Tony Visconti Breaks Down David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’

By Andy Kahn Jan 31, 2016 1:30 pm PST

Throughout his influential career, David Bowie maintained a collaborative musical relationship with Tony Visconti. Several of Bowie’s most well-known albums were produced by Visconti, dating back to the 1969 David Bowie (Space Oddity) LP and continuing through the late musician’s just released final record, ★.

After Bowie’s death on January 10 at the age of 69, his friend and cohort posted the following message in his memory:

He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.

Visconti taped the video below for the BBC Four program Music Moguls: Melody Makers in which he breaks down recording of the title track to Bowie’s 1977 album “Heroes” from the original master tapes of the sessions held at Hansa Studio in Berlin, Germany. The video showcases Bowie’s chilling isolated vocals, details Brian Eno and Robert Fripp’s contributions to the song, how Visconti’s actions became part of the lyrics and more.

Watch the producer – who will lead the house band at a pair of upcoming Bowie tribute concerts in New York City – breakdown the song followed by the Stanley Dorfman directed music video featuring the finished product that became the successful single:

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