Performance art rocker.
Suggested First Purchase/album: Big Science
Suggested best of: Talk Normal--The Laurie Anderson Anthology
Big Science (1982) -- A very cool record highlighting Laurie Anderson's United States stage show (later released as a four CD set). Vocoders, dry delivery of spoken word, synthesizers, and all kinds of "cold, scientific" stuff makes the music more emotional, not less, showing that some people need different ways of expressing their emotion than big dramatic voices and dumb guitars. "O Superman" is the most famous track, and a definite highlight. B
Mister Heartbreak (1984) -- With the exception of the opening track, "Sharkey's Day" (which is as great as anything she's done to this point), this album is kind of boring. The spoken stuff on Big Science was more interesting and there was always pretty cool music backing it, but here the music is meandering and the subject matter is stuff like, you know, Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Peter Gabriel fans will enjoy his duet on "Excellent Birds," and Hunter Thompson fans (that doesn't include me) will enjoy his speaking on "Sharkey's Night." They site this album as her most accessible, so I guess I don't like accessible in my experimental musicians. C
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