Apocalyptica featuring Till Lindemann: Helden
Since I first heard this version, it won’t leave my head, which means for me, as a lingering tune, it fully deserves the soubriquet, “Strangely Perfect”.
I don’t care if no-one agrees with me as music is something that is perceived in an individual’s mind, at one point in time. Tomorrow is a different day and my perception of sounds tomorrow will be different.
I think it’s a fantastic version of Bowie’s “Heroes” which is unusual, because as far as I can tell, Bowie hasn’t had a hand in it. Most “good” versions of Bowie tunes, usually have him in the background marshalling things. I’m thinking especially of his collaborations with Iggy Pop. Where two versions exist, it’s usually the Iggy one that has more power, even though it’s a Bowie composition and Bowie’s hands are on the mixing desk… “China Girl” off the top of my head, say. This Helden version is the same – that is, I think it’s better than the Bowie version.
Heroes was written “by the Wall” in Berlin. Bowie admits he doesn’t know where it came from. Apparently, he released it first in German, the English version coming later. So I think Till Lindemann brings out the full Germanic guts of that place on the windswept German Plain with his singing, and the Finnish cello playing of Apocalyptica adds an edgy aethereal element reminiscent of the heroes in saga folklore.