NOW PLAYING: 'DEBUT' BY BJORK...
Ahhh, another time and a place record. This one takes me back to starting Uni, bouncing around in a pair of Dr Martens, wearing a leather coat I won in a raffle and sporting a t-shirt completely covered with a picture of Bjork’s face from the ‘Big Time Sensuality’ video - heady times!
When I first heard this album I found it difficult to get into as it bounced around from genre to genre which initially put me off. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I think this is probably its best feature.
It can go from a delicate vocal and harp jazz song (Like Someone In Love) to a blissed-out trip-hop track (One Day) then go all funky techno (‘There’s More To Life Than This - Live At The Milky Bar Toilets’) which in turn morphs into an a capella track in the middle as she goes to the toilet to sing about nicking a boat and sneaking off to an island with a ghetto-blaster!
The singles on this album are truly top draw. Those pounding drums at the start of ‘Human Behaviour’ get me every time, ‘Big Time Sensuality’ is a worldy, and every time I hear ‘Violently Happy’ I want to go out and throw some shapes!
I swoon whenever I hear ‘Venus As A Boy’, a beautiful pop song made up of heavy bass, quirky samples and delicious strings all coated in Björk’s quirky vocals.
There are other cracking songs on the album that I’d forgotten about like ‘Come To Me’ with its mellow, spaced-out vibes and elsewhere there are snippets of weird jazz on tracks like ‘Aeroplane’ where she laments her long-distance relationship and also on ‘The Anchor Song’ where she sings about deciding to live in the ocean rather than on land (as far as I can tell).
The only downside to this album is that the stunning ‘Play Dead’ isn’t on the record. The track was co-written by Jah Wobble and David Arnold (a composer who has completed the score for 5 James Bond films) and featured in the film ‘The Young Americans'. It is on the CD but not the vinyl sadly
On the back of my Björk t-shirt, it said “It takes courage, to enjoy it” and maybe she is right, there are parts of this album which initially sound batshit crazy, but stick with it and you are rewarded with a stunningly eclectic record.
If you fancy a copy it is available for about £25 all over the place. An original 1993 pressing will cost about £60 over on eBay, as will the putty-coloured HMV Centenary rerelease.
Tracks To Try: Any of them