thousands of free and legal carefully curated MP3's

Bjork



Who would have thought that the spunky vocalist for a little known late '80s Icelandic art-rock outfit The Sugarcubes would become one of the best known musicians of the '90s? But that is, of course, Bjork's story.

After the Sugarcubes' 1992 breakup, the elfin songstress relocated from Reykjyavik to London, where she hooked up with acclaimed producer Nellee Hooper, previously known for his work with Massive Attack and Soul II Soul. The result of their collaboration was Bjork's first solo effort, the playful dance-based Debut (1993), which garnered rave reviews and significant record sales, far eclipsing the cult status of her old band's releases.

From there, she went on to become one of the biggest and most influential artists of the last decade. She put together her acclaimed second record, Post (1995), with Hooper, Tricky (with whom she was briefly romantically linked), Howie B, and Graham Massey of 808 State, further perfecting her unique style of lush, orchestral electronic pop -- a kind of fairytale music for the digital age. A remarkable remix album, Telegram, followed a year later.

Bjork's third proper album, Homogenic (1997), recorded in the wake of her breakup with jungle pioneer Goldie, saw her music turn bleaker, angrier, and more cathartic, continuing her ongoing evolution as an artist.

Then in 2000, Bjork once again got people's attention by making her cinematic debut in Danish "Dogma 95" director Lars Von Trier's experimental melodrama, Dancer in the Dark. Her accompanying soundtrack, Selmasongs, showcased the strong suit of the ponderous film: its lush, strange, wonderful musical numbers.

After offending Mr. Blackwell by performing one of film's songs at the 2001 Oscars wrapped in an awkward swan costume, Bjork released another dazzling studio album later the same year called Vespertine, this time collaborating with noted organic electronic duo Matmos, kitschy electro-pop artist Console, and found-sound electronic wizard Matthew Herbert. Vespertine revisits many of the moods and dynamics of Post while simultaneously incorporating many of the strange new sounds and rhythms of the burgeoning "IDM" movement.

In late 2002, Bjork reflected upon her first decade as a solo artist by assembling a greatest hits retrospective. Despite its surprisingly pedestrian title (Bjork's Greatest Hits), its means of creation was typically innovative: Bjork asked her fans to vote in on her website to choose the material on the album. As an added bonus treat, she put in one new tune, the philosophical "It's in Our Hands," a previously unreleased collaboration with Matmos. She released the album concurrently with Family Tree, a box set of three-inch CDs chronicling Bjork's evolution as an artist behind the scenes of her Sugarcubes and solo releases.

"Verandi," meanwhile, is an exotic, Eastern-flavored piece written prior to Bjork's involvement in Dancer in the Dark, but not completed until 2001 (with the help of Bollywood composer Jolly Mukherjee). It does not appear on any of Bjork's albums.