Big Science (Laurie Anderson album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||April 19, 1982|
June 18, 2007 (reissue)
|Recorded||The Lobby, The Hit Factory, New York City|
|Genre||Avant-garde, art pop, electronic|
Nonesuch/Elektra Records (reissue)
|Laurie Anderson chronology|
|Singles from Big Science|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Village Voice||A−|
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 single "O Superman", which unexpectedly reached #2 in the UK. The work is a selection of highlights from her eight-hour production, United States Live, which was itself released as a 5-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.
Laurie Anderson enjoyed a surprise popular hit in the United Kingdom with O, Superman, in 1981. Her subsequent albums Big Science and Mister Heartbreak each sold between 100,000 and 125,000 copies domestically, and even the five-record United States - Live sold 40,000, according to Elliot Abbott, Miss Anderson's manager and the executive producer of Home of the Brave.  As of 1983 the album has sold 150,000 copies worldwide.  In 2018, Pitchfork named the album the 22nd best of the 1980s.
All tracks by Laurie Anderson.
- "From the Air" – 4:29
- "Big Science" – 6:25
- "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" – 6:52
- 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 saxophone
- Peter Gordon – clarinet, tenor saxophone
- David Van Tieghem – drums, rototoms, timpani, marimba, percussion
- Additional personnel
- Rufus Harley – bagpipes on 3
- Chuck Fisher – alto and tenor saxophone on 7
- Richard Cohen – b-flat clarinet on 7, e-flat clarinet on 7, bass clarinet on 7, bassoon on 7, baritone saxophone on 7
- Leanne Ungar – backing vocals on 7
- George Lewis – trombones
|1982||New Zealand Albums||8|
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- Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
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[T]he broader themes of alienation and disconnection, as voiced in deadpan manner on 'From the Air' still resonate ...
- Christgau, Robert (June 1, 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
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- "Artforum.com". www.artforum.com.
- "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s - Feature - Slant Magazine".
- Freedman, Samuel G. "MAINSTREAM CATCHES AVANT-GARDE".
- Shewey, Don. "THE PERFORMING ARTISTRY OF LAURIE ANDERSON".
- "The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s - Page 9". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
- Big Science - Laurie Anderson > Charts & Awards > Billboard Album at AllMusic. Retrieved 16 March 2006.