Today marks the 40th anniversary of the original release of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” and Depeche Mode have released a studio-recorded cover of the song to commemorate it. Directed by Tim Saccenti, it captures the group in a pared-back studio setting, intimate and moody with colorful lights. ”’Heroes’ is the most special song to me at the moment,” frontman Dave Gahan says in a statement.
Written by Brian Eno and Bowie, the song’s birth was a meeting in the middle as Bowie’s producer Tony Visconti embracing his girlfriend at the Berlin Wall circa 1977. “Heroes” evolved to tell the story of two lovers, one from East Berlin and one from West Berlin, a romantically gendered king and queen whose love triumphs over deep divides.
Depeche Mode’s version of “Heroes” strikes a more emotional timbre—perhaps that’s the natural timbre of Gahan’s voice. But as Gahan echoes, the song is urgent. Remembering Bowie will always be urgent. “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,” Gahan adds.
Watch Depeche Mode’s performance video above, and compare their “Heroes” cover to the original below. For more details on Depeche Mode’s upcoming shows, look no further.