Song #37: “Heroes” — David Bowie (1977)
Like a lot of pop culture, it is irrelevant whether you like David Bowie or not: either way, he’s inescapable. Let’s Dance was a welcome (and yes, inescapable) part of my college soundtrack, but I always though Bowie’s ability to reinvent himself more interesting than his music. (That, and his seriousness as an art collector, revealed after he adroitly played Andy Warhol in 1996’s Basquiat.) There is one exception to this, and that’s the Brian Eno-produced “Heroes.” Amusingly enough, when I listened to this song as a kid, I didn’t pay attention to the lyrics and thought it was an epic, happy thing —”we could be heroes!” … now of course, as an adult, I recognize it for what it is: one of the saddest fucking songs of all time.