Debut is the international debut studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk,[nb 1] released in July 1993 by One Little Indian and Elektra Entertainment. It was produced by Björk and Nellee Hooper. It was Björk's first recording following the dissolution of her previous band, the Sugarcubes. The album departed from the rock style of her previous work and drew from an eclectic variety of styles, including electronic pop, house music, jazz and trip hop.

A picture of the album cover depicting a muted background with Björk standing facing forward in the middle. Björk is dressed in a fuzzy ragged sweater with her hands close together covering most of her mouth.
Studio album by
Released5 July 1993
Recorded1991–Early 1993
Björk chronology
The Best Mixes from the Album Debut...
Singles from Debut
  1. "Human Behaviour"
    Released: 7 June 1993
  2. "Venus as a Boy"
    Released: 23 August 1993
  3. "Play Dead"
    Released: 11 October 1993[1]
  4. "Big Time Sensuality"
    Released: 22 November 1993
  5. "Violently Happy"
    Released: 7 March 1994[1]

Debut received critical acclaim from British music critics, though American reviews were mixed. It exceeded sales expectations, charting at number two in Iceland, three in the United Kingdom, and 61 in the US. It was certified gold in Canada and platinum in the US, where it remains Björk's best-selling album.[7]

Five singles were released from Debut: "Human Behaviour", "Venus as a Boy", "Play Dead", "Big Time Sensuality" and "Violently Happy". All charted in the UK, with only "Human Behaviour", "Violently Happy" and "Big Time Sensuality" charting on dance and modern rock charts in the US.

Background and production edit

Björk performing in Japan with the Sugarcubes. Debut departed from the rock music of Björk's former bands.

While performing as the vocalist of Icelandic alternative rock group the Sugarcubes, Björk approached Ásmundur Jónsson of Bad Taste and producer Derek Birkett of One Little Indian Records with a demo cassette of her own songs.[8][9] The demo included versions of songs that appeared on Debut, including "The Anchor Song" and "Aeroplane".[9] After the Sugarcubes went on hiatus, Björk moved to London, England, where she and Birkett worked on the details of what would become Debut.[8] The Sugarcubes' music did not fit Björk's taste, and her contact with London's underground club culture of the late 1980s and early 1990s helped her find her own musical identity.[10] She said: "As a music nerd, I just had to follow my heart, and my heart was those beats that were happening in England. And maybe what I'm understanding more and more as I get older, is that music like Kate Bush has really influenced me. Brian Eno. Acid. Electronic beats. Labels like Warp."[10]

Björk had already written half the songs for Debut, but had nothing recorded.[11] She had written many of them years before moving to London, including "Human Behaviour", which she wrote as a teenager when she was in the Sugarcubes.[12][13] She had put aside the songs as "I was in punk bands and [the songs] weren't punk".[12] With no producer, she composed songs with 808 State member Graham Massey in a friend's home in Manchester, where she also wrote songs included on later albums, including "Army of Me" and "The Modern Things".[11]

"I remember going to Manchester, and 808 State taking me around, and me just seeing things that I'd never seen – that I'd hoped existed. So I would be up until early morning... sometimes from just the enthusiasm for the music."

— Björk recalling her fascination with dance music after going to England.[14]

While creating electronic tracks with Massey, Björk developed a desire to work with a jazz producer. Paul Fox, who had worked with the Sugarcubes, introduced her to jazz harpist Corky Hale.[11] Hale had planned to decline to work with Björk until her stepson, a Sugarcubes fan, insisted that she take the job.[11] Björk recorded a handful of jazz standards with Hale in 1991, including "I Remember You" and an early version of "Like Someone in Love"; the latter song was included in Debut's track listing.[11][15] Fox also introduced Björk to Oliver Lake, with whom Björk recorded another jazz standard, "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries", with Lake's jazz group for the John Hughes film Curly Sue.[16] Hughes turned down the recording, but it led to Debut being produced by Fox and arranged by Oliver Lake.[17] Björk contracted Lake to work with session saxophonists in London for Debut;[17] Lake's contributions are heard on tracks including "Aeroplane" and "The Anchor Song".[17]

Björk intended to have several producers work on the album.[12] She planned to have the album produced with Fox until she was introduced to producer Nellee Hooper by her boyfriend Dominic Thrupp.[18] Hooper had produced albums by Soul II Soul and Sinéad O'Connor which made Björk skeptical about working with him, stating: "I thought Nellee was too 'good taste' for my liking. But then I met him, got to know him, [and] got to hear about his fabulous ideas."[18][19] Björk and Hooper's recording ideas were similar, which led to her decision to end production with Massey and Fox.[18] Hooper introduced Björk to studio technology and studio programmer Marius de Vries, who gave Debut a modern style with keyboards and synthesizers.[20] He produced the first ten tracks on the album, while Björk co-produced "Like Someone in Love" with Hooper and produced "The Anchor Song" alone.[21] Björk and Hooper spent many sessions in the studio working on Debut until the album was finished in early 1993.[22]

Composition edit

Debut draws on an eclectic variety of sources.[23] Treblezine described the album as "[melding] alternative dance and electronic with a graceful flow."[24] It is said that the album "[shook] the status quo" of the contemporary musical climate, in the sense that its eclectic experimental pop leanings distanced it from the music "primarily being made by men with guitars" that was popular at the time, such as grunge and the burgeoning Britpop.[25] Michael Cragg of The Guardian described it as an "indefinable conflation of electronic pop, trip-hop, world music and otherworldly lyrics".[26] AllMusic described the album as "creative, tantalizing electronic pop."[27] The New York Times wrote that "Debut often recalls the early '70s jazz-fusion of bands like Weather Report. But where these fusionists combined jazz harmony with funk and acid rock, Björk marries her scat-vocalese and off-kilter melodies with the futuristic textures and programmed percussion of today's techno and acid house.[28] The Face's Mandi James felt Debut was "a delightful fusion of thrash metal, jazz, funk and opera, with the odd dash of exotica thrown in for good measure."[29] Billboard described the album as "an art pop masterpiece".[30] Björk also took influence from the music of Bollywood and "the buzz of London nightlife."[25]

Debut incorporates dance music, reflecting the contemporary styles of London's club culture, with which Björk had established close ties.[31] While elements of subgenres such as Euro-house, acid jazz, worldbeat and IDM are present, "they hadn't yet broken free from the primal thump of four-on-the-floor house music."[32] Tom Breihan of Stereogum wrote that "even as dance music took on all these new sounds, that basic pulse was still the most important thing about it, and that pulse reverberates all through Debut."[32] Björk said: "A lot of the songs on my record have dance beats, but I think they're beats that are more reflective of daily life—like life in the middle of the day in a city, as opposed to the night life of the clubs."[33] The four on the floor style, typical of house music, is evident in songs such as "Human Behaviour", "Crying", "Big Time Sensuality", "There's More to Life Than This" and "Violently Happy".[20][34]

Björk felt house music was "the only pop music that [was] truly modern," stating in 1993 that it was "the only music where anything creative is happening today."[35] Her departure from the guitar-driven rock of her previous work stemmed from the feeling that it was outdated, arguing that "as soon as any form becomes traditional, like the guitar, bass and drums, then people start to behave traditionally," and that "it's really difficult to get a band to stay on the edge using typical bass, guitar and drums setup because it tends to lapse into a predictable form."[35] Being a fan of dance music since the early days of acid house, she used it as the framework for her songs.[35] She told Rolling Stone that she "was more influenced by ambient music than what you'd call dance music, and by things that were happening way back in Chicago and Detroit that were sensual and daring and groundbreaking in their time [...] Ninety-five percent of the dance music you hear today is crap. It's only that experimental five percent that I'm into—the records that get played in clubs after 7 o'clock in the morning, when the DJs are playing stuff for themselves, rather than trying to please people."[33] Björk's embrace of England's dance culture also extended to her image, considered representative of 1990s acid house fashion.[36][37]

Hooper had been a member of Bristol's "Wild Bunch", a group that took from acid jazz, funk and hip hop and helped create trip-hop.[38][39] The less dance-oriented electronic Debut tracks have a more trip-hop style sound[23][40] and a "more delicate atmosphere".[23] i-D noted that Debut—and Björk's subsequent album Post—integrate ambient techno and jungle, stating that they "couldn't have existed without Aphex Twin, Black Dog, A Guy Called Gerald, LFO and all the other producers who reshaped the language of music since 1988."[31] Also present are elements of jazz, with WUOG stating that "while many see Debut as Björk's clubbiest album, it may also be her jazziest."[41] Brad Shoup of Stereogum wrote that "though her electronic bent gets the most attention, it's her interest in jazz that courses through the set."[42] Tim Perlich of Now felt Debut "bridges jazz and pop",[43] and Simon Reynolds characterized it as "jazzy love songs tinged with an oceanic feeling."[28]

Songs edit

The lyrics of Debut contain themes of love.[28] They range from "flesh-and-blood passion" for another person to the love of life itself.[28] According to i-D, with a couple of exceptions, the songs of Debut fell into two types: "those where Björk addressed the listener as someone in pain and told them fireworks would light their nights and all would be well;" and "songs where she sang about her own pain."[31] The Face stated that the album's lyrics "[consolidated] her love affair with language,"[29] while The Sunday Times felt that Björk "rigorously [avoided] the obvious" by using lyrics that do not rhyme.[44]

The first track "Human Behaviour" features a "bouncing riff" sampled from Antônio Carlos Jobim, with "its syncopated beat consigned to a venerable orchestral instrument, the timpani."[45] Its lyrics refer to Björk's experience as a child, finding the behaviour of adults "rather chaotic and nonsensical," instead finding harmony with other children, nature and animals.[46] Inspired by naturalist David Attenborough, she sings from the point of view of an animal,[47] with its opening line being "If you ever get close to a human/And human behaviour/Be ready, be ready to get confused".[45] Following track "Crying" shows a contradiction between its "bubbly, shiny-surfaced acid disco-pop" sound and lyrics that describe the turmoil of feeling alienated in a big city.[48] "Venus as a Boy"—considered an ambient track by Rolling Stone[33]—reflected Björk's newly found interest in Bollywood, having befriended people of Indian origin in London, most notably tabla player Talvin Singh.[10] In a spontaneous fashion, the song's strings—and also those of "Come to Me"—were recorded by a film studio orchestra in India, thanks to Singh.[10] The lyrics of the track are about the sensitivity of her then boyfriend Dominic Thrupp, with lyrics that have been described as "sweet and just the slightest bit naughty."[23][49] In the dancefloor-oriented "There's More to Life Than This", Björk leaves romance behind, with "her mischievous side [coming] to the fore".[48] Its lyrics were inspired by a party she attended and promptly left.[50] "Like Someone in Love" is one of the several jazz standards she recorded with Corky Hale,[48] with her voice "cradled in harp and swoony strings."[28]

"Like Someone in Love" is followed by the techno-tinged "Big Time Sensuality" in an "intentionally startling" leap.[25][48] An "anthem to emotional bravery," it contains lyrics described as "simple but passionate", concerning Björk's relationship with her co-producer Nellee Hooper.[51] The songs "The Anchor Song", "One Day", and "Aeroplane" draw on what Björk refers to as her more "academic, clever side".[40] "One Day" also presents a sudden shift of mood, featuring a "gently pulsing bass" that builds into an "itchily impassioned, housey pop euphoria."[48] "Aeroplane" is one of Debut's most musically complicated pieces with off-kilter arrangement from Oliver Lake;[52] its backdrop is inspired by exotica music.[23] This song is also about Thrupp, written when he was living in the United Kingdom and Björk still lived in Iceland.[52] "Come to Me" features a "hazy musical backdrop of raindrop synths, padded drums and sweeping strings";[26] lyrically, it explores a "sensually intense need to nurture."[48] "Violently Happy" is the most hardcore techno track on the album.[48] In the song, over "brisk house beats" Björk sings in a stammering fashion, as she "struggles to express feelings of excitement so intense she seems on the brink of leaping out of her skin."[28] As a gesture to inexpressible feelings, the song samples one syllable and "[turns] it into a stuttering vocal tic."[28] The closing track "The Anchor Song" is the only one in the album solely produced by Björk. One of the three songs to appear on her first demo cassette of 1990, it features Oliver Lake playing the saxophone, in an arrangement that replicated the "ebb and tide of an ocean's peaking tops, an image reinforced by Björk's fiercely patriotic lyrics."[53] The album's version of "The Anchor Song" was recorded with session saxophonist Gary Barnacle.[54]

Release edit

When Björk announced the release of her international debut in 1992, she called it with the title Björk's Affairs. However, it was later changed to Debut since it marked Björk's first album of self-composed material.[15] Debut was released on 5 July 1993 on compact disc and cassette on One Little Indian Records in the United Kingdom and 13 July 1993 on Elektra Records in the United States.[1][23][55] One Little Indian estimated that Debut would sell a total of 40,000 copies worldwide based on a guess of the Sugarcubes fan base at the time.[56] However, within three months of Debut's release, over 600,000 copies had been sold worldwide.[57] On the album's initial release, it charted in the United States, peaking at number one on the Top Heatseekers chart and at number 61 on the Billboard 200.[58] In the United Kingdom, Debut entered the charts on 17 July 1993, peaking at number three and spending 79 weeks on the chart.[59] Overseas in Japan, Debut was released on 26 September 1993.[60] Debut has been re-issued several times in different formats. In November 1993, the album was re-issued in the United Kingdom with the bonus track "Play Dead", a song written for the film The Young Americans, shortly after Debut's completion.[61] The album was later issued on vinyl and DualDisc formats.[23] The Japanese version of Debut included two bonus tracks: "Play Dead" and "Atlantic".[62] The DualDisc release featured the full album on the CD side while the DVD side included the album with superior sound quality and the music videos for the singles.[63] On 5 May 1994, The Canadian Recording Industry Association certified that Debut had sold over 50,000 units making it a Gold record in Canada.[64] On 31 August 2001, the RIAA certified that Debut had sold over one million units making it a Platinum record in the United States.[65] As of January 2015, Debut had sold 930,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[66] Worldwide sales of the album stand at 4.7 million copies.[67]

In 1994, Björk was sued by Simon Fisher, a musician she collaborated with in 1990. Fisher's claim stated that he had co-written "Human Behaviour", "Venus as a Boy", "Crying", and "Aeroplane" and sought damages of over £200,000.[68] Hooper and Björk went to court with Fisher shortly after the release of Björk's album Post.[69] Judge Robin Jacob found Fisher only seeking credit for one song instead of four and cleared Hooper and Björk of all charges stating that Fisher's charges rendered him "unreliable, diffuse, and vague".[69]

Singles edit

In 1993 Björk contacted French director Michel Gondry to create a music video for "Human Behaviour" after seeing a video he made for his own band Oui Oui.[70] "Human Behaviour" was the first single taken from Debut, and was issued a month before the album's release in June 1993.[1] Three more singles were released from Debut in 1993. "Venus as a Boy" was the second single, released in August with a music video directed by Sophie Muller.[1][49] "Play Dead" was released in August 1993 as a non-album single, that would be included on later releases of the album.[1] "Play Dead" had an accompanying music video directed by Danny Cannon.[12] The final single released in 1993 was "Big Time Sensuality" remixed by Fluke with a music video by Stéphane Sednaoui.[1][12] A further single, "Violently Happy", was released in March 1994 with an accompanying video by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.[1] All five singles from Debut charted within the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart while only "Human Behaviour", "Violently Happy" and "Big Time Sensuality" charted on the US Billboard charts.[59][71]

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [23]
Calgary HeraldB+[72]
Entertainment WeeklyC[73]
Los Angeles Times    [74]
Music Week     [75]
The Philadelphia Inquirer    [77]
Q     [78]
Rolling Stone     [79]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [80]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[82]

At the 1994 Grammy Awards, Michel Gondry's music video for "Human Behaviour" was nominated for Best Short Form Music Video, but lost to Stephen Johnson's video for the Peter Gabriel song "Steam".[83][84] At the 1994 Brit Awards, Björk won awards for "Best Newcomer" and "Best International Female".[85]

Critical reaction to Debut was generally positive. The British music press spoke positively about the album, with Q giving it four out of five stars calling it "a surprising, playful collection" while the NME wrote that Debut was "an album that believes music can be magical and special."[76][78] The Independent gave Debut a favorable review noting that Björk had "fashioned an amazing array of contrasting arrangements, whose musical diversity never interferes with their clarity of vision."[86] American reception was more mixed. Musician magazine praised the vocals of the album, stating "what makes [Björk's] singing memorable isn't the odd assortment of growls, moans and chirps she relies upon, but the emotions those sounds convey."[87] The New York Times described Debut as "an enchanting album".[28] A negative review came from Rolling Stone, who gave the album two stars out of five, labelling the album "utterly disappointing" and blaming producer Nellee Hooper, suggesting he "sabotaged a ferociously iconoclastic talent with a phalanx of cheap electronic gimmickry."[79] Michele Romero of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a C, saying, "On a few songs, [Björk's] breathy mewl is a pleasant contrast to the mechanical drone of Sugarcube-like techno-tunes. But most of Debut sounds annoyingly like the monotonous plinking of a deranged music box. Wind it up if you like – eventually it will stop."[73] Debut rated highly in British end of year polls. The NME ranked Debut at number one on their list of "Top 50 LPs of 1993".[88] Melody Maker placed the album at number six on their list of "Albums of the Year for 1993" calling it "a fantastic debut".[89] In 1994, Q included the album on their list for top fifty albums of 1993.[90] In 2000 it was voted number 77 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.[91] Björk reacted to the positive reviews hesitantly, stating that if she'd "delivered exactly the same album and I came from Nottingham, I'd have got completely different reviews, normal down-to-earth ones" and that Debut "was a bit of a rehearsal and it's really not that good. I can do much better."[92]

Later reception was also positive. In Spin magazine's alternative record guide, the album received a rating of nine out of ten stating that the choice of Nellee Hooper as producer was a "stroke of genius" and Björk's vocals were "awe-inspiring".[82] Heather Phares of AllMusic gave the album a five-star rating, stating that Debut is "Possibly her prettiest work, Björk's horizons expanded on her other releases, but the album still sounds fresh, which is even more impressive considering electronic music's whiplash-speed innovations."[23]

Legacy edit

"If the point of a debut album is to set out an artist's stall and to lay the foundations for what's to come then Debut does this better than any album in recent memory. It's an album whose influence is still felt any time electronic instrumentation is fused with folk or jazz, or whenever a new female singer is described as "kooky" or "refreshing"."

— Michael Cragg, The Guardian, 2013.[25]

Debut is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of 1993 and the 1990s in general.[citation needed] In 2013, John Hamilton of Idolator called the album "highly influential", and wrote "in spite of its advancing age, Debut's futurism has aged exquisitely."[93] The album has also been credited as one of the first albums to introduce electronic music into mainstream pop.[32][93] Stereogum's Tom Breihan wrote: "House music didn't quite have critical respect before Björk came along, and plenty of American writers didn't know what to make of the sound of Debut when it came out. [...] Debut didn't just establish Björk; it helped make sounds like that cool to a segment of the music-dork universe that might've remained deaf to its charms otherwise. At this point, it's virtually impossible to imagine a big publication slamming an adventurous dance-pop album for "cheap electronic gimmickry,"[nb 2] and Debut is a big part of that change."[32] Björk's embrace of England's dance culture also extended to her looks, her style at the time considered representative of 1990s acid house fashion.[36][37] Celebrating the album's twenty-year anniversary, Emily Mackay of NME wrote the album "put the lie to the post-grunge assumption that heartfelt, passionate solo artistry came in the form of acoustic guitar and heartbreak, creating a new breed of singer-songwriter."[48] Dubbing it an "influential masterpiece", she found influences of the album in the work of musicians such as M.I.A., Grimes, These New Puritans and Tune-Yards, writing: "It's in fascinatingly individual artists like those that you'll find [Björk's] influence – not, as many would have you believe, in every pretty-faced girl with a big voice."[48] Mackay also noted that the album's legacy echoes through dance-pop artists like Lady Gaga and Robyn.[48]

In 2013, Michael Cragg of The Guardian wrote that "two decades after its release, the Icelandic artist's first album has never sounded more relevant."[25] He argued that Debut "reconstructed pop music", also writing that "while pop in 2013 looks back to the early 90s for inspiration, Björk's ability on Debut to innovate by using disparate genres without losing a sense of her own identity should be the blueprint for any new artist with desires to break the mould."[25] In the album's entry in their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" —where the album was included at number 46—, NME claimed that "Debut achieved the remarkable feat of turning an idiosyncratic vocalist from a feted cult band into a significant global pop star, without losing one iota of the experimental mindset and creative cool that made her so special."[94] In 2005, Björk stated that she thought the album was not as strong as her later works: "It's hard to judge yourself but I don't think [Debut and Post are] my best. Debut was the album that went the highest up there in terms of what is 'Bjork music'. But I think that the persona I created, which was entirely accidental, is better captured on the later albums."[95]

Accolades edit

Publication Accolade Year Rank
Alternative Press The 90 Greatest Albums of the 90s[citation needed] 1998 31
Out The 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums[96] 2008 63
Slant Magazine The 100 Best Albums of the 1990s (2011)[citation needed] 2011 29
Spin The 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years[citation needed] 2010 33
The Face Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 1
Melody Maker Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 6
Mixmag The 100 Best Dance Albums of All Time[citation needed] 1996 3
Muzik Top 50 Dance Albums of All Time[citation needed] 2002 32
NME Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 1
NME Rock Years, Albums of the Year 1963–99[citation needed] 2000 *
NME's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time[citation needed] 2013 46
Q Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 *
In Our Lifetime: Q's 100 Best Albums 1986–94 [citation needed] 1995 *
90 Albums of the 90s[citation needed] 1999 *
Select Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 7
The 100 Best Albums of the 90s[citation needed] 1996 26
Vox Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 6
The Wire Records of the Year[97] 1993 1
Spex Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 18
Les Inrockuptibles Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 13
The 100 Best Albums 1986–1996[citation needed] 1996 19
Rock & Folk Albums of the Year[citation needed] 1993 9
The Best Albums from 1963 to 1999[citation needed] 1999 *
(*) designates lists that are unordered.

Debut was also included in books such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,[98] and 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die.[citation needed]

Track listing edit

Debut – Standard edition
1."Human Behaviour"
Nellee Hooper4:08
  • Björk
  • Hooper
3."Venus as a Boy"BjörkHooper4:40
4."There's More to Life Than This" (Recorded Live at the Milk Bar Toilets)
  • Björk
  • Hooper
5."Like Someone in Love"
  • Björk
  • Hooper
6."Big Time Sensuality"
  • Björk
  • Hooper
7."One Day"BjörkHooper5:26
9."Come to Me"BjörkHooper4:57
10."Violently Happy"
  • Björk
  • Hooper
11."The Anchor Song"BjörkBjörk3:40
Total length:48:44
Debut – Japanese edition bonus track
Total length:50:43
Debut – Reissued edition[99]
12."Play Dead"3:56
Total length:52:40
Debut – Japanese reissued edition bonus tracks
13."Play Dead"
  • Björk
  • Arnold
  • Wobble
  • Arnold
  • Cannon
  • Simenon[a]
Total length:54:36


  • "Human Behaviour" contains a sample from "Go Down Dying" written by Antônio Carlos Jobim.
  • "Venus as a Boy" contains a sample from "Music for Shō" by Mayumi Miyata (1986).
  • "One Day" contains samples from "Put Your Love (In My Tender Care)" by The Fatback Band (1975), "Always There" by Ronnie Laws (1975), and "Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins (1972).
  • "Aeroplane" contains a sample from "Dahil Sayo" by Arthur Lyman (1958).
  • "Play Dead" contains a sample from "Footsteps in the Dark" by The Isley Brothers (1977).
  • ^a signifies an additional producer

Personnel edit

Charts edit

Certifications and sales edit

Certifications and sales for Debut
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[129] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[64] Gold 50,000^
Iceland[130] Gold 20,000[131]
Japan 50,000[132]
Netherlands (NVPI)[133] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[134] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[135] Gold 25,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[136] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[137] Platinum 100,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[138] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[139] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[65] Platinum 1,000,000^
Worldwide 4,700,000[67]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Notes edit

  1. ^ Debut is officially considered to be the first solo album by both label and artist, who said "My first album didn't come out until I was 27".[2][3][4] However, technically this is the second solo album if to bear in mind her 1977 juvenilia release. Some sources consider Debut as the third, counting in her 1990 jazz output Gling-Gló.[5][6]
  2. ^ Referring to Tom Graves' Rolling Stone review of 1993: "Producer Nellee Hooper (Sinéad O'Connor, Soul II Soul) has sabotaged a ferociously iconoclastic talent with a phalanx of cheap electronic gimmickry."[79]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Strong 1998, pp. 69–70
  2. ^ "Björk" (Press release). Elektra Entertainment. May 1995. Retrieved 6 April 2016. Debut, her first international solo album
  3. ^ "Björk – Icelandic musician". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Still solving riddles". The Economist. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Björk's brilliant Debut bridges Jazz and Pop". Now magazine. 1 November 1993. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  6. ^ "The secret history of Björk". Record Collector #175. 29 March 1994. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  7. ^ Caulfield, Keith (29 January 2015). "Bjork's Rush-Released Album Debuts in Top 20 on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  8. ^ a b Pytlik 2003, p. 63
  9. ^ a b Pytlik 2003, p. 52
  10. ^ a b c d Guzmán, Isaac (5 March 2015). "Björk Is Your Tour Guide: An Exclusive TIME Interview for Her MOMA Retrospective". Time. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d e Pytlik 2003, p. 64
  12. ^ a b c d e "björk:albums:Debut". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  13. ^ "score stories 8". Björk on Instagram. 24 October 2021. Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  14. ^ Allen, Liam (28 July 2011). "Bjork on Biophilia and her debt to UK dance music". BBC News. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  15. ^ a b "SAGA BJARKAR". Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  16. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 65
  17. ^ a b c Pytlik 2003, p. 66
  18. ^ a b c Pytlik 2003, p. 67
  19. ^ a b Whiteley 2000, p. 211
  20. ^ a b Whiteley 2005, p. 105
  21. ^ a b Debut (CD liner). Björk. One Little Indian. 1993. TPLP31dual.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  22. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 68
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i Phares, Heather. "Debut – Björk". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  24. ^ Blyweiss, Adam; Bossenger, Alex; Grotepas, Nicole; Speranza, Greg; Terich, Jeff (5 June 2014). "10 Essential Iceland albums". Treble. Treble Media. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  25. ^ a b c d e f Cragg, Michael (5 July 2013). "Björk's Debut: Celebrating 20 years of innovation". Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  26. ^ a b Cragg, Michael (26 March 2014). "10 of the best: Björk". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  27. ^ Phares, Heather. "Björk – Post". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h Reynolds, Simon (22 August 1993). "Recordings View; Jazzy Love Songs Tinged With an Oceanic Feeling". The New York Times. p. 26.
  29. ^ a b James, Mandi (1 June 1993). "Björk again". The Face.
  30. ^ Goodman, William (5 July 2018). "Bjork's 'Debut': An Art-Pop Masterpiece Turns 25". Billboard. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  31. ^ a b c " bites Björk & Goldie". i-D. No. 154. 1 July 1996. Available at
  32. ^ a b c d Breihan, Tom (3 July 2013). "Debut Turns 20". Stereogum. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  33. ^ a b c Gardner, Elysa (1 June 1993). "In a Björk state of mind". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  34. ^ Whiteley 2005, p. 110
  35. ^ a b c Gunnarsson, Thorsteinn (1 May 1993). "Björk". i-D. No. 116. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  36. ^ a b Slee, Natasha (9 April 2014). "What we wore: Balearic". Dazed. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  37. ^ a b Manandhar, Nina (15 October 2014). What We Wore: a People'S History of British Style. Prestel. ISBN 978-3-7913-4898-8.
  38. ^ Simpson, Paul (12 January 2004). The Rough Guide to Cult Pop. Rough Guides. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-84353-229-3.
  39. ^ Bianciotto, Jordi (1 February 2008). Guía Universal Del Rock: de 1990 Hasta Hoy (in Spanish). American Bar Association. p. 147. ISBN 9788496222731.
  40. ^ a b Taylor 2006, p. 37
  41. ^ "WUOG Album Club, Week 2: Debut by Björk". WUOG. 16 February 2015. Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  42. ^ Shoup, Brad (20 February 2013). "Björk Albums From Worst To Best". Stereogum. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  43. ^ Perlich, Tim (1 November 1993). "Björk's brilliant Debut bridges Jazz and Pop". Now. Available at
  44. ^ "Björk, the pixie-faced singer from Iceland, has bewitched Britain". The Sunday Times. 15 May 1994. Available at
  45. ^ a b Ross, Alex (15 February 2015). "How Björk broke the sound barrier". The Observer. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  46. ^ Llewellyn Smith, Caspar (10 October 2011). "Björk answers your questions". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  47. ^ Roberts, Hywel; Huseyin, Esin (23 October 2013). "The 54 Greatest Debut Singles of All Time". Gigwise. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mackay, Emily (13 July 2013). "Debut: The making, breaking and legacy of Björk's influential masterpiece". NME.
  49. ^ a b Pytlik 2003, p. 196
  50. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 194
  51. ^ Proefrock, Stacia. "Big Time Sensuality". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
  52. ^ a b Pytlik 2003, p. 170
  53. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 171
  54. ^ "Our friend's Icelandic ! —The secret life of Björk". Select. June 1994.
  55. ^ "Iceland's Finest Releases Her "Debut"". Archived from the original on 2 October 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  56. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 71
  57. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 73
  58. ^ "(Debut > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  59. ^ a b "Bjork | Full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  60. ^ a b ビョークのアルバム売り上げランキング [Björk's album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  61. ^ "björk:GH&FT special:Play Dead". Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  62. ^ Phares, Heather. "(Debut [Japan Bonus Tracks] > Review)". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  63. ^ Phares, Heather. "(Debut (Dualdisc) > Overview )". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  64. ^ a b "Canadian album certifications – Björk – Debut". Music Canada. 5 May 1994.
  65. ^ a b "American album certifications – Björk – Debut". Recording Industry Association of America. 31 August 2001.
  66. ^ "Bjork's Rush-Released Album Debuts in Top 20 on Billboard 200". Billboard. 29 January 2015.
  67. ^ a b "Debut: The making, breaking and legacy of Björk's masterpiece". NME. 13 July 2013. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  68. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 80
  69. ^ a b Pytlik 2003, p. 97
  70. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 70
  71. ^ "(Debut > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles )". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  72. ^ Muretich, James (1 August 1993). "Recent Releases". Calgary Herald.
  73. ^ a b Romero, Michele (9 July 1993). "Debut". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 21 December 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  74. ^ Ali, Lorraine (18 July 1993). "Bjork 'Debut' Elektra". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  75. ^ Aston, Martin (3 July 1993). "Market Preview: Alternative — Pick of the Week" (PDF). Music Week. p. 22. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  76. ^ a b Dee, Johnny (3 July 1993). "Bjork – Debut". NME. p. 35. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  77. ^ Wood, Sam (10 August 1993). "Björk: Debut (Elektra)". The Philadelphia Inquirer.
  78. ^ a b "Björk: Debut". Q. No. 82. July 1993. p. 85.
  79. ^ a b c Graves, Tom (2 September 1993). "Debut". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  80. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2004). "Björk". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 73–74. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  81. ^ Perry, Andrew (July 1993). "The divine Ms Gudmundsdottir". Select. No. 37. p. 89.
  82. ^ a b Weisbard & Marks 1995, p. 381
  83. ^ "Grammy Award Nominations". Billboard. 15 January 1994. p. 67. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  84. ^ "Bjork". Grammy Awards. 15 December 2020.
  85. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 79
  86. ^ Thompson, Ben (11 July 1993). "Records / New Releases". The Independent. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
  87. ^ Musician: 90. July 1993. "...what makes her singing memorable isn't the odd assortment of growls, moans and chirps she relies upon, but the emotions those sounds convey..."
  88. ^ NME: 66. 25 December 1993. "Ranked No.1 in New Musical Express' list of the 'Top 50 LPs of 1993' – "Debut is a musical treasure chest of organic techno beats, twinkly jazz serenades and otherworldly nursery rhymes, disregarding categories and [displaying] a bewitching faith in pop's ability to challenge...""
  89. ^ Melody Maker: 76. 1 January 1994. "Ranked No.6 in Melody Maker's list of 'Albums of the Year' for 1993 – "a fantastic Debut""
  90. ^ Q: 85. January 1994. "Included in Q's list of 'The 50 Best Albums of 1993' – " album of tantalising contrasts....manages to be bubbly, exhilarating, brazenly dance-oriented and satisfying all at once...""
  91. ^ Colin Larkin (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 67. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  92. ^ Pytlik 2003, p. 78
  93. ^ a b Hamilton, John (12 July 2013). "Bjork's 'Debut' Turns 20: Backtracking". Idolator. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  94. ^ "46. Bjork, 'Debut' (1993). The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time: 100–1". NME. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  95. ^ Williamson, Nigel (2 April 2005). "March on with the New Model Armies". The Times. UK. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  96. ^ "The 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums (of All Time)". Out. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2024.
  97. ^ "Charts: Records of the Year" (subscription required). The Wire. No. 118/119. January 1994. p. 55 – via Exact Editions.
  98. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  99. ^ " Debut: Bjork: Music". Amazon. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  100. ^ "Tracks sampled by Björk". WhoSampled. Retrieved Aug 8 2023.
  101. ^ " – Björk – Debut". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  102. ^ " – Björk – Debut" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  103. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 2427". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  104. ^ " – Björk – Debut" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  105. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11, no. 6. 5 February 1994. p. 23. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  106. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5.
  107. ^ " – Björk – Debut" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  108. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 1994. 20. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  109. ^ "Tónlist – Ísland (LP/CD)". DV (in Icelandic). 1 July 1993. p. 20. ISSN 1021-8254 – via
  110. ^ "Top 10 Sales in Europe" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11, no. 8. 19 February 1994. p. 14. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  111. ^ " – Björk – Debut". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  112. ^ " – Björk – Debut". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  113. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  114. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  115. ^ " – Björk – Debut". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  116. ^ " – Björk – Debut". Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  117. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  118. ^ "Independent Albums" (PDF). Music Week. 19 February 1994. p. 16. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History.
  119. ^ "Bjork Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  120. ^ "Bjork Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  121. ^ "1993 Year-End Sales Charts – Eurochart Hot 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10, no. 51/52. 18 December 1993. p. 15. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 19 May 2022 – via World Radio History.
  122. ^ "Top 100 Albums 1993" (PDF). Music Week. 15 January 1994. p. 25. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History.
  123. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Albums 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on 2 November 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  124. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  125. ^ "1994 in Review Sales Charts – European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 11, no. 52. 24 December 1994. p. 12. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  126. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 1994" (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  127. ^ "Tónlist – Árslisti 1994 – LP/CD". DV (in Icelandic). 5 January 1995. Retrieved 19 May 2022.
  128. ^ "Top 100 Albums 1994" (PDF). Music Week. 14 January 1995. p. 11. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History.
  129. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 31.
  130. ^ "Gull til Bjarkar hér og í Bretlandi" (in Icelandic). Morgunblaðið. 18 September 1993. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  131. ^ "Dagblaðið Vísir – DV – 50. tölublað (28.02.2006)" (in Icelandic). Ví 28 February 2006. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  132. ^ "Morgunblaðið B – Sunnudagur" (in Icelandic). Morgunblaðið. 22 May 1994. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  133. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Björk – Debut" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 13 August 2018. Enter Debut in the "Artiest of titel" box. Select 1994 in the drop-down menu saying "Alle jaargangen".
  134. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Bjork – Debut". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  135. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  136. ^ "Spanish album certifications" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved 30 May 2019. Select Álbumes under "Categoría", select 2004 under "Año". Select 37 under "Semana". Click on "BUSCAR LISTA".
  137. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2002" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 9 October 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 May 2011.
  138. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards ('Debut')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  139. ^ "British album certifications – Björk – Debut". British Phonographic Industry. 1 May 1994. Retrieved 14 July 2021.

Bibliography edit

External links edit