There’ll always be those “Big Bands” out there—the ones everyone seems to think define a genre (for better or for worse). Consider R&R101 your weekly cheat sheet.
Björk (pronounced “BYORK”)
Icelandic superwoman with a flair for the eccentric and the voice of a really strange angel. Björk found commercial success with band The Sugarcubes, the first rock outfit out of Iceland that the rest of the universe gave a second look at. The Sugarcubes signed to label One Little Indian in 1987, released three albums with mild success, and broke up in 1992. Björk released her first solo album, Debut, through the same label and got a modest amount of media love that lead to a slew of collaborations. It also gave her a platform to evolve her sound further in future albums Post (1995), Homogenic (1997), and Vespertine (2001), which mark her critically lauded experimentation with techno, trip hop, and stringed instruments—not to mention some of the best songs of her career, in this blogger’s humble opinion.
2004’s Medulla is made entirely out of vocal noises instead of instruments. Say what! This album gave Björk an opportunity to show off her strange and beautiful style of dress at the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Olympics, where she wore a gown whose 10,000 square foot train depicted a map of the world. Her sense of style is one of my favorite things about her—she did Gaga before Stefani Germanotta did.
Björk’s latest full album, Volta, was released in 2007 and featured tracks produced by Timbaland and Antony Hegarty. You may remember her single, “Earth Intruders,” which snagged a spot on the Billboard Top 100 after its release.