[ Nonesuch / Warner / LP ]
Release Date: Friday 9 April 2021
Laurie Anderson's 1982 debut album, Big Science, will return to vinyl for the first time in thirty years with a new red vinyl edition. The vinyl includes the remastered original album first released on CD for the 25th anniversary of Big Science on Nonesuch in 2007.
In the early 1980s, Laurie Anderson was already respected as a conceptual artist and composer, adept at employing gear both high-tech and homemade in her often violin-based pieces, and she was a familiar figure in the cross-pollinating, Lower Manhattan music-visual art-performance circles from which Philip Glass and David Byrne also emerged. While working on her now-legendary seven-hour performance art/theatre piece United States, Part I-IV, she cut the spare "O Superman (For Massenet)," an electronic-age update of 19th century French operatic composer Jules Massenet's aria "O Souverain," for the tiny New York City indie label 110 Records. In the UK, DJ John Peel picked up a copy of this very limited-edition 33⅓ RPM 7" and spun the eight-minute-plus track on BBC Radio 1. The exposure resulted in an unlikely #2 hit, lots of attention in the press, and a worldwide deal with Warner Bros. Records.
At the time of its original release, the NME wrote of Big Science, "There's a dream-like, subconscious quality about her songs which helps them work at deeper, secret levels of the psyche." With instrumentation ranging from tape loops to found sounds to bag pipes, Big Science anticipated the tech-savvy beats, anything-goes instrumentation and sample-based nature of much contemporary electronic and dance music.
A1. From The Air
A2. Big Science
A4. Walking & Falling
A5. Born, Never Asked
B1. O Superman (For Massenet)
B2. Example #22
B3. Let X=X / It Tango