Monday, December 14, 2015

"Heroes" by David Bowie

Yesterday I watched Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas. Today it is best remembered for two things. The first is that it was Bing Crosby's last Christmas special. In fact, it aired only about a month and a half after Mr. Crosby's death from a heart attack at age 74. The second is that the special featured David Bowie and Bing Crosby performing the song "Peace on Earth"/"Little Drummer Boy". What is not as well remembered is the fact that it was the first time that David Bowie performed his now classic song "Heroes" on American television.

"Heroes" was written by David Bowie and Brian Eno, and drew its inspiration from the 1975 song "Hero" by German band Neu!. While "Heroes" peaked at only no. 24 on the UK singles chart and did not reach the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States at all, it proved to be a hit elsewhere in the world. For instance, it was certified gold in Italy.

Since its release on September 23 1977 "Heroes" has grown in reputation. In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked "Heroes" at number 46 in its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". In its list of the 30 greatest David Bowie songs, Uncut placed "Heroes" at number one. The song has been featured in such films as Godzilla (1998), The Replacements (2000), Antitrust (2001), and several others.

This is not the video that appeared in Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, although it is similar in some respects. Interestingly enough, the video featured in Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas was more outré. One can only wonder what Bing Crosby thought of both the video and the song.

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