A Note On Flannery O'Connor and Race
Two Bleak House Dramatizations

Andrea Schroeder Sings David Bowie's "Heroes"

In German: "Helden."

I never heard of Andrea Schroeder until a few weeks ago when I was looking for cover versions of this famous song. You know it, right? If not, click here.

I was never much of a David Bowie fan. I didn't care for the whole glam rock, sexually androgynous thing, but, more importantly, I just didn't care that much for most of his music. I had a slightly annoying conversation about this on Facebook around the time of Bowie's death. I said more or less what I just said, and several younger people explained to me that it was a generational thing, and I Just Didn't Understand. 

Nonsense. Look, y'all (I said): David Bowie was a bit older than me. It had nothing to with age and everything to do with musical taste. I heard Ziggy Stardust several dozen times while I was working in a record store, and never cared much for it, though I had liked his earlier album, Hunky Dory, quite well. And I never listened to him much after that.

But somehow or other I did hear "Heroes," a basically very simple song which seems to have a mildly addictive effect on a lot of people. And, maybe in part because it's basically simple, yet deeply appealing, it seems to lend itself to some very varied ways of performing it. And maybe also because of the lyric, with its odd combination of defiance and despair. "Yes we're lovers" but "nothing can keep us together." And:

Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day

You can read the English lyrics here.

I like covers of well-known songs which rework them substantially. Or rather I should say they interest me, as of course they're not always successful. This one, I think, works spectacularly well. I like it just as much when I'm not looking at the screen with the beautiful Andrea Schroeder gazing deeply into my soul eyes.

I must definitely hear more of her music. She's German, obviously, and AllMusic doesn't say a word about her, nor does Wikipedia, but her own website has some impressive recommendations. 

My next-favorite cover of "Heroes" is by the metal-ish band Motörhead, and as you might suppose it is night-and-day different. I don't recommend listening to this one immediately after Andrea Schroeder's. If at all. It's hard rock.

Lemmy Kilmister, 1945-2015, RIP. One wonders, if one is a Christian, where such an apparently purely heathen soul goes.


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It's really a great song. I saw Bowie sing it in concert once. He recorded it in German also. I like what Motorhead did with it. Always interesting when hard rock bands record pop tunes - I guess it is generally just fast and loud compared to the original, but they leave in the original type of music too. Mac, you just don't understand. LOL

I’ve been good about ear protection. However, now that I’m developing tinnitus, I’m pretty sure being front row for Motörhead was the cause.

I'm sure that didn't help, but it may not have been the cause. I've never attended that many really loud concerts, and my tinnitus began to appear long after the last one. Lots of people get it for no particular reason. But I think I've read that any noise that leaves a ringing in your ears has probably done some damage, and I would be surprised if being front row for Motörhead didn't do that.

Stu, yeah, Motörhead's version of "Heroes" is mainly just faster and louder. I think Lemmy's growly voice is a big part of the appeal.

It's interesting that the song works in such extremely different treatments.

Like you Mac I've never been a huge Bowie fan. I've liked the odd track here and there ("Rebel Rebel" was one of the first 45's I ever bought when I was a kid), and respect his influence but other than Let's Dance his albums haven't done much for me on the whole. That said, I do like this song and the Schroeder cover. Can live without the Motorhead version though.

Speaking of music, you are likely aware that the new Beth Gibbons solo album drops tomorrow. Two of the three singles are very good, and the one that's just so-so is by no means unbearable. I plan to listen to the whole thing before buying it, as I've been burned a couple times recently when I didn't do so, but if the rest of the record is anything like the singles it should be a winner.

Definitely one to investigate. Actually I wasn't aware, I'd already forgotten that it was coming, so thanks for the update.

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