Björk Guðmundsdóttir is best known for her single; It’s Oh So Quiet as well as her eccentric dress sense (watch out Lady Gaga!) but has anyone actally heard a peep from her over the past few years?
Brought up in Reykjavík, Iceland, Bjork, like most successful musicians, begun her music career at the tender age of just 11 when she studied the piano at school. However, that didn’t last long as she started to be influenced by punk music at 14 and formed an all-girl punk band Spit and Snot. Lovely.
After she had grown up and trod the boards in a couple of band, Bjork formed the Sugarcubes, and their debut single, Ammæli" (meaning "Birthday" in Icelandic, became her first hit here in the UK and it want’s long until they gained a cult following in the U.S. and UK, and calls from large record companies began coming in.
Their debut album, Life's Too Good, was recorded in in 1988 and with it came international stardom, which at the time, was unknown for any an Icelandic rock band. However, with most bands, nothing lasts forever, and in 1992 the dream was over and Bjork went solo.
After the disbanding of the Sugarcubes, Björk moved to London to pursue a solo career which saw her begin working with producer Nellee Hooper, and together they created her first solo hit, Human Behaviour. Which was followed by her well-received solo album, Debut, in June of 1993.
Starting as she meant to go on, Björk won the awards for Best International Female and Best International Newcomer at the 1994 BRIT awards, cementing herself as one of the stars to watch over the coming months.
She followed up Debut with Post, which was released in June of 1995 and showed her keen interest in dance and techno sounds by working with big names such as Nellee Hooper, Tricky, Graham Massey of 808 State, and electronica producer Howie B.
Despite it not being in my CD collection, Post made it to number 26 on Spin's "100 Greatest Albums, 1985–2005" whilst in 2003, the album was ranked number 373 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
However, she continued to excel herself, and in 1997, the album Homogenic was released which showed a change in style from her earlier work and is regarded as one of Björk's most experimental and extroverted works to date.
It's Oh So Quiet
No article about Bjork can go without a mention of the single that defines her though, It’s Oh So Quiet, which is a renamed cover of the Betty Hutton song "Blow a Fuse" and remains her biggest hit to date.
Although it still gets shed loads of airplay, it’s usually only popular around Christmas time, simply because it was released and peaked during the Christmas season in 1995.
Where is she now?
Well in 2007 Björk contributed a cover of Joni Mitchell's song "The Boho Dance" to the tribute album A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, and released her sixth full-length studio album, Volta, on May 7 before heading out on an 18 month tour.
Last year a new Björk track was discovered under the title Náttúra on eBay.com on October 27 2008 and was composed especially to encourage active support for a more environmental approach to Iceland’s natural resources than those suggested by parties who are aloof and blind to the consequences of their actions. Right Bjork, but it featured backing vocals from Thom Yorke of Radiohead.
Bjork has a new DVD package coming out in June and then she is starting work on her next studio album but it is very early days so no further info on content or release dates at this stage.
Bjork, wherever she may be, will always be a little star to us!
FemaleFirst - Ruth Harrison
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