Deep Album Cuts Vol. 277: Bjork


Bjork's new album Fossora is out next week, so it felt like a good occasion to look back at her amazing catalog. 

Bjork deep album cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. One Day
2. Come To Me
3. The Anchor Song
4. The Modern Things
5. You've Been Flirting Again
6. Enjoy
7. Unravel
8. Pluto
9. 5 Years
10. In The Musicals
11. I've Seen It All (with Thom Yorke)
12. Aurora
13. It's Not Up To You
14. Oceania
15. Pleasure Is All Mine
16. I See Who You Are
17. Mutual Core
18. Quicksand
19. Utopia

Tracks 1, 2 and 3 from Debut (1993)
Tracks 4, 5 and 6 from Post (1995)
Tracks 7, 8 and 9 from Homogenic (1997)
Tracks 10 and 11 from Selmasongs (2000)
Tracks 12 and 13 from Vespertine (2001)
Tracks 14 and 15 from Medulla (2004)
Track 16 from Volta (2007)
Track 17 from Biophilia (2011)
Track 18 from Vulnicura (2015)
Track 19 from Utopia (2017)

Bjork actually released two solo albums before 1993, one as a child in 1977 and one in 1990, and her band The Sugarcubes were essentially Iceland's biggest musical export until she went solo. But obviously Debut is where her proper solo career begins. And let me just say, The Sugarcubes made some awesome music, I definitely would've thought about including stuff from their albums if Bjork had shorter songs or fewer albums. 

When we talk about electronic music, things are often polarized between the underground subcultures and the big lucrative crossover EDM world. But I think Bjork deserves a lot of credit as a figure who bridged different worlds, a huge star who became a gateway to the experimental side of electronic music for a lot of people. Her albums featured work with Nellee Hooper, Tricky, Matmos, and Arca, as well as the amazing avant garde harp player Zeena Parkins, whose '90s improv records had made me a fan and I was really excited when Bjork decided to work with her on Vespertine. And Bjork also self-produced some great stuff like "You've Been Flirting Again" and "Pleasure Is All Mine." 

"I've Seen It All" was nominated for an Oscar (the year Bjork wore her famous swan dress, of course). "Oceania" was composed for the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy and sampled on a really entertaining E-40 song, "Spend The Night." And a ton of people have covered "Unravel," including Thom Yorke, Okkervil River, and Something Corporate. I've seen some memes on Twitter this year where clips of "Pluto" are kind of used as a shorthand for the craziest, harshest, most abrasive music someone could think of, or an example of how weird Bjork's music is, which is kind of funny, that song kicks ass.

Bjork's most performed deep cuts include "Pluto," "The Anchor Song," "5 Years," "You've Been Flirting Again," "Unravel," "Come To Me," "Pleasure Is All Mine," "Mutual Core," and "One Day." I think my personal favorite, at least of her deep cuts, is "The Modern Things." I also forgot how much I love "In The Musicals." Growing up, my brother and I sort of had a shared CD collection, and he was the one who'd buy all the Bjork albums in the '90s, though I enjoyed listening to them too. And since then I haven't kept up as closely with everything Bjork has released. So it was fun to catch up a bit and verify that she's continued making great unique music all through her career. 

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