Björk has sold 10 studio albums, 7 live albums and 5 compilation albums. She also recorded a couple of singles, sang with some other popular singers, and made songs for some movies.
The focus in her albums is not solely on music, but rather on her music videos through which she creates sensory experiences, expresses her emotions, acts, and sends her messages to the world.
For some talented and beautiful, for others irritating and not knowledgeable in composing, she is nevertheless very unique and famous.
Her first album was called “Björk” and she recorded it when she was only 11 years old. This album contained some popular songs, such as Beatles’ song “Fool on the Hill”. The album was sung in Icelandic. You can check her cover of the Beatles’ song here:
There is also a cover of Syreeta Wright’s “Your Kiss is Sweet (middle),”. You can check Björk’s cover of the song here:
The album was recorded with the help of her mother and her step-father. Her mother created the design of the album cover while her stepfather composed some of the songs. It is known that Björk’s stepfather was a musician himself – he played the guitar in the band called Pops and he greatly encouraged Björk to indulge in pop music. The album became popular in Iceland. With the money that Björk got from the album, she bought a piano.
Björk’s first adult solo album – Debut was created in 1993. The album generally received some good critiques.
Thanks to the successful album, Björk was given the opportunity to work with other artists.
The songs on this album were:
1. Humab Behaviour
3. Venus as a Boy
4. There’s More to Life Than This
5. Like Someone in Love
6. Big Time Sensualityy
7. One Day
9. Come to me
10. Violently Happy
11. The Anchor Song
Björk’s label One Little Indian assumed that the album would be sold in around 40,000 copies. However, only three months later, the album peaked in the UK at No 3 and it was sold in more than 600,000 copies.
The idea for the album was actually born earlier. Some of the songs were written during her performances with several bands in Iceland.
The second Björk’s album was Post. The album was launched 2 years after Debut and the production was done by Nellee Hooper, Tricky, Graham Massey of 808 State, and electronica producer Howie B.
Of course, this album continued with Björk’s specific sound with elements of dance and techno. Songs “Possibly Maybe” and “Enjoy” had the elements of trip hop and electronic music.
Songs on this album were:
1. Army of Me
3. The Modern Things
4. It’s Oh So Quiet
6. You’ve Been Flirting Again
8. Possibly Maybe
9. I Miss You
10. Cover Me
This album also received some great reviews. Björk said that she was “hounded by paparazzi” at the time. This is when the incident with the reporter took place. When she got to Bangkok International Airport with her son Sindri, a reporter Julie Kaufman wanted to ask her a couple of questions and Björk pushed her to the ground. Björk later apologized, sent flowers and the reporter did not want to press charges.
After the incident with her obsessed fan in 1996, she was not sure if she would continue with her public career. She also said: “I make music, but in other terms, you know, people shouldn’t take me too literally and get involved in my personal life.”
However, a year after, she released a new album – Homogenic. She went to Spain to record it and the album was a bit different from the first two albums. It had a lot of beats and electronic sounds. Björk explained “It wasn’t just the letter bomb, […] I realised that I’d come to the end of the extrovert thing. I had to go home and search for myself again.”
This album was produced by Björk, Mark Bell, Guy Sigsworth, Howie B and Markus Dravs.
After this tour she had in 1996, Björk got back home to Maida Vale where she took writing as a form of therapy. She wanted to relieve the stress she had gone through. The title of the album comes from the fact that she wanted to create an album with “a simple sound” and “only one flavor”.
An interesting thing is that Björk imagined herself as a character of a Spanish soap opera. This gave inspiration to a song “So Broken”.
Almost all other songs were created by Björk. She included parts of string sounds from a Casio keyboard and then asked programmers to incorporate beats. What makes this album unconventional is that she asked some amateurs to help her in recording along with recording outside. The album preserves the Icelandic style as well.
The album was released with One Little Indian records.
Björk explained that the person who wrote Homogenic’s songs was someone who “had to become a warrior. A warrior who had to fight not with weapons, but with love. I had 10 kilos of hair on my head, and special contact lenses and a manicure that prevented me from eating with my fingers, and gaffer tape around my waist and high clogs so I couldn’t walk easily”.
Although the release of Homogenic was postponed for a month, Björk went on a tour. She had to cancel her tour to North America because she developed a kidney infection.
The songs included in this album are:
5. All Neon Like
6. 5 Years
8. Alarm Call
10. All is Full of Love
In 2001 Björk launched another album – Vespertime. She worked with other experimental musicians, like Matmos, Denmark-based DJ Thomas Knak, and harpist Zeena Parkins. As for the lyrics, she took them from the America poet E.E. Cummings, Harmony Korine – movie maker and Crave. Vespertime sold the fastest comparing to her other albums. By the end of the year she had two million copies sold.
Vespertime was as popular as her other albums with three great singles “Hidden Place”, “Pagan Poetry”, and “Cocoon”. The music video for “Pagan Poetry”, typical for Björk, caused a lot of controversy due to graphic exposure of piercings, Björk’s nipples and oral sex. This is the reason why this video was banned from MTV.
The songs on Vespertime were:
1. Hidden Place
3. It’s not Up To You
5. Pagan Poetry
8. An Echo A Stain
9. Sun In My Mouth
11. Harm of Will
In 2004 another album was launched. It was Medúlla. This album was mostly done with vocals only. Singers who sang for the album were Tanya Tagaq (who is a throat singer), hip hop beatboxer Rahzel, Japanese beatboxer Dokaka, avant-rocker Mike Patton, Soft Machinedrummer/singer Robert Wyatt, and some choirs. Once again, she used poems from E.E. Cummings for her song “Sonnets/Unrealities XI”.
The song from the album, “Oceania” was used for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Björk sang the song while her dress was showing a map of the world. The map was 10,000 square foot and she let it flow over the athletes.
The “Medúlla” songs were:
1. Pleasure Is All Mine
2. Show Me Forgiveness
3. Where Is The Line
5. Öll Birtan
6. Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right)
8. Desired Constellation
10. Sonnets/Unrealities XI
12. Mouth’s Cradle
14. Triumph of a Heart
Two years later, Björk remastered her first three albums (Debut, Post, Homogenic) along with her two albums Selmasongs and Drawing Restraint 9). It was in a new set called Surrounded.
The sixth Björk’s album was Volta. This album was released in 2007 and it had 10 tracks. The song “Earth Intruders” even came to the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States of America. Generally, the album received great reviews and it was on top lists across the world.
Following the launching of the album, Björk went to a tour to several festivals. She went to Latin America, to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Curitiba, Guadalajara, Bogotá, Lima, Santiago de Chile, and Buenos Aires. She also went to Australia and New Zealand and performed at the Sydney Opera House on the Sydney Festival. During the tour, there was another incident when Björk attacked the photographer who took a picture of her at Auckland International Airport in New Zealand. It is said that Björk tore the photographer’s shirt and she even fell down. However, again, no one pressed charges.
In 2009 it was announced on Bjork.com that there would be a limited edition boy set Voltaïc by One Little Indian Records. This box consisted of her live recordings from Paris and Reykjavík. There are four discs inside. The first disc contains songs from the Volta Tour, the second disc has video recording of the Volta Tour live in Paris and Reykjavík; the third disc has “The Volta Videos”, and the fourth is The Volta Mixes CD.
In September 2010, Björk made “The Comet Song” which was one among other songs for the movie Moomins and the Comet Chase.
Björk released a new song “Trance” on 7 December 2010 and it was used in a short movie “To Lee, with Love”, which was a tribute to McQueen with whom Björk worked on several occasions.
Songs on the Volta album were:
1. Earth Intruders
3. The Dull Flame of Desire
5. I See Who You Are
6. Vertebrae by Vertebrae
9. Declare Independence
10. My Juvenile
11. I See Who You Are (Mark Bell Mix)
12. Earth Intruders (Mark Stent Extended Edit)
13. Innocence (Mark Stent Mix)
New Björk’s album was launched in 2011 named Biophilia. This album contained songs permeated with themes of science and nature. It also included “app album” – educational work with children along with a live performance from Manchester International Festival on 30 June.
In June 2011 she released the first song from the album “Crystalline”. The song was made with specific instruments such as “gameleste”, which is a celesta but with elements of gamelan.
The most creative thing were interactive iPad apps. Basically, the whole album was the first one to have interactive apps. In 2014, these apps were included in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Another very interesting thing about this album was the children education program where they did research on the intersection of music and science. The program was even introduced by the Reykjavik City Board of Education to schools in Reykjavik.
The songs on Biophilia are:
5. Dark Matter
9. Mutual Core
11. Hollow (original 7 minutes version)
12. Dark Matter (with choir & organ)
14. The Comet Song
In 2012 Björk launched a remix album Bastards. It contained songs by Death Grips and of a Syrian musician Omar Souleyman:
1. Crystalline (Omar Souleyman remix)
2. Virus (Hudson Mohawke Peaches and Guacamol remix)
3. Sacrifice (Death Grips remix)
4. Sacrifice (Matthew Herbert’s Pins and Needles mix edit)
5. Mutual Core (These New Puritans remix featuring Solomon Island Song)
6. Hollow (16-Bit remix)
7. Mutual Core (Matthew Herbert’s Teutonic Plates mix)
8. Thunderbolt (Death Grips remix)
9. Dark Matter (Alva Noto Remodel)
10. Thunderbolt (Omar Souleyman remix)
11. Solstice (Current Value remix)
12. Cosmogony (El Guincho remix)
13. Crystalline (Matthew Herbert remix)
Björk’s ninth studio album was Vulnicura. This album was released on 18 January 2015. Vulnicura shows a theme of her breaking up with Matthey Barney. Interestingly enough, this album leaked to public on the Internet two months before its official release. So, in order to have her fans hear the album in a better quality, Björk made the album available on iTunes on January 20. Björk made a tour in March that same year and she performed at Carnegie Hall.
As a more instrumental version of the Vulnicura album, Björk made the album Vulnicura Strings. She even uses keyboard designed by Leonardo da Vinci. The album was launched on 6 November 2015 on CD, while the vinyl version got out on 4 December 2015. A week after, Vulnicura Live was in record shops but in limited amounts. Double CD and double LP sets were each in 1000 copies.
The album Vulnicura was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. This album contains the following songs:
3. History of Touches
4. Black Lake
7. Atom Dance
8. Mouth Mantra
In June 2016, Björk released Björk Digital. The Guardian defined this album as a combination of “art exhibition”, “film presentation” and “tech demonstration”. Basically these are virtual reality videos that give you a specific hallucinogenic experience that you watch through VR.
You can take a look at this Youtube video to see how it looks like:
Finally, the newest Björk’s album is Utopia. It was released in November 2017. For this album, Björk said that it is a “Tinder album” and that “it’s about that search (for utopia) – and about being in love. Spending time with a person you enjoy is when the dream becomes real.” She explained why she called it a Tinder album: the album covers an emotional stage different to that of her last album, that for her represents a breakup album.
Björk even said that her previous album was “hell – it was like divorce”. Now, for Utopia, she says: “So we [were] doing paradise […] We have done hell, we have earned some points”.
The album Utopia contains songs filled with flute and birdsong. On the music videos she is alone, and this is why we can consider it a personal album. She is getting over her breakup and she is finally alone.
This album has fourteen tracks and the total amount is 71 minutes and 38 seconds which is why it is the longest Björk’s album. She also said that the title comes from the fact that her album is “an exploration of utopia”.
On October 30 2017, Björk was up to a new tour. She scheduled a performance for the All Points East music festival in London on May 27 2018. She also made arrangements for the Northside Festival for June 7 2018. The Utopia Tour started with dress rehearsals in Reykjavik on 9 and 12 April 2018.
Utopia received very good reviews from music critics and magazines. Again, some saw her as brilliant and sensitive, while some saw her as obnoxious and irritating.
These would the songs on Utopia:
1. Arisen My Senses
2. Blissing Me
3. The Gate
5. Body Memory
6. Features Creatures
9. Sue Me
10. Tabula Rasa
13. Saint 14 Future Forever