In an exclusive extract from his new book for Oxford University Press, Laurie Anderson's Big Science, Alex Reed looks back at the moment performance art collided with the pop charts.
Laurie Anderson’s 1982 debut LP Big Science opens as if her voice has been waiting for us to show up: “Good Evening. This is your captain.” In welcoming listeners to board the plane, to hear the album, and indeed to behold her career, she offers coolheaded assurance. This space is well-prepared. You are in good hands. On the album’s cover, she wears a suit and tie: everything is professional. Then she announces the plane is about to crash.