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Burroughs, William S.: Ali's Smile [VINYL] (Paradigm Discs)

Two sides of author and narrative performer William S. Burroughs: the first official reissue of Ali's Smile, a 1-sided LP released in 1971 in an edition of 99 copies, pressed to help the Unicorn Bookshop fight off an obscenity lawsuit; then 30 minutes of audio tape recorded in 1963 by Burroughs in answer to questions mailed to him by a freelance journalist.

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product information:

Released in an edition of 1000 with sleeve notes on a numbered insert.

UPC: 769791978560

Label: Paradigm Discs
Catalog ID: PD 036LP
Squidco Product Code: 30373

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: E.U.
Packaging: LP
Recorded in 1963, by William S. Burroughs. Ali's Smile released in 1971 on vinyl on the Unicorn Books imprint & label as catalog code UB LP 1.


William S. Burroughs-text, voice

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Artist Biographies:

"William Seward Burroughs II (/ˈbʌroʊz/ BURR-ohz; also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 - August 2, 1997) was an American novelist, short story writer, satirist, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who wrote in the paranoid fiction genre, and his influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

He was born into a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the inventor and founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence, but did not begin publicizing his writing until his thirties. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studied English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and later attended medical school in Vienna. In 1942 Burroughs enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve during World War II, but was turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and Navy, after which he picked up the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life, while working a variety of jobs. In 1943, while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and out of their mutual influence grew the foundation of the Beat Generation, which was later a defining influence on the 1960s counterculture.

Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris and Tangier in Morocco, as well as from his travels in the South American Amazon. Burroughs accidentally killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer, in 1951 in Mexico City with a pistol during a drunken "William Tell" game; he was consequently convicted of manslaughter. Burroughs found success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), but he is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a highly controversial work that was the subject of a court case after it was challenged as being in violation of the U.S. sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961-1964).

In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift", a reputation he owes to his "lifelong subversion" of the moral, political, and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War", while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius".

Burroughs had one child, William S. Burroughs, Jr. (1947-1981), with his second wife Joan Vollmer. William Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas, after suffering a heart attack in 1997."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:


1. Ali's Smile 20:58

2. Pry Yourself Loose... 6:43


1. ...And Listen 2:58

2. What Are Words? 1:12

3. Nova Mythology 4:24

4. Reading From The Ticket That Exploded 3:37

5. Cut-up And Fold-in Techniques 4:37

6. Virus 4:35

7. Association Blocks 2:04
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"This record is divided into 2 sections. The first part is the title track and takes up most of side 1. Ali's Smile was first published in 1971 and was privately released as a one sided LP, in an edition of 99 copies. It came in a plain sleeve with a hardback copy of the spoken text, and was sold exclusively through Unicorn Bookshop in Brighton, UK. Bill Butler, the bookshop owner, was still paying off a viciously punitive fine and associated court costs imposed in 1968 after a guilty verdict in an obscenity trial. Burroughs, a 'fellow American', was only too happy to help out by letting him have the rights to the recording. Rumours abound as to how many copies of the LP actually sold and how many were damaged after having been left on a heater, but, whatever the facts, this magnanimous gesture would still have been very handy. This is the first official reissue of this lost audio recording. A tale of revenge, heartless cruelty and amulet power, muddied with frequent recourse to Scientological references.

The rest of the LP is taken up with 30 minutes of audio tape supplied by Burroughs in answer to various questions mailed to him by a freelance journalist. It also includes several readings from material he was working on at the time. The recordings date from 1963, which places them as some of (if not the), earliest in depth recordings of his readings and thoughts. As this material dates from just before the publication of Nova Express, much of it serves as a useful companion and commentary on his Nova mythology. In the end only about 10 minutes of this material ever got broadcast, and was used as part of an illustrated talk on the BBC's Third Programme."-Paradigm Discs

Released in an edition of 1000 with sleeve notes on a numbered insert.
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