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David Bowie – “Heroes” Previously Unreleased Alternate Take 1 (1977)

September 23rd, 2019 | by admin

David Bowie • “Heroes” • Previously Unreleased Alternate Take 1 • 1977

This video is a newly-edited, previously unreleased take, from the Stanley Dorfman / Nicholas Ferguson-directed official “Heroes” promo video outtakes reel. It is synced to the 2017 remastered version of “Heroes”, edited back into the 1977 7” single format.

The promo video for David Bowie’s “Heroes” was shot in the UK, on the 27th of September 1977, four days after the release of the “Heroes” single on this day in 1977, the 23rd of September.

The shoot was commissioned by RCA, Bowie’s label throughout the Seventies. It is unclear to me who actually directed the shoot. The original clapperboard at the beginning of the reel states that Nick Ferguson was the director. And yet it is usually cited (including on the official online promo video) that Stanley Dorfman was the Director. Dorfman had earlier directed Bowie’s Be My Wife promo video in Paris a few months earlier, on the 28th of June, 1977.

The “Heroes” shoot was a classic and simple looking affair – Bowie miming to the song, in his tight jeans and tight bomber jacket staple of the era, silhouetted against an dark empty background, broken by a distant spotlight and rolling smoke.

The “Heroes” promo outtakes reel is just under 28 minutes long. It contains one complete take, and 8 partial takes of “Heroes”. In addition, there are a couple of takes of about 30 seconds of Blackout. And about 3 minutes of close-ups of Bowie slowly bringing his hand to his face, mimicking the “Heroes” album cover whilst Sense of Doubt plays in the background. It seems there was no intention of creating promos for the latter two songs; the footage was merely to be used in the two TV commercials for the “Heroes” album.

The official promo for “Heroes” utilizes sections from most of the takes, in long cross dissolves. The only complete take of “Heroes”, Take 1, was barely used – all that was included was the 10 seconds of “I would be king, and you, you would be queen”.

The complete Take 1 of “Heroes” is really great looking, and in my opinion, contains some of the best scenes of the entire reel. It includes many full-face close-ups of Bowie that are truly beautiful. I presume that this take was largely unused due to the fact that Bowie’s miming in it was not very accurate. He had sung “Heroes” live a couple of times – for the Marc Show on September 7th, and for Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas Special, on September 11th. But perhaps some of the nuances of his own vocal on the actual recorded version, which had only been completed a few weeks prior, were actually forgotten or unfamiliar to him in this first take. And since the promo was for immediate use – we see it included on the “L’Altra Domenica” show a few days later – perhaps there was no time for a very sophisticated edit.

In considering the many possible ways of making my own re-cut version of the “Heroes” promo video, I eventually decided on trying to salvage the wonderful Complete Take 1. Thanks to the vast possibilities of modern digital editing, it was relatively easy to alter some of the cross cuts between the two camera angles, and moreover to correct or somewhat mask Bowie’s lip-sync errors.

I’m not that keen on the 7″ mix of “Heroes” from the A New Career in a New Town box set. So here, I have re-edited the excellent 2017 remaster of the album version of “Heroes”, into the 1977 7″ single edit format.

Hope you dig it!

This video started out as part of the The HD Projects video:

Tracing My Dad • Vol. 10 • Tony Visconti discusses Dennis Davis and David Bowie • Part 3 [ 77/78 ]

Tony Visconti on Dennis Davis, David Bowie & “Heroes” (Part 3, 77/78)

Part of an interview series with producer Tony Visconti. This volume focuses on the “Heroes” and ’78 tour era.

If you haven’t checked out young Hikaru Davis and his The HD Projects, please take a look.

Credits

Video Source:
“Heroes” Promo Video • Directed by Stanley Dorfman & Nicholas Ferguson • Shot 27th September 1977

Audio Source:
“Heroes” 2017 Remaster • Produced by Tony Visconti & David Bowie • Recorded July & August 1977

Musicians:
David Bowie • lead vocals, piano, ARP Solina String Ensemble, Chamberlin, percussion
Robert Fripp • lead guitar
Carlos Alomar • rhythm guitar
George Murray • bass guitar
Dennis Davis • drums
Brian Eno • EMS VCS 3 synthesizer, guitar treatments
Tony Visconti • backing vocals, tambourine, tape reel as percussion

Dedicated to Sooky
“I, I will be king, and you, you will be queen”

I don’t own the rights, and I’m not making any money out of this etc. Just a fan making videos for other fans.

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#DavidBowie #Heroes #BrianEno #TonyVisconti ##TheDAMTrio #RobertFripp #1977

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