Click an Image to Buy Album
Björk first came to prominence as one of the lead vocalists of the avant-pop Icelandic sextet the Sugarcubes, but when she launched a solo career after the group's 1992 demise, she quickly eclipsed her old band's popularity. Instead of following in the Sugarcubes' arty guitar rock pretensions, Björk immersed herself in dance and club culture, working with many of the biggest names in the genre, including Nellee Hooper, Underworld, and Tricky. Debut, her first solo effort (except for an Icelandic-only smash released when she was just 11 years old), not only established her new artistic direction, but it became an international hit, making her one of the '90s most unlikely stars.
Björk's musical tastes were changed by the punk revolution of the late '70s; in 1979, she formed a post-punk group called Exodus and, in the following year, she sang in Jam 80. In 1981, Björk and Exodus bassist Jakob Magnusson formed Tappi Tikarrass, which released an EP, Bitid Fast I Vitid, on Spor later that year; it was followed by the full-length Miranda in 1983. Following Tappi Tikarrass, she formed the goth-tinged post-punk group KUKL with Einar Orn Benediktsson. KUKL released two albums, The Eye (1984) and Holidays in Europe (1986), on Crass Records before the band metamorphosed into the Sugarcubes in the summer of 1986.
The Sugarcubes became one of the rare Icelandic bands to break out of their native country when their debut album, Life's Too Good, became a British and American hit in 1988. For the next four years, the group maintained a successful cult following in the U.K. and the U.S. while they were stars within Iceland. During 1990, Björk recorded a set of jazz standards and originals with an Icelandic bebop group called Trio Gudmundar Ingolfssonar. The album, Gling-Gló, was released only in Iceland. By 1992, tensions between Björk and Einar had grown substantially, which resulted in the band splitting apart.
Following the breakup of the group, Björk moved to London, where she began pursuing a dance-oriented solo career. The previous year, she had sung on 808 State's "Ooops," which sparked her interest in club and house music. Björk struck up a working relationship with Nellee Hooper, a producer who had formerly worked with Soul II Soul and Massive Attack. The first result of their partnership was "Human Behaviour," which was released in June of 1993. "Human Behaviour" became a Top 40 hit in the U.K., setting the stage for the surprising number three debut of the full-length album, Debut. Throughout 1993, Björk had hit U.K. singles -- including "Venus as a Boy," "Big Time Sensuality," and the non-LP "Play Dead," a collaboration with David Arnold taken from the film Young Americans -- as well as modern rock radio hits in the U.S., and in both countries she earned rave reviews. At the end of the year, NME magazine named Debut the album of the year, while she won International Female Solo Artist and Newcomer at the BRIT Awards; Debut went gold in the U.S. and platinum in the U.K.
Homogenic, her most experimental studio effort to date, followed later that same year and spawned many remix releases in the next few years to follow. In the spring of 2000, she was named Best Actress by jurors at the Cannes Film Festival for her work in Lars von Trier's Palme d'Or-winning Dancer in the Dark. Selmasongs, her score for the film, reunited Björk with her Homogenic collaborator Mark Bell and arrived in the fall of 2000, just in time for Dancer in the Dark's U.S. release. The full-length follow-up, Vespertine, was released one year later. She released a Greatest Hits collection and the Family Tree box set late in 2002. After performing a few dates in 2003, Björk geared up for a busy 2004, which included the release of her all-vocals and vocal samples-based album Medúlla and a performance of one of its songs, "Oceania," at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The soundtrack to Drawing Restraint 9, a film by multimedia artist Matthew Barney, arrived in 2005 and also featured contributions from Will Oldham. 2007's Volta returned to the more playful, percussive side of Björk's music and included collaborations with Timbaland, Toumani Diabaté, Antony Hegarty, and an all-female Icelandic choir.
This information is provided as a brief overview and not as a definitive guide, there are other sources on the net for that. If however you have a story or information that is not generally known we would love to hear from you. Content@rokpool.com
Why Not Check Out: