ANDERSON dipped into the rock world by
producing a vinyl off shoot/aural
chronicle of her performance work.
States Parts I-IV' in its natural, live
setting (films, slides, music, performer
herself almost as prop) carried a range
of hinted possibilities, thought
provoking context shifts and enough of
the Charlie Chaplin (trademark of a
thousand other interviews subject in ill
fitting suit, neon violin bow taking
place of walking stick) in Laurie to
leave an audience both stunned and
The LP 'Big Science' and
the relentless wedge of 'Oh Superman'
which preceded it were, as records per
se, oddities. Possessed of a shadowy
black and white sparseness they lingered.
By the time 'Big Science'
was released here, Laurie was already
thinking of ways to make what might be
termed a record record.
To wit: 'Master
Heartbreak'. (That title! See cuttings of
60s girl groups scattered over floor and
Laurie Anderson in black leather on back
of motorbike riding across them.)
"This LP was the
first time I'd actually written something
for a record. On 'Big Science' I thought
of it as a kind of documentation. I
thought reverb was cheating! I thought it
should sound like it's coming direct from
the board as in performance without the
audience noise. And I thought that would
make it more intimate too in a way.
"It came out as the
opposite, cardboardy. I changed my mind,
decided that reverb wasn't cheating and I
really wanted things to be airy. 'Blue
Lagoon' and 'Langue Damour' were
from the 'United States' series but the
others I wrote in the summer right before
recording. They were specifically for the
disc. And that was so different."
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