The Bottom Line
It is never wise to look to a multi-artist charity single for the pinnacle of artistic achievement. This is even more true when we are speaking of a conglomeration of contestants from a TV talent show. However, as these recordings go, this new version of David Bowie's classic "Heroes" is highly listenable. We have the sweeping orchestration and whisper to a scream dynamics, but Simon Cowell has also kept the, well, heroic guitar sounds that helped make the original so stunning, and nothing here can reduce the power of the words. Support the charity, buy the single, and you can listen to this more than once.
- Reverence for the original
- Strong, restrained vocals
- Inclusion of original guitar sounds
- Carries the usual sweeping schmaltz of a charity single
- Written by David Bowie and Brian Eno
- Produced by Simon Cowell
- Released November 2010 by Syco
Guide Review - X Factor Finalists - "Heroes"
Back in 2008 Simon Cowell decided it would be a good idea for finalists on the X Factor to come together and record a single to sell for charity. The first two have been highly successful each raising the equivalent of more than $1 million to support their organization. This year the proceeds will go to benefit Help For Heroes which assists injured military personnel. The song chosen for the 2010 single is David Bowie's 1977 classic "Heroes."
"Heroes" was written to evoke the emotions swirling around a pair of lovers meeting at the Berlin Wall that once separated Germany and the city of Berlin into separate opposing parts. Now, long after the Wall has fallen, the song remains as a tribute to the hero potential in each of us even if it lasts, "just for one day." There is a certain appropriateness to the song for X Factor contestants. They indeed become heroes for many viewers, but that status can be very fleeting.
- John Adeleye
- Belle Amie
- Mary Byrne
- Matt Cardle
- TreyC Cohen
- Diva Fever
- Rebecca Ferguson
- Nicolo Festa
- Aiden Grimshaw
- Storm Lee
- Cher Lloyd
- One Direction
- Paige Richardson
- Katie Waissel
The song kicks off with chiming guitars and strings. Soon vocals kick in while the guitar sounds of the original slide in as a whisp in the background. The uniqueness of vocals from the varying contestants provides audio interest that is stronger than many charity recordings. Fortunately, vocals are delivered with restraint and respect for the original song. This version of "Heroes" serves well as both a souvenir of X Factor 2010 and a solid way to benefit a worthy cause.