Big Science (album)
- This article is about the Laurie Anderson album. For the BWO album, see Big Science (BWO album).
|Studio album by Laurie Anderson|
June 18, 2007 (reissue)
|Recorded||The Lobby, The Hit Factory, New York City|
|Genre||Avant-garde, experimental, pop|
Nonesuch/Elektra Records (reissue)
|Laurie Anderson chronology|
Big Science is the 1982 debut album by avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson and the first of a 7-album deal she signed with Warner Bros. Records. It is best known for the 8-minute epic "O Superman", which reached #2 in the UK. The album is minimalist and monochrome in sound, and like a great deal of Anderson's work is based largely on spoken word. It is a selection of highlights from her eight-hour production, United States Live, which was itself released as a 4-LP box set and book in 1984. United States Live was originally a performance piece, in which music was only one element. After Big Science music played a larger role in Anderson's work.
Although considered her debut album, Anderson had previously recorded one side of a 2-LP set titled You're the Guy I Want to Share My Money With, a collaboration released on Giorno Poetry Systems with William S. Burroughs and John Giorno. She had also contributed two pieces to a 1977 compilation of electronic music.
A newly remastered version of the album was released on 18 June 2007 by Nonesuch/Elektra Records with new liner notes, and, in the data portion of the CD, the bonus track "Walk the Dog" (B-Side of the original "O Superman" single) and the "O Superman" video.
The album has been sampled in a number of hip hop songs:
- "From the Air" was sampled by Mr. Lif in the song "Home of the Brave" on his Emergency Rations EP. The song deals with political repercussions of September 11, 2001, playing off the original song's description of a plane crash descending into New York City.
- "Raspberry Fields" by Cannibal Ox contains a sample from "Sweaters".
- "This about the City" by cLOUDDEAD contains a sample from the song "Big Science".
- Brief snippets of "O Superman" were used by Cut Chemist in the introduction to his song "Spat".
|Robert Christgau||A− |
Track listing 
All tracks by Laurie Anderson.
- "From the Air" – 4:29
- "Big Science" – 6:14
- "Sweaters" – 2:18
- "Walking & Falling" – 2:10
- "Born, Never Asked" – 4:56
- "O Superman (For Massenet)" – 8:21
- "Example #22" – 2:59
- "Let X=X/It Tango" – 6:51 ("Let X=X" – 3:51; "It Tango" – 3:01)
- Laurie Anderson – vocals, vocoder, farfisa organ, percussion, Oberheim OB-Xa, sticks, violins, electronics, keyboards, handclaps, whistling, marimba
- Roma Baran – farfisa bass, glass harmonica, sticks, handclaps, casiotone, accordion, whistling
- Perry Hoberman – bottles and sticks, handclaps, flute, sax, piccolo, backing vocals
- Bill Obrecht – alto sax
- Peter Gordon – clarinet, tenor sax
- David Van Tieghem – drums, rototoms, timpani, marimba, percussion
Additional personnel 
- Rufus Harley – bagpipes on 3
- Chuck Fisher – alto sax on 7, tenor sax on 7
- Richard Cohen – b-flat clarinet on 7, e-flat clarinet on 7, bass clarinet on 7, bassoon on 7, bari sax on 7
- Leanne Ungar – backing vocals on 7
- George Lewis – trombones
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- Susan McClary. "Laurie Anderson", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed September 1 2006), grovemusic.com (subscription access).
- Mason, Stewart. "Big Science". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2005.
- Christgau, Robert (June 1, 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide: Laurie Anderson: Big Science". The Village Voice. Posted at "Consumer Guide June 1, 1982". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 11 January 2012. Relevant portion also posted at "Laurie Anderson: Big Science > Consumer Guide Album". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 16 March 2006.
- Heselgrave, Douglas (September 23, 2007). "Laurie Anderson Big Science > Album Reissue Review". www.musicbox-online.com (Music Box) 14 (9). Retrieved 28 September 2007.
- Klein, Joshua (August 2, 2007). "Laurie Anderson Big Science > Album Reissue Review". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
- Holden, Stephen (June 10, 1982). "Laurie Anderson Big Science > Album Review". Rolling Stone (371). Archived from the original on 26 July 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2006.
- Big Science - Laurie Anderson > Charts & Awards > Billboard Album at Allmusic. Retrieved 16 March 2006.