Björk, the Icelandic pop iconic whose career spans four-decades of complete originality, has been plying her trade from an obscenely young age despite, it has to be said, suffering from early disappointment.
Born and raised in Reykjavík, the pure dominance of Björk’s musical talent led to her beginning her music career at age 11, first gaining international recognition as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes.
However, prior to her joining the band and significantly raising her profile, Björk had set about recording her music alone as a child singer, releasing the album on December 18th, 1977. While the record is unofficially credited as Björk’s first solo album, she decided not to include it in her official solo discography, hence why the 1993 release of Debut is accepted as her first legitimate record.
The process of the 11-year-old Björk recording the album—which has since been given the working name of Björk (album)—began after she appeared on Icelandic radio singing the song ‘I Love to Love’ thanks to an opportunity which arose at the music school in which she was studying at. From that moment, Björk picked up a record deal with the help of her stepfather Sævar.
The record composed of 10 songs which blended some original songs and a selection of cover songs, most of which were translated into Icelandic. Most prominently, The Beatles track ‘The Fool on the Hill’ was translated into ‘Álfur Út Úr Hól’ and Stevie Wonder’s song ‘Your Kiss Is Sweet’ became Björk’s song ‘Búkolla’.
While the album received somewhat negative reviews, Björk was offered a second album through the label but she decided turned down the opportunity and instead spent the money on a piano in order to create her own material.
The record was released in limited edition vinyl and cassette with just 7000 copies being made. While her stepfather Sævar helped write some of the original songs on the album, her mother Hildur Hauksdóttir joined in and designed the cover and the photo was taken at a local Reykjavík studio.
Below you can stream the record, view the artwork and see the tracklisting.
Bjork first album track listing:
- ‘Arabadrengurinn (The Arab Boy)’
- ‘Búkolla (Your Kiss Is Sweet)’
- ‘Alta Mira’
- ‘Jóhannes Kjarval’
- ‘Fúsi Hreindýr’
- ‘Álfur Út Úr Hól (The Fool on the Hill)’
- ‘Bænin (Christopher Robin)’