Saturday, February 14, 2015

Björk Marathon: The First Album

So here begins the Björk marathon that I can finally enjoy in celebration of the March Madness to come! Every record and DVD I'll mention is part of my collection, and yes, her works cover the entire top shelf of my book shelf (if I had a camera I'd take a picture of it, but I don't, so you'll just have to use your imagination!). To kick off this marathon, it has to start with The First Album.

In 1976, at only 11 years old, Björk was a national child prodigy in Iceland! On TV, she read the Nativity Story, and on Iceland's only radio station at the time, RÚV, her first ever recorded song, Tina Charles' "I Love to Love", made its debut!

"I Love to Love" led her to a record deal with the (now defunct) Icelandic record label, Fálkinn. Also with the help of her stepdad, she released her first solo album, self-titled Björk.

This would be the album that would make Björk a national celebrity in her country. Why? Well, it's a pretty fun, folksy, and poppy record with some very 70's disco in the mix. It's a record of its time, very much frozen in its time, and that's part of the charm of it. All of the songs are sung in Icelandic of course, and it includes song covers such as Stevie Wonder's "Your Kiss Is Sweet" (which is translated in Icelandic to "Búkolla") and The Beatles' "The Fool on the Hill" ("Álfur Út Úr Hól").

My personal favorites from this record are:


Jóhannes Kjarval

This is the only song on this record that was written and performed by Björk herself! 

Álfur Út Úr Hól

Thanks to the Internet, you can listen to the entire album here.

Isn't it adorable? Not to mention impressive. This was one talented little person doing big things at only eleven! I don't even remember what I was doing then, certainly nothing like this. The album became so big in Iceland that she was offered the chance to record a second album, but she turned it down in favor of taking the money. She ran, bought herself a piano, and recorded songs of her own.

And the rest is history...