Today we’re excited to exclusively share Ted Leo’s exuberant cover of “Heroes,” one of David Bowie’s most legendary songs, from the forthcoming all-ages Bowie covers album Let All The Children Boogie: A Tribute to David Bowie.
When reflecting on the passing of a great figure like Bowie, it’s easy to assume that they’ll always be widely revered. But legacies are transient, and there’s already a young generation that wasn’t immersed in Bowie’s music like those who grew up during or in the shadow of his “golden years” in the ‘70s and ‘80s (please excuse the irresistible pun).
So Let All The Children Boogie’s mission is to introduce Bowie to a new generation. Due to be released on Nov. 18 by Spare The Rock Records, the album will feature covers by a wide range of artists, from The Mekons’ Sally Timms and Jon Langford to Sonia De Los Santos and Elena Moon Park of Dan Zanes and Friends.
And that also includes the man of the hour, punk- and indie-rocker Ted Leo. Leo has made a radiant reinterpretation of “Heroes.” It begins more sparsely than Bowie’s version; the first verse has a soft bass and a subtle drum, and spotlights the voice. The song slowly builds to a powerful, joyous conclusion.
If you’re going to share Bowie’s messages with youngsters, “Heroes” is a great song with which to do it. The lyrics are about two lovers who live on either side of the Berlin Wall; after Bowie’s death, the German government thanked him for helping to inspire the takedown of the wall with his 1987 performance of “Heroes” in West Berlin.
It’s also Bowie’s second most-covered track (after “Rebel Rebel”), and has been sung by the likes of The Wallflowers and Peter Gabriel. Ted Leo’s version is an excellent addition to this body of covers, and indicates great things to come for the rest of Let All The Children Boogie.
The forthcoming album will benefit It Gets Better, an LGBTQ youth charity organization. You can pre-order it in full here, which will earn you an instant free download of Ted Leo’s cover, or purchase “Heroes” by itself here. Listen to the tune below via the Paste Cloud, and find the Let All The Children Boogie tracklist beneath that.
Let All The Children Boogie Tracklist:
1) The Honeydogs and Chastity Brown – Oh! You Pretty Things
2) Walter Martin – Breaking Glass
3) Sonia de los Santos and Elena Moon Park – The Man Who Sold the World
4) Rachel Loshak with the New Standards – Starman
5) Lloyd Miller and Dean Jones – V-2 Schneider
6) Sally Timms and Jon Langford – The Prettiest Star
7) Molly Ledford – Sound and Vision
8) Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players – Kooks
9) Antibalas – Let’s Dance
10) Gustafer Yellowgold and the Pop Ups – Space Oddity
11) Ted Leo – Heroes
12) Wunmi – Fashion
13) Storey Littleton with Marco Benevento – Life on Mars?
14) Gina Chavez – Modern Love
15) Red Yarn – Magic Dance
16) Nakia and the Barton Hills Choir – Golden Years
17) Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower featuring Simi Stone – Changes
18) Uncle Rock and Tracy Bonham – Lady Stardust
19) Colin Brooks – I’ll Follow You
20) Rhett Miller – Ziggy Stardust