Dipping back into the Far Out archives we’re revisiting a live recording of Debbie Harry and Blondie putting their unique spin on a David Bowie classic.
Just three years after Bowie and his partner in crime Brian Eno wrote, recorded, and released ‘Heroes’, Harry and her Blondie bandmates were taking it on the road for special moments, covering the track occasionally as part of their live show.
The song, which was originally released as the lead single from Bowie’s 12th studio album of the same name, is an infamous product of the Starman’s ‘Berlin period’ and, fittingly, has been cited as Bowie’s second-most covered song after ‘Rebel Rebel’. With that, it should come as little surprise that some of his closest friends have given it a go over the years.
Blondie, who had notably covered the track during performances at The Palladium in New York and the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1978, arrived in London two years later for a triple-header of sell-out performances at the Hammersmith Odeon where the band would play three shows in a row.
On all three evenings, the band would include their rendition of ‘Heroes’ much to the delight of the packed-out London crowd. On the middle performance on the 12th of January, however, Blondie were planning something special. After a wide-ranging set of their classics, the band produced cover versions of The Nerves, Richard Berry, Donna Summer, James Brown and, of course, Mr Bowie.
The surprise, of course, was that the band would record their rendition of ‘Heroes’ and subsequently release it shortly after.
Enjoy that recording, below.
Blondie Hammersmith Odeon 1980 setlist:
- ‘Slow Motion’
- ‘Union City Blue’
- ‘The Hardest Part’
- ‘Living in the Real World’
- ‘Picture This’
- ‘Die Young, Stay Pretty’
- ‘Accidents Never Happen’
- ‘Heart of Glass’
- ‘Eat to the Beat’
- ‘Hanging on the Telephone’ – (The Nerves cover)
- ‘Louie Louie’ – (Richard Berry cover)
- ‘I Feel Love’ – (Donna Summer cover)
- ‘Heroes’ – (David Bowie cover)
- ‘I Got You’ (I Feel Good) – (James Brown cover)
- ‘Sunday Girl’
- ‘Pretty Baby’
- ‘One Way or Another’