Sons of the Silent Age

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"Sons of the Silent Age"
Song by David Bowie
from the album "Heroes"
Released14 October 1977
RecordedHansa Studio by the Wall, West Berlin
July–August 1977
GenreArt rock
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)David Bowie, Tony Visconti

"Sons of the Silent Age" is a song written by David Bowie in 1977 for the album "Heroes". According to Brian Eno, it was the only song on the album composed prior to the recording sessions, all others being improvised in the Hansa by the Wall studio. Bowie himself indicated that Sons of the Silent Age could at one stage have been the title for the album, rather than "Heroes".[1]

Biographer David Buckley remarked on the song's "doomy sax-driven verses set incongruously aside cheesy choruses".[2] The lyrics have been interpreted as a third-person revisitation of the themes of psychotic withdrawal explored on Bowie’s previous album Low ("Pacing their rooms just like a cell’s dimensions"), as well as referencing the characters from his 1970 song "The Supermen" ("They never die they just go to sleep one day")[3] on the album The Man Who Sold the World. Author Nicholas Pegg speculated that the line "platforms, blank looks, no books" alluded to the Nazi regime.[4]

Other releases[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Philip Glass"Heroes" Symphony (1996)
  • Danny MichelLoving the Alien: Danny Michel Sings the Songs of David Bowie (2004)


  1. ^ NME interviews (1977) cited at Bowie: Golden Years Archived 3 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20 May 2007.
  2. ^ David Buckley (1999). Strange Fascination - David Bowie: The Definitive Story: p.321
  3. ^ Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p.92
  4. ^ Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: p.195

External links[edit]