Song: “Heroes” (the quotation marks are part of the title)
Album: “Heroes” (1977)
Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, piano, ARP Solina string ensemble, Chamberlin, percussion, guitar), Robert Fripp (guitar), Carlos Alomar (rhythm guitar), Dennis Davis (drums), Brian Eno (synthesizer, guitar treatments), Tony Visconti (backing vocals, tambourine, tape reels as percussion)
What I love about this track: “Heroes” is my favorite David Bowie song, hands down. Despite the melancholy tone of the lyrics and the arrangements, it is a song of hope and a reminder that one single action on our part can change the world. While the song wasn’t much of a hit when it was released, it was the song most frequently played in the wake of Bowie’s death as fans reached for some sense of comfort.
Trivia: “Heroes” was used in the closing credits of The Cove, a documentary about dolphin fishing. Bowie, a long-time animal rights supporter (who also happened to have a tattoo of a dolphin on the back of his left calf) arranged for the song to be licensed for a mere $3,000 to the producers rather than his typical, exorbitant fee.
Why I chose this video: I looked at so many live performances of “Heroes” before settling on this one, specifically because Live Aid had a humanitarian purpose that suits the theme of the piece.