25400-1 Home of the Brave
Produced by Roma Baran and Laurie Anderson
Released on 1986
Find it at GEMM
25400-1 cover
[high resolution photo]

T he first sunflower we see from Van Gogh is a revelation. By the third or fourth sunflower, they start to look like sunflowers and lose their alienage. This, Laurie’s fourth sunflower, was conceived as part of a staged performance. I saw it on television and it left me nonplussed, but I’m not the artiest animal on the ark either. Talking Heads had brought music to the stage with Stop Making Sense and Byrne’s collaboration with Twyla Tharp, The Catherine Wheel. That Anderson was now using some of the same musicians as the Heads (Adrian Belew, Dolette McDonald) made the David Byrne connection clearer. Byrne is more musical than Anderson, Anderson more verbal than Byrne, but their artistic sensibilities align nicely so that fans of the one should appreciate the other. Home of the Brave (the album) is even more musical than her last album, Mister Heartbreak. It’s still nontraditional rock music, but that I’m even calling it rock music is a leap forward. However, I’m not so much interested in what she has to play as what she has to say. The opening “Smoke Rings” (shades of Sylvia Plath) and “White Lily” are pure poetry, for my money the best things about Home of the Brave. “Talk Normal” to me seems incidental, “Sharkey’s Night” (different from the version on Heartbreak) noisy and indulgent. And the single from the album, “Language is a Virus,” lacks the subtlety that I most admire in her music. However, Home of the Brave isn’t after subtlety; it’s in your face, over the top, an intellectual circus. I came here looking for sunflowers, and found only a lone white lily alienated by noisome weeds of the unconscious. Any Laurie Anderson album has its share of revelations, but this may claim the smallest share. (Note that the filmed performance contained additional songs not found on this soundtrack.)

25400-1 back cover 25400-1 lyric sleeve
25400-1 back cover 25400-1 lyric sleeve


  1. SMOKE RINGS    7:00
  2. WHITE LILY    1:16
  3. LATE SHOW    4:30
  4. TALK NORMAL    5:27
  5. LANGUAGE IS A VIRUS    4:10
  6. RADAR    2:01
  7. SHARKEY'S NIGHT    6:16
  8. CREDIT RACKET    3:28

    All songs written by Laurie Anderson


LAURIE ANDERSON -- vocals, keyboards, Synclavier violin, Synclavier, violin, crowd
JOY ASKEW -- keyboards, Moog, Prophet, DX-7, vocals
ADRIAN BELEW -- guitar
RICHARD LANDRY -- saxophone, clarinet
DAVID VAN TIEGHEM -- percussion, drums
Tawatha Agee -- back-up vocals (5)
Robert Arron -- sax (5)
Isidro Bobadillo -- back-up vocals (7)
Knut Bohn -- crowd (5)
Jimmy Bralower-- drums
William S. Burroughs -- vocal sample (3)
Tom Durack -- crowd (5)
Diane Garisto -- back-up vocals (7)
Curtis King -- back-up vocals (5)
Bill Laswell -- bass animals (8), original version co-production on (7)
Daniel Ponce -- percussion (7)
Nile Rodgers -- guitar, keyboards, Synclavier, crowd, basic track production on (5)
Rob Sabino -- keyboards, morse code (1)
Frank Simms -- back-up vocals (5)
Brenda White-King -- back-up vocals (5)
Leanne Ungar -- engineer
Carolyn Cannon -- cover and innersleeve art direction/design
Les Fincher -- cover photos

US 1986 Warner Bros. LP/CS 25400-1/4 lyric sleeve
UK/GER 1986 Warner Bros. LP/CS 925 400-1/4 lyric sleeve
ARG 1986 WEA LP 80002 lyric sleeve
CAN 1986 Warner Bros. LP 92 54001 lyric sleeve
US/GER   Warner Bros. CD 25400  


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