Open Your Ears

Spend a little while making small talk at a party and eventually someone will ask you to name your favorite recording artist… But for a music geek giving a definitive answer is not unlike being asked which one of your children is your favourite! After a bit of “umming” and “ahhing” with a suitably furrowed brow I will often answer: Björk.

I’ve been a fan of Björk since the first time I saw the video for Big Time Sensuality. Not only was my thirteen year old brain accosted by the sight of what appeared to be some kind of space-pixie cavorting on the back of a truck, but I was captivated by that voice and wait a minute, did she just meow?!

I’m not really one to get star-struck and if you work in broadcast centers for many years you tend to become somewhat blasé about spotting celebrities. However on the one occasion when I saw Björk while walking into a radio station I was so excited I walked straight into a door! Thus blowing my one chance at looking cool in front of my musical hero…

Björk has produced a number of wildly differing albums over her career and it can be somewhat difficult for the baffled newcomer to know where to start, especially as some of her albums (such as Medulla or Drawing Restraint #9) are really not for everyone. For this reason I decided to just give a quick glimpse of each, to provide lots of ways for you to start exploring her sound. Maybe you’ve heard a few of her hits. Perhaps you’ve taken a quick like or dislike to her but are curious to explore further. Or maybe you’re asking yourself “who is Björk?”. Whatever the case, I hope the guide below will serve as a kind of Björk introduction!

A Brief Guide To Björk’s Discography

The Great Crossover PotentialSpotifyiTunesAmazon
Before going solo Björk sang with The Sugarcubes, and their greatest hits album features “Birthday”, the first track to really showcase Björk’s astonishing vocal pyrotechnics. It also includes “Hit”, which was their first breakthrough single in the UK.

DebutSpotifyiTunesAmazon
As the title suggests, this was the first Björk solo album. It’s also the most conventional album in terms of production and spawned the huge hits “Venus as a boy”, “Human Behaviour” and “Big Time Sensuality”. It featured cutting edge (for 1993!) trip-hop/dance production, courtesy of Nele Hooper. The two curveballs are the epic “Play Dead” (produced by future Bond composer David Arnold) and “The Anchor Song” which features the unusual sound of a Saxophone Trio.

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