(Simon & Schuster, 1996)
Of all the day’s female artists, Björk is the defining icon of the Nineties – a bewitching presence, an extraordinary singer with gale-force energy, a widely imitated fashion sensibility and an all-round smart cookie. The Icelandic artist has put her country on the map, her stamp on the international music scene, and her name on numerous awards – not for nothing has she been referred to as the successor to Madonna, though Björk’s advancements through musical fusion testifies to a more imaginative, less style-bound imagination at work and play.
In this first full-scale biography of Björk, Martin Aston traces her life, from her birth in 1965 through a communal-style upbringing in Iceland’s capital Reykjavik to 11-year old child star status, her teenage punk years and her part in the pure-pop renegades The Sugarcubes before she spun off into solo orbit and relocated to London, where her two million-selling albums Debut and Post won a fantastic reception. The NME called her “the coolest, liveliest, most fascinating female pop star in music today, an astute diplomat and a dynamo of childlike excitement.”
Help is on hand from family members, friends, band associates and the numerous collaborators she had sought out. Alongside interviews with Björk herself by the author, Björkgraphy proves how the conveniently narrow media perception of a naive, childlike spirit is only a fraction of the truth. A pragmatic Icelandic sensibility, a self-sufficient childhood, motherhood at 20 and a devout attempt to control her own destiny has produced a simultaneously restless spirit and down-to-earth individual who touts the positive politics of individualism, refuses to deny the child within, and enjoys life to the max.
London-based journalist Martin Aston conducted The Sugarcubes’ first UK interview, and has followed Björk’s trajectory ever since, with increasing fascination and admiration.