The one album Björk thinks everyone should hear before they die
Bjork is a special talent in every sense of the word, her career trajectory is just about as unique you can get to boot. Since finding herself in the public eye in Iceland while still being very much a child, she has gone on to carve out a fascinating career that has always felt innovative and fresh so it should come as no surprise that her favourite album is an exceptional pick.
Since gaining international recognition in 1993 with her aptly titled debut solo album, Debut, after already being a name in her native Iceland for well over a decade, the last 27-years have seen the singer released nine albums in total and become a one of a kind generational talent.
Due to being in the industry for what is essentially her entire life, Björk has grown up in the public eye within the industry which has shaped her into an artist who lives and breathes creativity with every fibre of her being. From a young age, she has had a taste in music which you wouldn’t expect from a child with Björk fronting an all-girl punk band called Spit and Snot among other musical ventures from her childhood.
The musician is always finding influence in the crevises which others are looking past and because she has such a diverse range of inspiration, it is a reason why she manages to remain even more relevant as the years go on with Björk getting even wiser.
Two years ago, she got posed a question by NME which was: “What is the one album you need to hear before you die?”. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Björk opted to look outside of the box with her answer rather than going for a universally adored classic, instead opting to go for a cult album which affected her in such a positive manner as an adolescent when she first heard it. That choice was Sulk by Scottish post-punk heroes The Associates.
“My love affair with the Associates started when I was 15. I was looking for my identity as a singer and I really admired the way Billy Mackenzie used and manipulated his voice on that record. He was an incredibly spontaneous and intuitive singer, raw and dangerous,” Björk explained before adding, “At the same time, he always sounded like he was really plugged into nature. I’ve heard people describe him as a white soul singer, but I’ve always thought his voice was more pagan and primitive, and for me, that’s much more rare and interesting.”
The 1982 record in question, sold well at the time reaching number 10 in the UK Albums Chart and even stayed in the chart for 20 weeks in total. It was also crowned the album of the year by UK music magazine Melody Maker. The album should have been their breakthrough moment but they didn’t capitalise on it and it turned out to be the last album recorded by the original pairing of Alan Rankine and Billy Mackenzie, with Rankine departing four months after its release.