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Music

Listen to the arresting isolated guitar tracks from David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’

In 1976, David Bowie invited Iggy Pop to join him on his Isolar Tour. At the end of the tour, Iggy and Bowie agreed to geographically distance themselves from their addictions. They travelled to Château d’Hérouville, the same French location where Bowie recorded his 1973 covers album, Pin-Ups. It was here that Bowie began recording his 1977 masterpiece Low, which would become the first instalment of his famed experimental Berlin trilogy. Meanwhile, Bowie helped Iggy to begin work on his debut solo record, The Idiot, and the creative juices were flowing like never before.

Iggy Pop’s The Idiot marked a change in direction from his raw, heavy and untampered music with The Stooges. The album appeared to rival post-punk before its existence with an intriguing mix of instruments and synthesized sounds with added distortion effects that give it that perfectly eery industrial feel. Bowie had such a deep involvement in the record that it could be considered part of his Berlin trilogy – which, of course, would make it a tetralogy.

The first album of Bowie’s trilogy, Low, was studded with intriguing tracks, but the one that left a poignantly chilling aftertaste was the ambient ‘Warszawa’. The track was one of the most obvious links to Europe in the trilogy. The atmospheric and sombre composition was inspired by the “very bleak atmosphere” Bowie said he had felt in the Polish capital. Another strong link to the European experience came with the release of Heroes, the second album in the trilogy.

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The 1977 album carried a strange image of Bowie on its front cover. The weird pose seen on the album artwork was inspired by German painter Erich Heckel’s 1917 painting, Roquairol. The painting was also the inspiration behind Iggy’s similarly odd pose seen on the cover of The Idiot

Germany had a vast influence on Heroes, and the famous title track was inspired by the romantic image of a German couple kissing by the Berlin wall. Producer Tony Visconti claimed the credit for inspiring Bowie. During the recording sessions for the album at the Hansa Studio, Bowie looked out of the window to the east and saw Visconti kissing the backing vocalist Antonia Maass “by the wall”.

Revisit the classic Bowie song ‘Heroes’ below through the isolated guitar tracks performed by King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and David Bowie.