Who Covered It Best: David Bowie's 'Heroes'
  • MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014

  • Posted by: Matt Howard

Janelle Monae revealed the music video for her World Cup cover of David Bowie's 1977 anthemic classic "Heroes", and unsurprisingly, they've applied the song's lyrics to a poignant 'bullying' theme. When it comes to covers, it's difficult not to compare it to the original; and songs of such great magnitude, like "Heroes", are also unavoidably compared to their predecessors. We love any opportunity to play 'Who Did It Best?', so we decided to take Monae to task, by ranking her rendition among the finest we've heard throughout the years.

Before we get to the rankings, let's enjoy the true original, written by Bowie and Brian Eno...Of course, the true No. 1.



7. Blondie (1980)

Originally released as a UK exclusive b-side to Blondie's 1980 single "Atomic". It's a great live cover, but sounds a little too karaoke to receive top honors.



6. Janelle Monae (2014)

It was recorded as a part of Pepsi's 2014 "Now Is What You Make It" to be featured in a commercial during the World Cup next month. Honestly, it just sounds a bit phoned-in...



5. The Wallflowers (1998)

It's a great cover, and if it wasn't associated with the atrocious 1998 Godzilla remake, it would be higher on our list.



4. Nico (1981)

Nico's mysticism is complemented by the addition of accordion, violin, and some sexy sax...



3. The Magnetic Fields (1996)

Stephin Merritt's iconic tone adds morose depth to the already heartbreaking song.



2. TV on the Radio (2009)

After Bowie provided TV on the Radio with backing vocals on Return to Cookie Mountain's "Province", the group paid homage to the idol with a danced up spin of his classic.



1. Oasis (1997)

Released as the b-side to the group's "D'You Know What I Mean" single, their cover stretched the original's buzzy opening guitar riff throughout the length of the entire song and branded it with their 90s charm.

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