Laurie Anderson – O Superman

American avant-garde musician Laurie Anderson released the single O Superman in October 1981. For a single, the track has an extraordinary length of 8 minutes and 21 seconds. It was a surprise commercial success for Laurie Anderson.

Official Music Video

  • Also known as: O Superman (For Massenet)
  • Month of release: October 1981
  • Type of music release: Single
  • From album: Big Science
  • Genre: Art pop, new wave, electronic
  • Label: Warner Bros., Nonesuch Records
  • Music video directors: Josh White
  • Music art director: Perry Hoberman
  • Video concept: Laurie Anderson

What music magazines wrote about 'O Superman'

The Guardian

"When O Superman became a hit, first in the UK and then elsewhere, Anderson claims to have been astonished."[1]


Andy Beta wrote in a Pitchfork review about the Moses Sumney cover of O Superman:
"In 'How to Wreck a Nice Beach' (...) there is a chapter that opens with Laurie Anderson's "O Superman", one of the most peculiar songs to ever dominate the Pazz & Jop critics poll and Top of the Pops."[2]

DJ Mag

"Originally a surprise UK hit in 1982, the seminal synthpop tune was pulled from Anderson's futuristic 'Big Science' album, (...)"[3]

Los Angeles Times

In an Los Angeles Times article about the American tenor Charles Holland, regarding the musical inspiration of O Superman, one can read:
"A few years earlier, Laurie Anderson had heard him sing “O Souverain” from Massenet’s “Le Cid” that she said was the inspiration for her hit recording “O Superman.”"[4]


[1] Atwood, M. (2021, April 8). ‘It has never been more pertinent’ – Margaret Atwood on the chilling genius of Laurie Anderson’s Big Science. The Guardian.

[2] Beta, A. (2015, July 16). Moses Sumney: “O Superman” (Laurie Anderson cover). Pitchfork.

[3] O'Loughlin, C. (2007, June 11). Laurie Anderson's 'O Superman' re-released!.

[4] Folkart, B. A. (1987, November 12). Obituaries : Charles Holland; Singer Fled Bias, Found Success - Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times.

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