Artist: David Bowie
There are 213 David Bowie songs currently on my iTunes. Still, if I had to pick one David Bowie album as my favorite, "Heroes" would be it.
In 1977, the punk revolution was in full bloom over in England. However, David Bowie and Jim Osterberg (aka Iggy Pop), two of the men who had had a major influence on punk, weren't there. Instead, they were sharing an apartment in Berlin, cleaning up their acts after both having crashed from addiction to heroin and cocaine. It was here that they would record their masterpieces.
David Bowie teamed up with Brian Eno for what would become known as the "Berlin Trilogy" (for obvious reasons), starting with Low, followed by "Heroes", and ending with Lodger. Eno produces and contributes synth, giving the album a dense feel throughout. Each song contains layers and layers of sound, and it takes multiple listens to sort them all it. Robert Fripp (from King Crimson) contributes guitar throughout, showing off his abilities throughout whether it's with the solos on "Joe The Lion", the drones on "Heroes", or the scrapes on "Beauty and the Beast". Eno uses his production skills to coax even more wonderful tones out of Fripp's guitar. Bowie also shows off his considerable range as a vocalist, most notably on the title track, where he begins conversationally but by the end is nearly operatic. Side two of the album contains four moody instrumentals but ends with "The Secret Life of Arabia", another chance for Bowie to show off his vocal chops.
The album is mostly upbeat as Bowie's life had started to get back on track at this point (he was starting to kick his drug habit, "Sound and Vision" off of Low had bewen his biggest hit in years). The overall sound of the album is heavily indebted to motorik and krautrock, although with a much better pop-sense than any of those bands had.
A classic of experimental pop.
Highlights: "Beauty and the Beast", "Heroes", "V-2 Schneider"
By P. Segal