Fanatics! Henry Rollins' KCRW Show Tomorrow Night: David Bowie's '"Heroes"'
See also: Henry Rollins: Christmacidal
Fanatics! Here we go into week three of our Bowie month. Tonight, it's the legendary "Heroes" album. Bowie released Low on 01/14/77 and "Heroes" on 10/14/77. This was a very creative period for Bowie but he paid quite a price. He was wearing himself extremely thin in many ways at this time. You see photos of him and he looks rail thin and overdriven. Sure made some great music though.
"Heroes" seems to find Bowie back on form, compared to Low. The songs are fully formed, his voice is strong and confident and the songs are excellent. It's not nearly as strange as Low but the songwriting, playing and singing are as good as it gets. Of the three "Berlin Trilogy" albums, it is "Heroes" that was recorded in Berlin, where Low was only mixed there.
Of the five Bowie albums we are playing for you Fanatics this month, my favorites are 1, 3 and 5. Low and Lodger, while amazing seem scattered compared to Station, "Heroes" and Scary Monsters, which is my favorite of the five.
Before we get into any of that, we get into our first hour, which is great all the way through. I thought we would really get the thing off to a great start with some new Keiji Haino guitar slaughter from one of his two new Fushitsusha albums. I can't read any of the writing on the titles.
Look! We've got new jams in from the good folks at In The Red! New UK Race and Lamps tunes. More info here.
Our Nico track cuts off a few seconds before the end of the song. It's from a tape I got in a trade in 1984 and the taper did not get the tape flipped in time, that used to happen a lot. It's a show that might not have gotten much circulation, which makes it kind of cool.
We get back into the new Evens record with another track and to salute the passing of Ravi Shankar, we end the first hour with a track from him.
In hour two, we rock "Heroes", one of Bowie's best. This is the original German RCA mastering. It sounds really good. Obviously I don't know what you're listening through but you might notice the lack of compression on the tracks, how they might remind you of the LP version.
"Heroes" when compared to Low, almost sounds commercial. Perhaps it was Bowie pulling back from the edge a bit and thinking that he needed a single and a record he could tour on. "Heroes" did very well critically, the title track was done in multiple languages. We have played the German version. Apparently, there is one sung in French but I have not heard it.
Next week, we will listen to perhaps the most interesting of the five Bowie albums we will listen to in December, Lodger. It's a great album but again, it's a little here and there but really cool. There is a great bit of writing on Lodger on the Quietus site by Ben Graham. If you get a chance to read it before next week, it might make things even more interesting.
I hope you are digging our conceptual month of Bowie. In 2013, we are going to stretch, Fanatics, so get ready but until then, lean into the speakers and STAY FANATIC!!! --Henry
Henry can be reached at: Henryontheradio@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter @henryrollins.
Read Henry's tracklist below.
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Henry Rollins: The Column! Alice Bag's Punk Rock Legacy
Henry Rollins: The Column! Occupy America