portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Sunday, October 15, 2017

today's self portrait

 O ★  I  E  

On this day in music history: October 14, 1977 - “Heroes”, the thirteenth album by David Bowie is released. Produced by David Bowie and Tony Visconti, it is recorded at Hansa Studios by the Wall in West Berlin, East Germany from July - August 1977. The second release in David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy” (issued just nine months after “Low”), Bowie once again collaborates on several songs with Brian Eno. The pair come up with rough sketches of songs without melodies and lyrics, which are composed during the actual sessions. Bowie is heavily influenced by the atmosphere of Berlin while living in the city. This is reflected on several songs, particularly the albums epic title track, which tells the story of two lovers who meet at the Berlin Wall. Part of the lyrics to “Heroes” are inspired when Bowie asks producer Tony Visconti to leave him alone in the studio control room to write. While staring out the window of the studio, David sees Visconti embrace and kiss backing vocalist Antonia Maass (Visconti who was married to singer Mary Hopkin at the time, but having an affair with Maass) outside by the wall. King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp travels to Berlin from the US to play on the album, recording all of his lead guitar parts in one day. Bowie is also backed by his regular group of musicians including Carlos Alomar (guitar), Dennis Davis (drums) and George Murray (bass).  It is the only album of the “Trilogy” to be entirely recorded in the city of Berlin, with the studio located only 500 yards from the Berlin Wall. The album is mixed at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland after the tracking sessions conclude. Upon its release and in the years following, it is regarded as one of the best albums of David Bowie’s career. Bowie’s 2013 album “The Next Day”, features an obscured version of photographer Masayoshi Sukita’s iconic cover photo from “Heroes” as its front cover. First released on CD in 1984, it is remastered and reissued in 1991 with two additional bonus tracks. It is also issued as a limited edition, numbered 24K gold CD by Rykodisc using the 20-bit SBM (Super Bit Mapping) process. “Heroes” is reissued again in 1999, when Bowie’s catalog is moved to Virgin/EMI, but without the added bonus tracks. The album is remastered and reissued on CD and vinyl in 2017 as part of the box set “A New Career In A New Town - 1977 - 1982”. “Heroes” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, and number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200.

Of course bought this when it came out and after the collaboration with Eno produced 'Low' was excited enough to buy this unheard (not something I would ordinarily do. how about you?) and also responded to the cover art as it reminded me of another hero Egon Schiele. Imagine the fun when discovering Bowie was fan too and had done it intentionally

Great album and a contemporary classic of course

No comments: