio Mishima. No one bothered him on the street, unlike in star-struck LA. One night on a whim, he climbed onto a cabaret stage to perform a few Frank Sinatra songs.
The local audience shrugged and asked him to step down.
"Heroes" (David Bowie song) - Wikipedia
They had come to see a different act. He realised his goal was not simply to find a new way of making music, but rather to reinvent — or to come back to — himself. He no longer needed to adopt characters to sing his songs. He found the courage to throw away the props, costumes and stage sets. By the summer of , Bowie was on a creative high.
With producer Tony Visconti and friend Brian Eno , he began to make a new album. The first mic was 20cm from Bowie, the second 6m away, the third 15m away across the vast, dark hall. As Visconti adjusted the levels, Bowie continued to write the lyrics, then asked to be left alone with his thoughts and the piano. Two hours later, the final lyric was recorded. This is my take on this brilliant song: Absurd and very tragic, IMO the best love song ever written. Two very imperfect lovers not deserving of the label, "Heroes" are in an impossible situation that is tearing them appart.
Both, well aware of their limitations know that the "heroic" thing to do is to break up All the same, possibly the best love song ever written. Bowie sings two distinctly different versions, one short and one long. The short version of the song, unfortunately, eliminates the ambiguity of the long version, not to mention that it diminishes its effect musically because in the long version Bowie starts the first couple of verses very softly, which makes the whole song a crescendo where at the end he is shouting at the top of his lungs.
This song's vagueness as winessed in the comments here allows listeners to insert whatever meaning they may think is there.
A homosexual couple facing discrimination or resistance from those around them "And the shame was on the other side" may think that the song is precisely about them. A married man or woman having an affair may imagine themselves the topic of such a song "And we kissed as though nothing could fall".
An alcoholic whose habits are ruining his marriage may see himself in the role of the hero and think that he can hang on to his wife despite the odds "And I, I'll drink all the time. People striving against great odds may feel that the song inspires them on "And the guns shot above our heads. It's a deceptively profound song. By the way, I liked the comment concerning the possibility that this song may have been based on a couple escaping Communist East Germany.
Working Class Hero
It does make sense. There was an error. I've always felt the same way about this song's meaning. Something about being an imperfect person and having a flaw that gets in the way of the perfect love. But it's more than the lyrics, as you point out.
It's Eno's haunting composition and Visconti's triple gating on the microphones that make this the perfect song. Flag onedadgo on April 06, Anderson43 I don't know if I can add to the above. I'd always thought it was about East v. West Germany. I was driving in the car yesterday and this song came up.
I'd heard it a hundred times, but realized the most likely case was he was talking about homosexuality. I would put forward that one of the most well known examples of homosexual behavior in the animal world is dolphins and I wish you could swim would suggest freedom, freedom to be who one really is - not a freedom readily available when the song was written. He is trying to provoke what he considers heroic behavior from the other person. Further, this is the song he choose to perform at the Freddie Mercury benefit concert.
We need you!
OF course, that makes the lines about the wall metaphorical - but they seem to suggest something impossible, a West German Man and an East German Woman meeting under the wall. Something impossible, or at least at the time unthinkable. And we kissed, as though nothing could fall.
Further, I think Bowie is credited with writing the song. Flag montresor on July 29, Apparently he saw, looking out of the recording studio window, a man and woman getting intimate on the infamous Berlin wall. The Berlin wall was heavily guarded, hence "The guns shot over our heads". I'm in Germany and in the Sunday paper, they had a story about this!
He came and performed in Berlin in and sang it. I actually never realized it was about "The Wall" Flag jesslovesmusic89 on November 17, I was in my mid-teens when I heard this. Luckily my dad got a job in the Netherlands soon after, so I spent three months bumming around Europe when I was about fifteen. My first stop was Berlin and Hansa by the Wall, where this was recorded. The collapse of the Wall was a good thing, but Berlin just isn't the same. Flag StandardPerson on June 30, There's an excellent minute piece by album produced Tony Visconti on YouTube where he breaks down the individual parts on "Heroes.
Bowie told Visconti and a female to leave the room so he could concentrate on writing the lyrics.
Visconti and the woman went outside where they kissed. Bowie could see the two kiss from where he was. So that entire verse was based in fact. And the East German guards could shoot above your heads. Flag scott12xu on March 10, General Comment - Winston and Julia. They were heroes. Down with Big Brother! No Replies Log in to reply. My Interpretation The song to me is a wistful fantasy on the part of the singer about his or her desire for happiness and love despite their personal flaws and the world around the singer keeping him apart from the person he wishes to spend his life with.