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You Probably Don’t Know BJörk’s Debut Album (She Was Only 11)


With the help of her mother and stepfather, this Icelander recorded her first album when she was just a child.

Everything has a beginning. As with the first albums of the greatest music legends, Pink Floyd or The Beatles, for instance, in Björk’s first album it is possible to recognize the beginnings of her stylistic search, in addition to her natural talent which, years later, would make an icon of her.

At the age of three she was already singing the songs of The Sound of Music, and two years later was accepted in a musical conservatory, to graduate as a classical pianist at the age of fifteen. One of the first albums she owned was The Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Despite her love for physics and natural sciences, the path she had to take was always unquestionable for her family and friends.

In 1976, while she attended music school in her hometown Reykjavik, Björk Guðmundsdóttir made her first official launch: a version of the song “I Love to Love” by Tina Charles, transmitted back then by the only radio station in Iceland. This single earned her a contract to record her first album, simply titled Björk.

The album was recorded in 1977 when the artist was only eleven years old. It was a family project: Björk’s mother, Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir, designed the cover and her stepfather, Svævar Árnason, a renowned guitarist in a local band, wrote some of the songs and played the guitar. The album was successful in Iceland, but it never left the country —it contains songs by Stevie Wonder, Edgar Winter and The Beatles translated into Icelandic; some songs by Svævar Árnason and a song “Arabadrengurinn” —The Arab Child— that was written and interpreted by Björk.

Her debut has a sound that is evidently touched by the psychedelia of its age, one that might remind us of The Beatles or King Crimson, but in a children’s and beautifully innocent version of someone who listened to these bands as a child.

After recording her first album, the label offered Björk the possibility to make a second one; she refused and, with the money she earned with her first one she bought herself a grand piano. The end of this story, however, was utterly unavoidable.


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