Heroes (Highline Sessions Version)

Yes, released September 22, 2017

"Heroes" is a song by David Bowie, originally released as a single on September 23, 1977 and also on the album, Heroes on October 14, 1977. It was covered by Depeche Mode and released as a video performance in honor of the song's 40th anniversary on September 23, 2017.


(from original recording)

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be heroes, just for one day
And you, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we're lovers, and that is that
Though nothing will keep us together
We could steal time just for one day
We can be heroes for ever and ever
What d'you say?
I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes, just for one day
I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day
I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes, just for one day
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes
We're nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we're lying, then you better not stay
But we could be safer, just for one day
Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh, just for one day

Dave's Take

"'Heroes' is the most special song to me at the moment. Bowie is the one artist who I've stuck with since I was in my early teens. His albums are always my go-to on tour and covering 'Heroes' is paying homage to Bowie."1

My Take

This is a prime example of legends covering legends! If only David Bowie could have lived long enough to witness this performance by Depeche Mode, whose members all happen to be great admirers of the artist, themselves. Dave was especially hit hard by the passing of his hero in 2016.2 How fitting, then, for them to cover one of Bowie's most iconic songs...this is also the song that was allegedly responsible for landing Dave the job as frontman in the first place back in 1980! It was this very song that Vince Clarke overheard Dave (or at least someone they mistook as Dave) singing in another room and that so moved him to ask Dave to join their band, which was called Composition of Sound, at the time.3

Anyway, that's enough history and background. The sound of this cover is more stripped back than the original, with just an electropop beat, atmospheric synths, and Martin Gore's guitar melody to provide the backdrop for Dave's singing. And what stellar-sounding vocals! One can actually hear how much emotion and love are poured into them throughout; it is obvious that this song and artist are both very special to Dave. The band perform this in a massive, darkened room almost completely surrounded by projections on the walls. Dave is dressed up as if he's performing on stage in front of thousands, wearing a suit as blue as the desert sky and looking ultra-cool in black sunglasses. I did wonder how practical sunglasses are in this environment, as it's so dark that it might actually make it difficult for him to see the lyric sheet in front of him...but he doesn't really need it, does he? After all, this is his jam! His voice comes out strong and clear throughout, building up to the big octave jump in the second half, and you actually wonder if a voice as naturally deep and low as his is going to make it or not, but when it comes, his vocals triumphantly soar. Overall, it is the perfect celebration for a great song and a beautiful homage to a great legend that was lost too soon.

Music Video

The band perform this song in a large, darkened room. Behind them are screens showing scenes of a desert as well as various images of the band members.


  1. "Depeche Mode share official cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" to mark track's 40th anniversary", NME (September 22, 2017)
  2. "Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan 'broke down in tears' when he heard that David Bowie had died", NME (February 7, 2017)
  3. "Depeche Mode: Hurried Fashion", The Face (June 1981)