Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Anderson was born in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She attended Mills College in California, and eventually graduated from Barnard College magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, studying art history. In 1972, she obtained an MFA in sculpture from Columbia University.
She performed in New York through the 1970s, becoming more popularly known in 1981 with the single "O Superman", which reached number two on the national pop charts in Britain. "O Superman" was part of a larger stage work entitled United States and included on the following album Big Science . Her more recent stage work includes a multimedia presentation inspired by Moby-Dick. She starred in and directed the 1986 concert film, Home of the Brave, and also composed the soundtracks for the Spalding Gray films Swimming to Cambodia and Monster in a Box . Her varied career even included voice-acting in the animated film The Rugrats Movie. In 1994 she created a CD-ROM entitled Puppet Motel .
Anderson has collaborated with William Burroughs, Mitchell Froom, Peter Gabriel, Perry Hoberman, David Sylvian and boyfriend Lou Reed. She also worked with comedian Andy Kaufman in the late 1970s (with a romantic involvement hinted at in some of her spoken word performances about him).
Anderson, who rarely revisits older work (though themes and lyrics occasionally reappear) went on tour performing a selection of her best-known musical pieces in 2001. One of these performances was recorded in New York City only a week after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and included a stirring performance of "O Superman" which contained lyrics that almost seemed to predict the events of 9/11. This concert was released in early 2002 as the CD, Live in New York, which remains her most recent album release.
Rumors emerged of a possible new album release in the fall of 2004, but this turned out to be false as Anderson seems too busy mounting a succession of themed shows, as well as composing a piece for Expo 2005 in Japan.
- 1982 - Big Science
- 1984 - United States Live (box set)
- 1984 - Mister Heartbreak
- 1986 - Home of the Brave (soundtrack album)
- 1989 - Strange Angels
- 1994 - Bright Red
- 1995 - The Ugly One with the Jewels (spoken word)
- 2000 - Talk Normal (greatest hits collection)
- 2001 - Life on a String
- 2002 - Live in New York
The above list includes solo albums only, and doesn't include compilation albums that include works by Anderson and others, such as those released by Giorno Poetry Systems . Anderson also recorded a number of limited-release singles in the late 1970s, as well as a 12-inch single for "O Superman" in 1980.
- Laurie Anderson FAQ
- Eclectic Laurie Anderson visits Ames
- Artist's page in Artfacts.Net Laurie Anderson in the contemporary art world.
- Sound Zero: Laurie Anderson
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