Marking the years in the history of Björk Guðmundsdóttir

1965 - November 21st

Baby Björk
The birth of Björk!
- Mother: Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir
- Father: Guðmundur Gunnarsson

The last name Guðmundsdóttir literally means Gudmundsdaughter; all in ancient Icelandic tradition of having dad's first name as your last name and adding whether you are the son or daughter! Everybody in Iceland is on a first-name basis and are even listed by their first name in the telephone catalogue!
Her family has nowadays extended to:
- Stepfather: Sævar Árnason
- 3 sisters: one named Inga Hrönn, others unknown
- 3 brothers: one named Árnar, others unknown
- Grandparents: Gunnar, Godrun, Haukur & Hallfridur
- Son: Sindri Eldon Þórsson

Previous known relationships:
- Exhusband: Þór Eldon Jónsson - Sugarcubes member
- Óskar Jónasson - video director for the Sugarcubes
- Dominic Thrupp (a.k.a. Dom T)- DJ
- Stéphane Sednaoui - music video director
- Adrian Thaws (a.k.a. Tricky) - DJ
- Goldie - jungle musician
- Howie Bernstein - DJ

Björk was born musical. Getting goosepimples from
songs at the age of one and knowing the whole set
of songs from Sound Of Music by heart at the age
of two, that laid the ground for a long relationship
with the wonders of music.


Young Björk playing the flute
Björk attends, at the age of five, to the
local music school Barnamúsíkskóli
Reykjavíkur - a school she would  be
dedicating her next ten years to, and
besides singing, learning to play the
piano and the flute.


Björk has appeared on national radio singing "I Love
To Love", which lead her to a record deal and Björk,
with the help of stepdad Sævar, releases her very first
solo album!

'Björk' - the very first release!Title: Björk
Released: 1977
Label: Fálkinn
Formats: LP and cassette
Success: platinum

It depicts Björk sitting as an Arab princess cross-legged
on an oriental carpet, surrounded by objects from far
away and mystical, bountiful countries!

The songs were a mixture of  covers translated into Icelandic, like  the Beatles hit "Fool On The Hill" ('Alfur Út Úr Hól') and Stevie Wonder's song "Your Kiss Is
Young Björk in the studioSweet" ('Búkolla'), but it also contained some songs written specifically for the album, like the title song "Arabadrengurinn" ('The Arab Boy') written by stepdad Sævar, and one instrumental flute-tribute to Icelandic painter Jóhannes Kjarval written by none other than 11-yearold Björk herself!

The album went platinum and she was offered the chance to do a second album, but that sort of fame didn't bring her any joy, with her just being a child and having the other children either kissing up to her or teasing her, so she turned them down.

With the money she earned she bought herself a piano and started composing new songs of her own.


Being a girl who knew what she wanted and often went her own way, Björk thrived on the new trend from across the sea - PUNK!

Forming an all-girl band in the spirit of the Sex Pistols, under the title "Spit and Snot"; Björk - with orange hair and shaved-off eyebrows - took the position as drummer and rebelling against cute sissy feminist girls who don't have the guts to DO things. After a while, the quite limited range punk offered bored Björk and she moved on to join the next band sensation to offer her the next thrill.


EXODUS was the next step - a jazz fusion group Björk and her friends Ásgeir Sæmundsson and Thorvaldur Thorvalsson that lasted a garage-recorded cassette and a TV appearance.

Her next step, the collaboration JAM 80, lasted even shorter. One gig and nobody remembers what they sounded like. But Björk continued to experiment, and there was no rest between the sampling of popcorn-machines and granddad's snoring!

Björk graduated from music school at the age of 15, being the only student to have followed through all the 10 years of education.


- and then there was Tappi Tíkarrass!

This was pure punk pop which, according to the bassist's dad "fit like a cork in a bitch's ass!" - and that's exactly what the name Tappi Tíkarrass means - or more precisely "Cork the bitch's ass".

Releasing 2 albums and appearing in a couple of
films, most famous the Icelandic documentary "Rokk Í
Rokk Í ReykjavíkReykjavík" with 2 songs, Björk also became the cover girl of the video. Tappi later on played allot alongside two other bands, Purrkurr Pillnikk and Þeyr. A noticeable member of Purrkurr Pillnikk was singer / trumpeter Einar Örn Benediktsson.

By that time, Björk had met Þór Eldon and fallen in love for the very first time!

Björk and Didda © WebSense - www.bjork.comAlso, when Björk was 17, she and her friend Didda, the poet, decided to get a matching pair of tattoo's on their left arms. They chose a 1000-year-old rune compass consisting of specific runes, 'so that I always know where I'm going. It means I will never get lost in fog, and I never have!", Björk says.

They went to the only tattoo parlor in Iceland and had
the same thing done. "It was a bit of a ritual
Tatto behind Björks earexperience", she said. Later on she had another tattoo done; "A spidery design behind the ear which is a symbol I made for KUKL."


Tappi Tíkarrass has just about explored every possibility of the band and disbanded - with Björk already moving on by playing the keyboard and singing in bar room coverband Cactus for two summers, as well as being part of a world record attempt of longest live gig with Stigrim, and later on doing backing vocals and drumming for Rokka Rokka Drum.

"Story Of The Eye" by BatailleBjörk also discovers a very special book that she has said changed her life. It is, of course, Batailles "Story Of The Eye", a book about teenagers on a mission, about sex, passions, perversions, murder, eyeballs, testicles and eggs! It is a very intense story, and if you have the passion and the stomach for it, you can read the transcribed book here.

An Icelandic DJ was going to go off the air, and wanted to do so with a bang, so he gathered the cutting-edge Icelandic artists to play live on his very last show. They were Einar Örn and Einar Melax from Purrkurr Pillnikk, Gulli Óttarson, Siggi Baldursson and Birgir Morgensen from Þeyr and Björk. After writing songs and
rehearsing for two weeks they performed under the name KUKL, which means 'sorcery' or 'witchcraft' in medieval Icelandic.
The band hit it off so good that they decided to stick to that group! They played some sort of dark Goth, but Björk has described it as: "Hardcore existential punk music!" In KUKL, Björk started to take the shape we see her in today, in her ways of expressing herself musically - her trademark way of
singing, with all the howls and shrieks we know her by.

After a while they got signed on the crass label under the management Derek Birkett, and started to go allot overseas, reaching a bigger crowd. One of their more notable wellknown fans was David Bowie!


The EyeKUKL releases two albums, first 'The Eye' - title referring to Björk's old favorite book 'Story Of The Eye', and later the same year they also recorded 'Holidays In Europe (The Naughty Nought)' although it wasn't released until the year after.
They were only released on vinyl records, but they
Holidays In Europe (The Naughty Nought)were re-released in 1997 in CD format - to everyone's delight, since the original vinyl's have become a hard-to-find and expensive collectors items!


Björk released a little book of poems to get some cash
Um Úrnat frá Björkto pay the rent. It's called "Um Úrnat frá Björk" and it was released in about 100 copies, all handcoloured by Björk herself! The title means "About Úrnat by Björk", with Úrnat being a papu-ish word for holiday, or the likes of that. The book is now a rare collectors item, and if you don't care to spend $600, here's an online version to our delight!


Björk discovered she was pregnant with Þór's child.
She, being a mere teenager herself, considered not keeping it, even though she was ecstatic by the doctor's message - but she let her female intuition rule and decided to keep it after all.

Pregnant Björk in KUKL

That was no hinder for KUKL though. Björk carried on as usual, and being 7 months pregnant, playing live on the television with her big and healthy stomach sticking out was enough to give an old lady a heart-attack! She survived and sued Björk, basing her case on that
it was ugly to be pregnant!

Pregnant Björk in KUKL

Björk claims that if you think such a natural and beautiful thing is ugly, you have only yourself to blame for getting a heart-attack.


KUKL ultimately became very intense, so they decided to just break the band up. Björk carried on recording some music with Gulli though, under the name The Elgar Sisters, the name taken after a classical
British composer. They recorded 11 songs for an album, but they were put on hold to await the next major development for Björk.

A few of the songs were released under Björk's solo career; Glóra, Siðasta Ég and Stigðu Mig.

At the age of 19, Björk gave birth to a wonderful child; a boy to be named Sindri, on June 8 of 1986.
Sindri Eldon ÞórssonThe name is based on the Norse mythology blacksmith who made Thor's hammer, and it means "when two hot irons meet" and also "sparkle around the sun". They had bought a small apartment and even gotten married. Icelandic ways have it that people often do all that at a much younger age, so it was no big fuss.

Thor and Einar stood in the front of a new organization that was formed. The name Smekkleysa ('tasteless', or officially translated; 'Bad Taste') was given to it based on Picasso's aphorism "The worst enemy of creativity is good taste".

Bad Taste seemed to become good taste when doing a prank painting of Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev over a map of Iceland. They did it just as they though everyone would hate it, but they seemed to love it, selling over 5000 copies in a week!

Soon after Sindri was born, Björk got her first acting role in the Brothers Grim based movie "The Juniper Tree", a black & white English-speaking movie about two sisters
The Juniper Treewho possess witchcraft. Björk plays the younger sister Margit, who is the good witch. They have to flee because their mother has been burnt on the stake, and they suspect they can be next. They encounter a family on their journey, where the mother has died and the older sister Katla gets interested in the father of the house. But his son isn't as charmed, and with the help of Margit's powers they talk with his dead mother.

The older sister thinks he is a bit too much in the way and pushes him off a cliff, but he comes back in the shape of a raven, and Margit exposes her dirty deed, which makes the father furious, and so on...

Björk and Þór had now agreed to split up as a couple, but remain as friends and bandmates, since Iceland is a fairly small place and you are BOUND to bump into eachother a lot anyway.

Björk started dating Óskar Jónasson and Þór got together with Magga Órnolfsdóttir, the keyboardist of the group Reptile and soon-to-be keybordist of Björk's next band, the Sugarcubes! A few later he had a baby with Magga aswell.

Later on, Bad Taste developed a pop group consisting of Björk, Siggi Baldursson, Einar Örn and Einar Melax from KUKL, with Þór Eldon, Bragi Ólafsson and Purrkurr Pillnikk's old guitarist Fridrik Erlingson. They had to have a name of course, but after idea after idea had been tossed aside, Einar exclaimed that they should call themselves the silliest thing they could think of.

And then there was The Sugarcubes.

...or 'Sykurmolarnir', in their native tongue. Although their first unofficial gig was performed under the name Þukl. They are said to have dated the birth of the band at the same time as Sindri's birth, at 2.50 p.m on June
8th of 1986. Their official gig was rewarded with some studio time, and so they recorded their first hit, 'Ammæli' (Birthday). They released an English version on the British new label One Little Indian in 1987.

Björk took, on the side of singing, up her acting career
again - this time in an Icelandic TV play by Matthias
GlerbrotJohannesen called Glerbrot ('Broken glass'), playing a troubled teenager fighting for freedom from a couple of perverted nuns!

After a few shows, Fridrik dropped out of the Sugarcubes, and Einar Melax took the place of keyboardist leaving Þór as the sole guitarist.


The Sugarcubes got popular soon and signed onto the American scene via the Warner imprint 'Elektra' and after a few singles they released their debut album. The title was conceived when a broke poet friend in Iceland exclaimed, when given a cup of coffee and a cigarette; 'Life's Too Good!"

Life's Too GoodSuch a mixture of pop and rock! 10 wonderfully warped tracks that hit the spot! Angry songs, sad songs, sexy songs or just plain happy and silly songs!

Titles like 'Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow', 'Blue Eyed Pop', 'Motorcrash' and 'Mama' adorned the cover art (released in 6 different neon colours!) designed by Me Company. The Sugarcubes - silly and playful, now did what KUKL, who were really making a stand, tried to do - it put Icelandic on the musical map!

Smile, though your lip is aching!They toured the world allot, and of course allot happened on their journeys! One incident in Belgium is quite interesting - Björk was out with the band, just clubbing and somehow
some tacky photos of the interior of the club that was hanging in the lobby struck her as hilarious, and when leaping towards
them with glee, she missed to note that there was a guard dog in a cage which she frightened with her
Smile, even though it's breaking!sudden appearance - so it bit her in the foot! This frightened Björk of course, so she instinctually tried to kick it, which caused her to get dragged away by the bouncers and kicked out of the club. Björk started running back to the entrance door, but one of the bouncers opened it right in her face, knocking her back and busting her lip! She had stitches and a tetanus shot, but the bump is still very visible in some pictures!

After a while the Sugarcubes once again switched keyboardist, this time to Þór's girlfriend Magga Örnolfsdóttir - "stolen" from the band Reptile.


The Sugarcubes had now become really famous, and when entering the studio once again they felt like they had made a real sell out, and decided to make the next album as unpredictable as possible. They wanted to replicate the 'live' feeling of their songs, which became difficult in a studio with such talents. And on top of that, not being able to agree on which songs to include or even which final mixes to use - they quickly exceeded their budget and ran overdue.

Finally, the first single 'Regina' was presented to
blppprrrrllllthe world, and now Björk was as brand
new as the sound. Short, short hair and stream- lined space-age tights and dresses, with plastic and silver and glitter being the favorites. 

After a Monster tour, they released their second album with the title "Here Today, Tomorrow, Next Week!" - a quote inspired of Mr. Toad of Kenneth Grahame's famous children's book 'The Wind In The Willows'...

'The poetry of motion! The real way to travel! The only way to travel! Here today - in next week tomorrow! Villages skipped, towns and cities jumped - always somebody else's horizon!' (The Wind In The Willows)

The album was a bubbling and boiling kettle of 13 songs, some sweet, some bitter. This was not like 'Life's Too Good' at all, which was what they aimed at - but the critics weren't as convinced of the glory of this album, so they came down pretty hard on it - putting most of the blame on Einar's noising about! The album sold poorly, but the live shows were always fully seated.


Björk scatting with the Trio in 1987!The next few years, Bad Taste was running a bit slow, but when Björk got the question from a couple of old friends and jazz musicians to sing for them live when they were gonna be on the radio. Björk had been itching to do this since 1987, when she had sung some jazzy gibberish with the trio on one occasion, so she leaped on it and Bad Taste was keen on releasing it on an album aswell.

Gudmundur Ingólfsson Tríó

Gling-Gló Live 2The old friends were Gudmundur Steingrimsson (aka 'Papa Jazz') and his Tríó Gudmundur Ingólfssonar, and together with Björk they did a totally spontaneous album; 2 days, all live - no double takes. The songs were old Icelandic tunes made famous by old Icelandic singers and a couple of standards such as 'Oh Mein Papa' (in Icelandic), 'Ruby Baby' and 'Can't Help Loving That Man Of Mine'.
Gling-Gló Live 1990

Gling-GlóGling-Gló instantly sold platinum, just like her old 1977 album had done! There were a few live tapes, since they played some gigs in Iceland, but after Gudmundur died of cancer in 1992 Björk said, "No way. Never Again."

Back home in Iceland again, life went on. Björk planned to form a speed metal band called Scud and a duet with Sinead O´Connor but wound up singing for Current 93, Bless and two tracks for Sódóma Reykjavík, Óskar Jónassons first movie. The songs were the local fifties standard 'O Borg Min Borg' with the KK Band and a techno track called 'Takk' with DJ Þórhallur.

Later on she met a British fella who was the first musician Björk knew who liked to improvise music on computers - something that thrilled Björk, who now was a bit bored with the drum-bass-guitars setup of the Sugarcubes. The band the British guy was in was of course 808 State.


Ooops - the video!Björk also demoed two of her own
songs for 808 State member Graham Massey in 1990 - Aeroplane and the Anchor Song, and she met up with them in the studio in Manchester. After taking a walkabout with her headphones full of 808 State she returned with two new tracks; 'Ooops' and 'Qmart' - both of them ended up on
EX:ELthe 808 State 1991 album EX:EL. She also admitted that she had some new music of her own, but that would have to be put on hold for the new album the Sugarcubes were planning.

She had offered the Sugarcubes one of her songs named 'Murder for two', but they rejected it because they couldn't fit music to the lyrics. Björk later on released it as her first solo single under the name 'Human Behaviour'!

After a while she also met jazz harpist Corky Hale, a tough old lady who could stroke the harp moving Björk to tears. They wanted to do something together, but Björks own music didn't quite bridge the generation-gap
between them so they settled on Björk's favourite, Chet Baker's old songs, like 'Like Someone In Love', 'My Funny Valentine' and 'I Fall In Love Too Easily' and such - with only the songs 'Like Someone In Love' and 'I Remember You' being properly released by Björk later on.


Later, Björk met DJ Dom Thrupp on a trip to Disneyland, and as her  relationship with Óskar was sort of drifting away, with them both being busy on their own in separate parts of the world, Björk sort of drifted slowly into love with him after a while.

The Sugarcubes

After two singles released in 1990 and 1991, the third Sugarcubes album was also released! It was the most happy-poppy collection of songs! The title of this album was sort of a sarcastic tribute to the way some
Japanese people think American is pretty posh and therefor make up phrases they think sound very American, like "Enjoy A Refreshing Time", "Can't Beat The Feeling" or "Stick Around For Joy"! So they gave all the album songs such names, and called the album 'Stick Around For Joy'.

How delicious weren't these songs?
Stick Around For JoyFrom the slightly manic obsession of 'Gold' and the ode to the nature of the human body in the journey called 'Walkabout' to the totally bizarre 'Chihuahua' and passionate hymn to doing two things at once in 'Lucky Night'!

Needless to say, the critics were as ecstatic as can be expected of this sort of purest form of pop. Even Einar made sense to them now, even though he STILL was just Einar and always had been!

Later the same year they also put out a cd called 'It's-It!' with remixes of some songs from their previous albums, with mixes by the likes of Justin Robertson, Tony Humphries and Graham Massey, but someone said that that was probably more of a marketing plot than a Sugarcubes thing.

The Sugarcubes once again started touring, but this was to be their very last tour together, now supporting U2. Their very final gig was to take place November 17 in New York at the Limelight club. At the very end of the show, Einar is said to have shouted to the audience; "Thank you! We were the Sugarcubes!"...


It was time to go home.

Björk reported that she would release her debut solo album entitled "Björk's Affairs" in 1993.


Björk came home to Iceland with intentions of starting her very very own first album there, but somehow, "this small Island hasn't got room for Björk's great ambitions". But where could she go?

London ofcourse! Great for business, although not so nice for pleasure - being the daughter of open vast  landscapes and lava flowing through her veins! But what don't you sacrifice for the art?

Björk packed her suitcase and took Sindri along to England. After all, Dom was British, so things would probably work out best there. First settling in Belzie Park to be near green areas, then later on in Little Venice to be near water and boats like at home.

Björk had some demo tapes ready for Derek Birkett, and made it clear from the start that she only did this to please herself, so she wouldn't commercialize it - which he, to her surprise, accepted!

Although when she played him a demo of "Violently Happy", he had admitted to hate it, and still does!
But it was Björk's call to keep it if she wanted to.

Björk saw it natural to work with other artists - even though the songs were her own, this wasn't an ego trip. She much preferred the intimacy of collaborating one-on-one. Doing it all on yourself, she compared to musical masturbation. It's nicer to do it with someone else, more satisfying.

Dom introduced Björk to Nellee Hooper, who would turn out to help Björk produce her album. Original intent was that each track would have a different producer, though, but they hit it off real good.

Björk was sick of bands, sick of the marriage between bass, drums (and especially) guitars, she wanted hardcore techno, while Nellee wanted a softer and more sophisticated approach. But with him being of such high standard, it pushed Björk to write five times better songs and lyrics thanks to him being there - even though she did it all on her own after all.

Their relationship birthed 'Big Time Sensuality', but the first single to hit the humans was 'Human Behaviour' - a meditation on humanity's oddness, portrayed on the big screen by French animator Michel Gondry - having a giant teddybear avenge on the human race and deliciously chomping up Björk in the end.

DEBUTShe abandoned 'Björk's Affairs' for the more statement-making title 'Debut' - to celebrate that it was her first self-made album with her own songs and without any compromises.

She adorned the cover in monochrome colours, just-
got-out-of-bed hair and an equally fuzzy sweater in
a prayer-like pose, two glistening jeweled tears beneath her eyes and fingertips dipped in gold - as the sole protector and guardian of her new album, an extra nudge that 'this is mine' and 'I am responsible for this album' - all so brilliantly captured by photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Björk released 5 singles off Debut:

Human BehaviourVenus As A Boy © lunargirl 1999
Venus As A Boy
Play Dead
Big Time Sensuality
Violently Happy

Then it came to performing Debut live - her first solo gig was at the show 'Later with Jools Holland', where she - lacking a proper band yet - was backed up by British dance act D'Influence.

After a while she settled on a group of six, mostly immigrant, musicians to be her supporting band:

Ike Leo from St Kitts Island in the Caribbean (bass)
Leila Arab from Iran (keyboards)
Guy Sigsworth from Britain (keyboards & programming)
Dan Lipman from Britain (Sax, flute, tambourine)
Tansay Omar from Turkey (drums)
Talvin Singh from India (tablas and percussion)

Björk became popular in the press, and now the plague of the pixie comments began for real.


Working more with Sednaoui, they came closer to eachother as Björk and Dom was drifting apart - and finally they took their working relationship one step further.

Doing a live video, loads of live gigs (one in Iceland  being entered by a parachuting Björk!) and interviews, an Unplugged session for MTV (with the cut-out track of Björk and Corky Hale performing 'My Funny Valentine' missing from the final video) and even modeling clothes for Gaultier (as later also seen in the movie 'Pret-A-Porter'!) - Debut was a major hit!

Björk modelling clothes for Jean-Paul GaultierScreen Shot from the movie 'Pret-A-Porter', featuring Björk on the catwalk!

But there's no rest for the restless, and Björk started working on her next album. Having split with Sednaoui, Björk wrote a song about it, called 'Possibly Maybe', a journey through the seven stages of a relationship, from the first crush to the crushing break-up. Never being single since 16, Björk was a bit scared, but soon got into another working relationship gone intimate as she met Adrian Thaws, also known as 'Tricky'.
The working relationship produced, after an escapade to Icelands nature an hot springs, two songs - 'Enjoy' and 'Headphones'. The relationship, though, was always an uncertain factor - Björk reports later that she never really knew if they were dating or not!

Time came to record her next mission, and together with Nellee, Marius de Vries and Howie B she packed her trunks and headed for Bahamas. She had to record half the record outside the UK, in order to register her newly formed company Björk Overseas Ltd., having Björk recording Cover Me in a bat-filled cave in Bahamas!changed the name from "Bapsi" Ltd (which was said to have been Björk's childhood nickname) - but Björk didn't mind at all - she took the chance to record it outdoors, on the beach at midnight and in bat-filled caves!

Björk felt free to record however she wanted, and felt that she needed to be more direct about the music, with no complications - and thus she recorded 'Possibly Maybe' in the nude!

'It is hard because you are very concerned that everyone is looking at you', she declared.


The new album was supposed to be released when they got home from their exotic journey, but in the last minute Björk panicked about the album being too soft and electronic so she re-recorded it, adding trumpets, saxophones, harpsichords, a symphony orchestra and a brass band - changing the form of 'Cover Me' and 'I Miss You' (which had existed for many years with other lyrics and the gibberish title 'Gail Biffen') and got in touch with a man named Eumir Deodato to score the strings for the tracks 'Isobel', 'Hyper-Ballad' and 'You've Been Flirting Again'.

Björk called her new album 'Post' because the songs were like letters from London home to Iceland.

'Like I have a love affair with someone, and it goes horribly wrong, and I go; "Dear Iceland, Possibly Maybe".', Björk explained. But the word 'Post' was also chosen due to it's international value.

Bubbles, bubbles - foam of intelligenceThe cover picture was supposed to be from a photo shoot where Björk was surrounded by silver balls, but Björk scrapped that and went for something more pink and poppy!

This time around Björk released 7 singles:
Army Of Me
Army Of Me © lunargirl 1999
It's Oh So Quiet
Possibly Maybe
I Miss You

This album brought success with another set of touring, live acts with both Skunk Anansie and PJ Harvey, collaborations, a whole bunch of music videos - moths, polarbears and cartoon Björks going berserk!

It even brought a lawsuit - the few seconds of ambient noise in the beginning of Possibly Maybe was a sample by Scanner (A.k.a. Robin Rimbaud) and even though he thought that all noises were free to humans, his publishing company begged to differ and made claims for a royalty fee. They later dropped their charges, feeling that they weren't supported in the matter by their own artist.

Touring on, Björk once got a nasty flu and lost her voice, but regained it only to discover she had lost 3 octaves of her singing range and she was diagnosed with throat nodules, but it really was a question of pushing yourself over the limits of what your body can handle - which led her on her monk tip - not even talking for a while, which was a thrill in itself!

Having finished a fleeting romance with Tricky, Björk was now seen with Jungle DJ Goldie and later shyly revealed a relationship that, according to Björk, was 'the best thing yet'.


Musically, Björk was rumored to a lot of things, but a couple of things that really did happen was the recording
Blammo!of Björk's cover of 'You Only Live Twice' for a compilation of Bond covers David Arnold (who did Play Dead with Björk) was composing. Apparently Björk wasn't satisfied with it, and had phoned the studio the day after the recording, asking them to throw it away, but someone must have saved a copy, because it's now available on the Internet!
Björk was both baffled, thrilled and flattered when hearing that it had surfaced against all odds.

Björk and Ken NeganoBjörk, being fond of extremes, also took part of the forty minute piece 'Pierrot Lunaire' by Shönberg with conductor Kent Negano and the Opera orchestra of Lyon. It's a talking-singing performance which required three months of rehearsals. This appearance was never officially released and all recording devices were strictly banned from the building, but someone in the audience managed to sneak in a tape recorder...

Later on, Björk finally got to tour Asia - and she brought Sindri along. On the stage in Hong Kong, she Goldie presenting Björk with an award!was surprised on stage (to the extent of dropping her microphone) by Goldie, presenting her with the 1996 BRIT award for 'best international female artist'.

Later on that tour she got another, not so pleasant surprise. Björk headed from Hong Kong to Thailand, making it clear to the reporters that she wanted to be left alone until she could hold a proper press conference and photoshoot a little later. Having denied all offers of interviews, Björk also worried about Sindri, since he was old enough to be approached by the press now, and she was very protective of his privacy.

Björk in Bangkok Airport 1996Björk in Bangkok Airport 1996Björk in Bangkok Airport 1996

Arriving on the airport, all her requests of being left alone were completely ignored and she was drowned in a flood of reporters and camera crews, including one of cable station IBC's show 'Fast Forward' - who claimed they had been promised an interview.

Björk in Bangkok Airport 1996Björk in Bangkok Airport 1996Björk in Bangkok Airport 1996

Trying to get away, Björk grimaced and turned her head down while pushing Sindri on a luggage trolley, all while 'Fast Forward's reporter Julie Kaufman beamed "Welcome to Bangkok!" towards Sindri when Björk, without warning, jumped her, dragged her to the floor and thumped her head against the concrete floor about 5 times - the security guards seemed helpless but managed to drag off Björk (who almost escaped for a rematch!) who entered the bus where Sindri was waiting.

Later on, Björk apologized, and Julie decided not to sue her but reported to feeling sorry for her for having so much anger inside. Rumors have it that Julie was offered to make commercials for hairspray tough enough to hold against ANY raging mad artists attack - but that she rejected that offer.

Her family had noticed the strain on Björk - being able to read her body language (Her father says that she rubs her nose a lot when upset or nervous) and it took her a month to calm down when she returned home to Iceland for her Christmas holiday.

The stress of a grand tour and her throat problems finally made her explode. Even Iceland was starstruck with Björk, which left her with no sanctuary at all - no place to take a break from stardom and just hang out and relax.

Björk released an album of remixes from Post, called Telegram'Telegram', an adventurous mixture of different sounds - from vocoded rage in Possibly Maybe to a fluttering and beautiful string Hyper-Ballad by the Brodsky Quartet and a minimalist thundery techno mix of Headphones by Finnish DJ Mika Vainio.

Speaking of exploding - while Björk was in Miami, a 24-year old crazed Björk fanatic was so upset about her relationship with a black man that he manically filmed himself while creating an acid mailbomb in a hollowed- out book and mailing it to Björk's home in London, then shaving his head, painting his body and to the sound of 'I Remember You' playing in the background, blowing his head off with a pistol.

Spookily enough the fan, named Ricardo Lopez, lived mere blocks away from where Björk was in Miami during that time! The police found his body in his apartment which was a shrine to Björk, plastered with pictures of her on the walls - and they managed to get ahold of the
The bombpackage before it had reached Björk to "send her to hell" like Ricardo intended, as he said on the tape - and prevented the death or horrible defiguration of either Björk or her precious child! 

Of course Björk was horribly upset by this whole incident, feeling both threatened and guilty, and she even sent Ricardos parents flowers as a condoleance for the loss of their son. She thinks that there had to be much more things wrong in his life than just reacting to her dating a black man (whom she ironically enough just had broken up with).

She now didn't feel comfortable in London. Having split up with Goldie aswell, this time was too chaotic - she had to leave, so she fled with her son and workmates to Spain to record her next album. 


Björk loved Spain and her little studio in El Madroñal, the freedom there let her take hour-long walkabouts just to realize it was true, she could stand by the ocean and see other continents when she woke up.

The Southbank Björk Special

The process of recording the songs was filmed and first shown in 1998 on BBC under the name 'The Southbank Show : Björk Special', and also later on Bravo channel as 'Bravo : Björk Special'; a huge hit amongst Björk fans; an unique peek into Björk's studio and history as told by herself! Delicious!

Björk at the Tibetan Freedom festival 1997During Björk's second year of performing at the Tibetan freedom festival arranged by the Beastie Boys, Björk took the chance to premiere a bunch of songs that were to be on the album to come. She proudly presented them as "Techno Prayer", "State of Emergency", "Hunter" and "Pluto".

In September 1997 Björk released her third album, entitled by the style of the songs with a word she didn't even knew existed for real: Homogenic.

The word chosen to symbolize the unity and thread of minimalism in the songs, actually does mean exactly that; songs so similar they could be one. Beats, strings and Björk's voice. While Debut was songs she gathered upon herself though her life and Post was about breaking free and taking a step towards the present; Homogenic was absolutely right now. Tainted by her daily life, the songs were more vulnerable and darker than before, a taste of what she just had gone through.

HomogenicThe cover photo, shot by Alexander McQueen and manipulated in the computer, depicts Björk as a icy-cold futuristic multinational being; clothes and lips of a geisha, hair like a sombrero and golden rings that stretches her neck to inhuman length like of some African tribe; all with an element of a supernatural being,
with lenses that makes her eyes look inhuman and steel-like (which Björk was really nervous about wearing).

This time around, 5 singles are released:

- Jóga
- Bachelorette
- Hunter
- Alarm Call
- All Is Full Of Love


So lots of singles and music videos were released, now two video tapes were also released; one compilation of all Björk's music videos up until Hunter, called Volumen, and one concert video recorded at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London in February 1997 in front of an all-fanclub members audience - a Post tour video like 'Vessel' was a Debut tour video.

After a year of promoting the album on television in various shows and touring the world with the intimate crew of an Icelandic string-octet and engineer Mark Bell of LFO, Björk is relaxing back home in Iceland.


Björk and her girlfriends!Björk and her
girlfriends back
home in Iceland;

MaggaVil, Didda,
Björk, Andrea,
Jóga, Brynhildur.


Back in Iceland, taking some time off, but still in business! Björk offered her musical skills to Danish
director Lars von Trier - famous for movies such as "Breaking The Waves" and "The Idiots".
The next masterpiece was to be a musical, and Björk agreed to write all the songs for it. Lars wouldn't settle
for that though, and performed the miracle of talking Björk into playing the star role in the movie aswell,
with the argument that anyone else would do her songs

Björk at the setThe movie is a musical, a comedy and a tragedy all in one - a Czech halfblind woman moves to America - the promised land - and works overtime in a factory to earn enough money to save her son from going blind aswell. A sad fate, but her spirits are always up high because she has an amazing ability to transform every situation to a musical scene.

Of course, things can't go very well, and true enough, one day she gets robbed on all that she has earned, and in the process of trying to get it back she winds up in prison and the movie ends very tragically.

Starring together with Björk are world-renoun actors and actresses such as Swedish Peter Stormare and French Cathering Deneuve.

Björk, Catherine Deneuve and Lars von Trier
Catherine Deneuve, Björk and Lars von Trier

The movie is set to be in the scenery of Washington, America in the 40's, but due to the fact that the director, Lars von Trier, has a terrible fear of flying, they had to relocate closer to Denmark. And so, the major part of the movie was shot in the Swedish town Trollhättan (also known as "Trollywood") close to Gothenburg. Additional scenes were filmed in Copenhagen, Denmark and the final scenes were shot in the town of Walla Walla in Seattle, USA.

The railroad scene For the movie, Björk had to take extra dancing and tapdancing-lessons by world-renoun choreographer Vincent Patterson. Due to the long time it took to film the movie, she lived in the countries the set was located at the time. Now that the filming is done she has returned home to Iceland again.

When asked if she would consider doing more movies, her response was an immediate no. "Acting. I hated it" was her reply to the question of what was the most difficult part of it all. She had earlier exclaimed that she felt like she was cheating on music when acting.

The soundtrack for the movie will be released in the year 2000, followed by the premiere of the movie at the Cannes film festival the same year.

Read more about 'Dancer In The Dark' here!

In december of 1999, the 9th and 11th to be precise, Björk will hold two concerts in the Islington Chapel of London, UK. Together with her trusty Brodsky Quartet, whom she has worked alot with before, she will sing completely without a microphone!

"I always thought since I learned to sing acoustically that about 60% of the nuances dissapear in microphones live so :FINALLY !!", she exclaimed in an online live IRC chat held at the 21st of october 1999.

Besides from that, she hinted that there may be some more surprise experimental gigs happening in the future.

One surprise release is of the song Amphibian, released first on the internet and then on the soundtrack of the movie "Being John Malkovitch" which premiered in october 1999. The song is very light and very layered, and may be a taste of what her next album has to offer.

How optimistic!

Björk's optimism was actually awarded in Iceland on october 30th 1999! She was awarded Bröstes optimistic award of this year. It is the last time this award is handed out, and Björk is the 19th person to receive it.

Daddy Guðmundur, Björk and Vigdis Finnbogadottir!
Björk and daddy Guðmundur at the ceremony.

Björk told a reporter she was very moved that she was picked out to receive this award, and that she's always surprised how much people likes her work.

2000 and beyond

Björk at Perlan. Photo © Lina ( with 'Voices Of Europe' a 90 man stong youth choir, consisting of 10 representatives each from every city of the 9 European Cities of Culture, Björk performed totally a capella versions of "The Anchor Song" and "You've Been Flirting Again" in Icelandic, as a part of a huge gala event at the rotating glass halfglobe restaurant "Perlan" atop of Reykjavík, Iceland on new years eve.

Earlier the same day, another similar session was broadcast all over the world from the Hallgrims-church, also in Reykjavík, Iceland.

The 9 European Cities Of Culture are:

- REYKJAVíK - Saturday 26 August 2000
- REYKJAVíK - Sunday 27 August 2000
- BRUSSELS - Tuesday 29 August 2000
- HELSINKI - Friday 1 September 2000
- KRAKOW - Sunday 3 September 2000
- AVIGNON - Tuesday 5 September 2000
- BOLOGNA - Thursday 7 September 2000
- COMPOSTELA - Sunday 10 September 2000
- BERGEN - Tuesday 12 September 2000

Björk revealed that her next album is in the works, on her precious laptop that she brought along while filming 'Dancer In The Dark', and that she expects it to be done in 2001. She describes it as the opposite of Homogenic - very light - almost floating, and very small - "you'll need a microscope to hear it!"

Selma (Björk) and Kathy (Catherine Deneuve) in "Dancer In The Dark"

Meanwhile, the official site of "Dancer In The Dark" opened on april 26th 2000. The movie will premiére at the Cannes Film Festival on may 10-21 2000.

I don't know my future after this weekend - and I don't want to!

Only the future can tell what happens next, but we'll try to keep you posted once the future arrives!




To finish off, here's a little Icelandic-English dictionary, a guide for those hard-to-pronounce Icelandic names, letters and words! It's all very experimental and all  based on the way things sound and what words or sounds you can compare it with!

If nothing else, you might get a great laugh at least!

Þ (small: þ) - pronounced the 'th' in the word 'think'
Ð (small: ð) - also pronounced the 'th' in the word 'think'
Ö (small: ö) - pronounced like the 'u' in the word... 'lurve'?!
Æ (small: æ) -pronounced like the 'ai' in the word 'mail'
Ó (small: ó) - pronounced 'oh'
Ú (small: ú) - pronounced 'ooh'
Í (small: í) - pronounced like 'e' in the word 'evening'

Björk - the same as the word "work" but with 'Bj' instead of 'w'
Guðmundsdóttir - sounds like 'Gvooth-moonds-daugh-terr'
Guðmundur - sounds like 'Gvooth-moon-dewr'
Hildur - sounds like 'Heel-dewr'
Rúna - sounds like 'Roona'
Sævar - sounds like 'Sayvar'
Sindri - sounds like 'Seen-dree'
Þór - sounds like 'Thowr'
Örn - sounds like 'Urn'

Tappi Tíkarrass - sounds like 'Tap-ee Tea-ka-russ'
KUKL - sounds like 'kuuh-kl'
Sykurmolarnir - sounds like 'sick-ur-mot-lar-nier'
Siðasta Ég - sounds like 'See-thust-ah Yeah'
Stigðu Mig - sounds like 'Steew-thur Meeg'
Ammæli - sounds like 'Amm-ey-lee'
Smekkleysa - sounds like 'Smeck-lay-sah'


The title "Saga Bjarkar" is borrowed from an Icelandic radio documentary about Björk by Skúli Helgason - Bylgjan, for Íslendsku Útvarpsfélagið. All the information in this biography is based on Martin Aston's unofficial biography "Björkgraphy". A few things are facts, a few are just rumors, or something in between, but it all should be taken with a grain of salt! If there is something you think we should add, take away or correct, mail us - don't sue us! (joke!)

Back to the Ultimate Intimate - - last updated 2000-04-27