David Byrne and Choir Sing David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’: Watch

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David Byrne

Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne performed a cover version of David Bowie’s classic “Heroes” on January 13, 2018. The track was recorded with Choir! Choir! Choir!, which describes itself on its website as “a dedicated and passionate membership of inspired singers from in-and-around Toronto, Canada.” Launched in 2011 by Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman, Choir! Choir! Choir! boasts an “open membership,” meaning anyone can join in singing with the group. They’ve also collaborated with Patti Smith, Colin Hay, Rufus Wainwright and others.

The video for “Heroes” features Byrne and the choir, all of whom learned the back-ups for the song and practiced for an hour prior to the performance. The video was then filmed live in the Ford Foundation Lobby of the Public Theater in New York City. Byrne and the choir also covered Madonna’s “Borderline.” Scroll down to watch the video.

On his own web page, Byrne explained at length how he and the choir came to record the Bowie song. In part his journal entry reads, “The assigned song is rehearsed over and over. Everyone is given lyric sheets, but not expected to read music. I came early and rehearsed with them in the afternoon, then in the evening. They taught the audience their parts for about 45 minutes. They run it down with them for a bit, then I join and we all continue to do it (and it keeps getting better!) over and over.”

Byrne added, “No one in the audience left the room, despite all of this being a lot of work. In fact, people leaving shows in the other theaters in the building often stopped and joined in—a testament to the joy of losing oneself in a mass, combined with the endorphins or whatever is released by the physical act of singing. One man told me that by the 3rd take, the hair on his arm stood up.”

Watch David Byrne and Choir! Choir! Choir! perform “Heroes”

Related: Our Album Rewind of the Talking Heads’ 1979 release, Fear of Music

Byrne was born May 14, 1952. The most recent edition of his acclaimed David Byrne’s American Utopia concluded in 2022. He’s involved in a new production, Here Lies Love, described as an “immersive disco pop musical based on the rise and fall of Imelda Marcos and the People Power Revolution of the Philippines, with music by Grammy®, Oscar®, and Tony Award® winner David Byrne and Grammy Award® winner Fatboy Slim.” It will premiere on Broadway in Summer 2023.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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