Proper Björk fans need to know that before her international fame Björk took part in several very different genres of music. It all started when her elementary music teacher (same teacher as I had) sent a recording of her singing “I love to love” to the Icelandic radio (we only had one channel back then). Singing Icelandic covers of The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and her own music, 11 year old Björk Guðmundsdóttir became a well known child star in Iceland. For the money earned she bought a piano and began making her own music. Most likely the wisest investment an 11 year old girl ever made (no pony).
14 yo Björk became a punk teenager in the Spit and Snot girl band and progressed through all sorts of genres until she formed Tappi Tíkarrass (E. Cap Bitch Ass) with Jakob Frímann Magnússón. Tappi Tíkarrass was a hit among Icelandic teenagers.
Her next success was Kukl (E. Amateur Magic), a gothic rock anarchistic sort of music infused with Björk’s unique voice. Pretty interesting stuff. This I think was the first time she ventured outside Iceland with her music, touring in the UK.
The next step was Sykurmolarnir (E. The Sugarcubes). The band consisted of Kukl members but had completely different music. I’m no music specialist, but I guess this would have been considered some sort of alternative pop-rock. Their first single, Ammæli (E. Birthday) was a hit, not only in Iceland, but in the UK. This opened doors and gave Sykurmolarnir a certain following outside Iceland.
She first ventured back into solo singing in 1990 with the Album Gling-Gló. This album (my favorite) was as far away from her punk roots as can be imagined. I think this album is her most successful in Iceland and with a very broad base of listeners. The album was played as much by teenagers as in old folks homes.
Her subsequent albums, such as Debut, Homogenic and more took her on a path towards international superfame. But that part everybody knows.