O Superman (for Massenet) (8:27)

Cover of Talk Normal: The Laurie Anderson Anthology (disc 1)

From Talk Normal: The Laurie Anderson Anthology (disc 1) and 11 other releases

One line summary: It’s a classic, though many disagree!

This track uses very simple music yet succeeds to convey emotion.

The metronomic “Ha” vocalisation is too fast to represent a heartbeat, but the theme does seem to suggest that it could be just that - or the heartbeat of a nation dazzled by comic book heroes.

The lyrics are interesting too, but you could be forgiven for not keeping track as they’re delivered quite slowly… They seem to tell the story of a naive/wide-eyed populace, swept along by consumerism - not noticing that their tax dollars are being used to create a monster designed to rule the rest of the world. A loving, giving country on the one hand - giving its inhabitants comfort and hope, yet on the other, a mighty war machine which is set to devour freedom.

Some say that this is an amazing piece of pop art which has deep philosophical and political meaning.

Some say it’s eight and a half minutes of beeps and attention seeking.

What do you think?


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  • stringmanuk

    Amazing track from a unique performer - how much poorer we'd all be without boundary-bending music like this. Classic, funny, scary, arresting, and beautifully produced

    11 Dec 3:54pm Reply
  • ihavesoldout

    hAhAhAhAh Hi

    1 Dec 11:45pm Reply
  • TylerSymes

    How this got #2 in the charts makes no sense.

    11 Sep 8:19am Reply
  • Elkeringhausen


    16 Jun 10:07am Reply
  • maskedman101

    Imagine the scene. It's 1981. I'm at my grandmother's house in central England. It's almost midnight, and John Peel is about to end an edition of his inspirational BBC Radio 1 show. For the first time, he plays this imported single from a small New York label. I'm almost asleep, but suddenly I'm mesmerised. That percussive use of a brief vocal sample, and the curious vocoderised vocal jolt me back into consciousness. This is weird, sinister music, and I am spooked. The following night, Peel introduces his show by saying that all day long, he hasn't escaped from people asking what was that track you played at the end of the show last night? He started the show with it, and I was convinced it was a true classic. Amazingly, on commercial release, it made #2 on the UK singles chart. Unbelievable!

    2 Jun 8:33pm Reply
  • goodoldpink

    Can't get it of my mind. World is deeper when you listen to it.

    26 Feb 7:43pm Reply
  • Tom_Pullings

    One of the greatest pieces of music ever recorded actually.[2] I agree. The hand that takes...

    22 Jan 5:01pm Reply
  • bobgreen623

    I always got a sense of tragedy and alienation from this, but in an utterly captivating and beautiful way. something deep going on here way beyond the words.

    7 Jan 12:52pm Reply
  • Skooma714

    So you better get ready Ready to go You can come as you are But pay as you go Pay as you go.

    31 Dec 2013 Reply
  • InTuxedo


    30 Dec 2013 Reply
  • wendell3


    29 Oct 2013 Reply
  • craftycinematic


    7 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Nimbie


    23 Sep 2013 Reply
  • SuperflyJonson

    Some of the best music ever recorded.

    9 Aug 2013 Reply
  • ihavesoldout

    hi mom

    20 Jul 2013 Reply
  • FuturaDLX

    Brilliantly an actual song.

    28 Jun 2013 Reply
  • kiteo

    A terribly brilliant song.

    13 Jun 2013 Reply
  • sophiewilder

    Actually a brilliant song.

    5 May 2013 Reply
  • DinosaurSr69

    Actually a terrible song.

    20 Apr 2013 Reply
  • CubiqueZirqoni

    I just discovered this song and...wow. I'd never really paid much attention to Laurie prior to this but this is captivating.

    11 Apr 2013 Reply
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