at Dec 22, 2014 2:36:22 AM
http://youtu.be/m3SjCzA71eM - And now a break from my Beatles/Apple marathon to make room for my annual Top 10 Music Blips countdown. Another year's gone by! The hardest part is deciding where to chop the list. I'm doing an extra track this year: Honorable Mention goes to David Bowie's "Heroes".
Not having so much of a budget for music, I turned to the collection I already have for inspiration and launched several vinyl digitization marathons of under-appreciated artists. My first digitization marathon was my David Bowie marathon of April and early May. Although I apparently did not endeavor to publicize this one, but for a few stray songs, I did digitize my 14 David Bowie records this year, and "Heroes" emerged from them as an anthem.
"The title of the song is a reference to the 1975 track "Hero" by the German band Neu!, whom Bowie and Eno admired. It was one of the early tracks recorded during the album sessions, but remained an instrumental until towards the end of production. The quotation marks in the title of the song, a deliberate affectation, were designed to impart an ironic quality on the otherwise highly romantic, even triumphant, words and music. Producer Tony Visconti took credit for inspiring the image of the lovers kissing 'by the wall', when he and backing vocalist Antonia Maaß embraced in front of Bowie as he looked out of the Hansa Studio window. Bowie's habit in the period following the song's release was to say that the protagonists were based on an anonymous young couple but Visconti, who was married to Mary Hopkin at the time, contends that Bowie was protecting him and his affair with Maaß. Bowie confirmed this in 2003.
"The basic backing track on the recording consists of a conventional arrangement of piano, bass guitar, rhythm guitar and drums. However the remaining instrumental additions are highly distinctive. These largely consist of synthesizer parts by Eno using an EMS VCS3 to produce detuned low-frequency drones, with the beat frequencies from the three oscillators producing a juddering effect. In addition, King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp generated an unusual sustained sound by allowing his guitar to feed back and sitting at different positions in the room to alter the pitch of the feedback.
"Tony Visconti rigged up a system, a creative misuse of gating that may be termed 'multi-latch gating', of three microphones to capture the epic vocal, with one microphone nine inches from Bowie, one 20 feet away and one 50 feet away. Only the first was opened for the quieter vocals at the start of the song, with the first and second opening on the louder passages, and all three on the loudest parts, creating progressively more reverb and ambience the louder the vocals became. Each microphone is muted as the next one is triggered. "Bowie's performance thus grows in intensity precisely as ever more ambience infuses his delivery until, by the final verse, he has to shout just to be heard....The more Bowie shouts just to be heard, in fact, the further back in the mix Visconti's multi-latch system pushes his vocal tracks, creating a stark metaphor for the situation of Bowie's doomed lovers" ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Heroes%22_%28David_Bowie_song%29
@Angie Drummond, @Tamlyn Burhoe, @James Kotkiewicz