The single was an edited version which reduced the running time from 6:07 to 3:32, and omitted the first two and final verses. This shorter version has become a mainstay of Bowie compilations.
“Heroes” was not a major hit upon its release, peaking at number 24 in the UK. In the US it was a commercial failure, going no further than number 126 on the Record World singles chart.
It fared better in Ireland and the Netherlands, where it reached numbers eight and nine in their respective charts, and made the top 20 in Austria, Australia, Belgium, and Germany.
The German and French versions were released in their respective countries as ‘Helden’ and ‘Héros’. These, plus the English version and ‘V-2 Schneider’, were compiled for a four-song 7″ single in Australia. In Spain the full-length English album version was issued as a 12″ single.
‘Helden’ and ‘Héros’, plus the extended English/German and English/French album versions, were included in a “Heroes” EP included in the 2017 box set A New Career In A New Town (1977–1982). The edited English-language single was included in the same box’s compilation Re:Call 3.
Also on this day...
- 1995: Live: Star Lake Amphitheater, Burgettstown
- 1990: Live: Estádio Palestra Itália, São Paulo
- 1972: Travel: Cleveland to Memphis
- 1969: Live: Three Horseshoes, London
- 1966: Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Pleasurama, Ramsgate
- 1966: Live: David Bowie and the Buzz, Marquee Club, London
- 1964: Live: Davie Jones and the Manish Boys, Medway County Youth Club, Chatham
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.