Time for Heroes

Last updated

"Time for Heroes"
Single by The Libertines
from the album Up the Bracket
Released13 January 2003
Genre Indie rock, garage rock, post-punk revival
Label Rough Trade
Producer(s) Mick Jones
The Libertines singles chronology
"Up the Bracket"
"Time for Heroes"
"Don't Look Back into the Sun"

"Time for Heroes" is a song by English rock band the Libertines, featured on their debut album Up the Bracket . It was released on 13 January 2003 as the second single from that album, and reached No. 20 in the UK Singles Chart. The song is based on singer/guitarist Pete Doherty's experiences and on police brutality at the London May Day Riots of 2000.



Writing under the name Heavyhorse to fans on the Libertines web forum about the song, Doherty explained the meaning behind the lyric "wombles bleed, truncheons and shields":

"The 'wombles' were a revolutionary sect from the era of the Mayday riots in the year 2000. They were rioters who all dressed up like wombles from the t.v series, including tinfoil shields and wobbly truncheons, mimicking the riot police. There were about 12 of them, but they had many enthusiastic disciples."[ citation needed ]


The song was a fan favourite of the Libertines' live shows, and Pete Doherty's later band Babyshambles often play the song at their gigs. It is also widely acclaimed, coming in at number 2 (behind "Last Nite" by the Strokes) on NME's list of the best 50 songs of the previous decade.

A music video for "Time for Heroes" was filmed in Madrid, featuring the city's Metro and Colon's Square.

In May 2007, NME magazine placed "Time For Heroes" at number 6 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever, one place below "Don't Look Back into The Sun," also by the Libertines. [1] In 2011, NME placed it at number 10 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years". [2] Later, they placed the song at no. 28 on their list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, writing that the song was "The Libs' crowning moment, it brilliantly captured the thrill of fighting for a cause." [3]

Peter Doherty recorded an acoustic version of the song in a 2019 Cardinal Sessions set.

Graham Coxon performed a version of this song for Radio 1's Live Lounge.

"Time for Heroes" also featured in the American film American Wedding .

Track listing


  1. "Time for Heroes" – 2:41
  2. "7 Deadly Sins" (Demo) – 2:50

CD 1

  1. "Time for Heroes" – 2:41
  2. "General Smuts" (Demo) – 3:31
  3. "Bangkok" (Demo) – 2:14

CD 2

  1. "Time for Heroes" – 2:41
  2. "Mr. Finnegan" (Demo) – 1:51
  3. "Sally Brown" (Demo) – 2:54

Japanese EP

  1. "Time for Heroes" – 2:41
  2. "I Get Along (Original Version)" – 2:54
  3. "The Delaney" – 2:40
  4. "Mayday" – 1:04
  5. "Skag & Bone Man" – 1:48
  6. "Bangkok" (Demo) – 2:12
  7. Time For Heroes (Music Video)

Chart performance

Chart (2003)Peak
UK Singles Chart 20


RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI) [4] Silver200,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Related Research Articles

The WOMBLES were a loosely aligned anarchist and anti-capitalist group based in London. They gained prominence in the early 2000s for wearing white overalls with padding and helmets at May Day protests, mimicking the Italian group Tute Bianche.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Libertines</span> English rock band

The Libertines are an English rock band, formed in London in 1997 by frontmen Carl Barât (vocals/guitar) and Pete Doherty (vocals/guitar). The band, centred on the songwriting partnership of Barât and Doherty, has also included John Hassall (bass), and Gary Powell (drums) for most of its recording career. The band was part of the garage rock revival and spearheaded the movement in the UK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pete Doherty</span> English musician, actor and poet (born 1979)

Peter Doherty is an English musician, songwriter, actor, poet, writer and artist. He is best known for being co-frontman of the Libertines, which he formed with Carl Barât in 1997. His other musical projects are indie band Babyshambles and Peter Doherty and the Puta Madres.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Babyshambles</span> English rock band

Babyshambles were an English rock band established in London. The band was formed by Pete Doherty during a hiatus from the Libertines. As of 2013 the band included Mick Whitnall, Drew McConnell and Adam Ficek. Babyshambles have released three albums—Down in Albion (2005), Shotter's Nation (2007) and Sequel to the Prequel (2013)—three EPs and a number of singles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Take Me Out (song)</span> 2004 single by Franz Ferdinand

"Take Me Out" is a song by Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand. It was released as the second single from their eponymous debut studio album in the United Kingdom on 12 January 2004 and in the United States on 12 April 2004, both through Domino Records. It was released as 7-inch vinyl, a CD single, and a DVD single with the music video and a short interview with the band.

<i>Up the Bracket</i> 2002 studio album by The Libertines

Up the Bracket is the debut album by English indie rock band The Libertines, released in October 2002. It reached #35 in the UK Albums Chart. The album was part of a resurgence for the British indie/alternative scene and received widespread praise from critics and has quickly become considered one of the greatest albums of the 2000s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carl Barât</span> English musician

Carl Ashley Raphael Barât is a British musician and actor, best known for being the co-frontman with Pete Doherty of the Indie Rock band the Libertines. He was the frontman and lead guitarist of Dirty Pretty Things, and in 2010 debuted a solo album. In 2014 he announced the creation of his new band, The Jackals.

<i>The Libertines</i> (album) 2004 studio album by The Libertines

The Libertines is the second studio album by English indie rock band The Libertines. Released on 30 August 2004, it is particularly biographical of the relationship between frontmen Carl Barât and Pete Doherty. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 72,189 copies in its first week of release.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">She Bangs the Drums</span> 1989 single by the Stone Roses

"She Bangs the Drums" is a song by English rock band the Stone Roses. The song was released as the second single from their eponymous debut album (1989). It was released in the UK, Japan, and Germany. The single was their first Top 40 hit, peaking at number 36 on the UK Singles Chart in July 1989. A reissue in March 1990 improved by two places.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fuck Forever</span> 2005 single by Babyshambles

"Fuck Forever" is a song by English rock band Babyshambles. It was released as a single on 15 August 2005 and is their highest-charting single, peaking at number four on the UK Singles Chart. The song was negatively targeted due to its controversial title and lyrics, but it was eventually released and has become the closing number in the band's live sets. In May 2007, NME placed "Fuck Forever" at number 24 on its list of the "50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever", while in 2014, the same publication named it the 245th greatest song of all time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Can't Stand Me Now</span> 2004 single by the Libertines

"Can't Stand Me Now" is the first single from English rock band the Libertines' self-titled second album. The song was their biggest hit, and peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart and number 28 on the Irish Singles Chart. In the United Kingdom, it is their second highest-selling single after "Don't Look Back into the Sun".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">What a Waster</span> 2002 single by The Libertines

"What a Waster" is the debut single by English rock band the Libertines. The song received little airplay because it contains frequent profanity. "What a Waster" was initially left off the UK edition of the band's debut album Up the Bracket but was later included as the 13th track on a subsequent re-issue.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Up the Bracket (song)</span> 2002 single by The Libertines

"Up the Bracket" is a song by the Libertines, released in September 2002. It is their second overall single and their first from the debut album Up the Bracket.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Don't Look Back into the Sun</span> 2003 single by the Libertines

"Don't Look Back into the Sun" is a song released by the Libertines as their fourth single. NME magazine awarded it single of the week upon its release. "Don't Look Back into the Sun" was released as a single only, therefore not appearing on any albums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">What Became of the Likely Lads</span> 2004 single by The Libertines

"What Became of the Likely Lads" is a song by the Libertines, which was released as the final single from their self-titled, second album, The Libertines. The lyrics in this song refer to the breakdown of the friendship between Pete Doherty and Carl Barât, and the subsequent collapse of the band. The song's title echo the title of a popular British situation comedy from the 1970s: Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? The song reached number nine on the UK Singles Chart when released.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Wolfe (musician)</span> English singer-songwriter

Peter Wolfe also known as Wolfman, is an English musician, and songwriter, best known for his collaborations with Libertines and Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty.

The Underground is a club/music venue in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England. It was also part of the NME group, Club NME. It is well known for hosting several up and coming indie/rock/metal acts, and many local bands in the Staffordshire area.

"Janie Jones" is a song by the English punk rock band the Clash. It is the opening track on their debut album, The Clash (1977). The song is named after Janie Jones, a cabaret singer who organised sex parties at her Kensington home.

<i>Time for Heroes – The Best of The Libertines</i> 2007 greatest hits album by The Libertines

Time for Heroes – The Best of The Libertines is the greatest hits collection by English rock band The Libertines, released in October 2007 on Rough Trade Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Libertines discography</span>

The discography of the Libertines, a London-based indie rock band, consists of three studio albums, four extended plays (EPs), one compilation album, 11 singles and six music videos. Formed in 1997, the Libertines consisted of Pete Doherty, Carl Barât, John Hassall (bass) and Gary Powell (drums).


  1. "The Greatest Indie Anthem Ever revealed". NME. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2007.
  2. "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". Nme.com. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  3. "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: 100-1". NME.
  4. "British single certifications – Libertines – Time For Heroes". British Phonographic Industry . Retrieved 25 February 2024.