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Laurie Anderson – Mister Heartbreak
(Warner Bros Records  1984  9250771)
Matrix No’s: A2/B2

Sleeve & Inner Sleeve in Nr MINT condition

Vinyl in Nr MINT condition

Mister Heartbreak is the second album by avant-garde artist, singer and composer Laurie Anderson, released in 1984.

Like its predecessor, it contains reworked elements of Anderson’s United States (“Langue d’Amour,” “Kokuku,” (musical elements from “Rising Sun”) and “Blue Lagoon.” However, Anderson also introduced new material (“Sharkey’s Day”/”Sharkey’s Night” and “Gravity’s Angel”) while “Excellent Birds,” written in collaboration with Peter Gabriel, was written for a 1984 project for video artist Nam June Paik called Good Morning, Mr. Orwell.

“Gravity’s Angel” borrows imagery from Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Anderson had “wanted to make an opera of that book … and asked him if that would be OK… He said, ‘You can do it, but you can only use banjo.’ And so I thought, ‘Well, thanks. I don’t know if I could do it like that.’.”. “Blue Lagoon” contains allusions to other tales of the sea (William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Ariel’s song) and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick).

Considered more mainstream than its predecessor, Big Science, the album’s lead track, “Sharkey’s Day” formed the basis of a popular music video. Author William S. Burroughs read the lyrics of the closing track, “Sharkey’s Night”, while Peter Gabriel provided backing vocals on “Excellent Birds”, an alternate version of which, titled “This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)”, also appeared on his album So. A third version of the song can be heard in the music-video version, directed by Dean Winkler.

Most of the songs on this album were later performed in Anderson’s 1986 concert film Home of the Brave. Burroughs appears in that film and appears in two brief segments reciting lines from “Sharkey’s Night”, although it is Anderson herself who performs a complete version of the song at the film’s conclusion. “Sharkey’s Night” featured in the Australian short Documentary film ‘Ladies Please!’ (1995).

Track listing

All songs written by Laurie Anderson except as indicated.

Side one

  1. “Sharkey’s Day” – 7:41
  2. “Langue d’Amour” – 6:12
  3. “Gravity’s Angel” – 6:02

Side two

  1. “Kokoku” – 7:03
  2. “Excellent Birds” (Anderson, Peter Gabriel) – 3:12
  3. “Blue Lagoon” – 7:03
  4. “Sharkey’s Night” – 2:29


  • Laurie Anderson – vocals, synclavier; violin (on tracks 1, 7); whistle (1); vocoder, electronic conches (2); bell (3); percussion (4)
  • Bill Laswell – bass (except 2)
  • Adrian Belew – guitar (1, 3, 6, 7)
  • Anton Fier – drums (1, 7); toms, wood block (4)

Additional personnel

  • Peter Gabriel – backing vocals (2, 3); vocals, synclavier and Linn drum (5)
  • David Van Tieghem – plywood, singing bowls, drums, Simmons (3); steel drum, gato, bamboo (6)
  • Daniel Ponce – percussion (1, 7)
  • November (Michelle Cobbs, Dollette McDonald, Brenda Nelson) – backing vocals (1)
  • Sang-Won Parkkayagum (4)
  • Connie Harvey and Janet Wright– Japanese chorus (4)
  • Phoebe Snow and Atsuko Yuma– backing vocals (4)
  • Nile Rodgers – guitar (5)
  • Bill Blaber – soprano saxophone (6)
  • William S. Burroughs – vocals (7)
Weight 1.00000000 kg


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