Battle of the Covers: Heroes (request)

Time for another round of Battle of the Covers. We're moving from David Byrne to David Bowie (how did it take this long to get to Bowie?) as we take Agrajag's suggestion and visit David's classic hit "Heroes."


In round 11 we saw one of the most dominant performances yet, with Cage the Elephant taking control of the polls early and never letting go. At one point they held a full 55% of the votes, and by the time the polls closed they still controlled a full 44%. The duel for worst was far closer, with Psycho, Barenaked Ladies, Velvet Revolver, and Antiseen all tied at one point. And, at the end of it all, a tie is how it remained, with Barenaked Ladies and Antiseen both tying for worst. Psycho ended up one vote back, and Velvet Revolver two.

David Bowie, with help from friend and frequent co-author Brian Eno, wrote Heroes in 1977. The song is meant to be about a pair of forbidden lovers, separated by circumstance and the harsh realty that was 1970's Berlin. As it turns out, the song was inspired largely by Bowie's producer, Tony Visconti, and backing vocalist Anna Maaß, whom Visconti was having an affair with at the time.

The song was released in a variety of different languages and lengths, but failed to make a significant impact. In the UK it failed to reach any higher than 24th on the charts, and in the States it didn't so much as break the top 100. Now considered one of Bowie's greatest songs, and his second most covered song after "Rebel Rebel," "Heroes" is the definition of a song before it's time. In 1999 readers of Q Magazine voted it one of the 100 greatest songs of all time, a sentiment which was further supported in 2004 when Rolling Stone rated it the 46th greatest of all time. "Heroes" is even responsible for the formation of Depeche Mode, as lead singer Dave Gahan was hired when band founder Vince Clarke heard him singing "Heroes" at a jam session.

As mentioned, this is Bowie's second most covered song. As a result there were a metric crapton of covers to choose from. I started with 31 versions before whittling them down to the final eight. I apologize if your favorite was cut.


Love Like Blood - (1993)

Pink Lincolns - (1996)

Oasis - (1997)

The Wallflowers - (1998)

Kasabian - (2006)

Apocalyptica (w/ Rammstein's Till Linderman) - (2007)

Peter Gabriel - (2010)

Janelle Monáe - (2014)


LEST YE FORGET! If you want to check back on the results of previous rounds, or see what covers are coming in future rounds, there is now a Google Drive spreadsheet with past rounds and the upcoming battle schedule.

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