You Say It's Your Birthday: Bjork

Bjork Gudmusdottir, the biggest music star to ever come out of Iceland, will

blow out 32 birthday candles today. The luminous beauty with the breathtaking

voice is best known for such whisper-to-a-wail songs as "Army Of Me" and "Human

Behavior," as well as for fronting the Sugarcubes and singing on such songs as

"Birthday" and "Motorcrash." She got her start in the music biz at the age of

11, doing some vocals on an album by her step-father. Years later, she joined a

legendary Icelandic rock group named Theyer, but in 1984 she hooked up with

trumpet player/vocalist Einar Benediktsson, drummer Sigtyggur "Siggi" Baldursson

and keyboardist Magga Ornolfsdottir to form a band called KUKL, which means

"Witch" in Icelandic. The group released a series of atonal records and toured

Europe with its theatrical act for four years. In 1988, they changed their name

to the Sugarcubes and formed a company named Bad Taste that included a record

label, bookstore and publishing house. Later that year, they signed with

Elektra and released Life's Too Good. The album was a hit with critics,

landed at #54 on the Billboard album charts and spawned a successful

single on the modern rock scene in the form of "Birthday."

1989's Here Today, Tomorrow, Next Week! reached #70 on the album charts,

but its more intricate arrangements turned off many critics. Bjork and

Baldursson then set about recording Gling Go, an album of covers of

Icelandic pop songs from the '50s, for Bad Taste. Stick Around For Joy,

the name for which came from a Japanese soda machine, was released in 1992 but

quickly fizzled on the charts in spite of MTV play for the album's first single,

"Hit." Bjork's first solo album, Debut, was released in 1993 and spawned

the singles "Human Behavior," "Big Time Sexuality" and 'Violently Happy," all of

which were big hits on the emerging electronica/drums-and-bass scene. 1995's

Post contained the hit singles "Army Of Me" and the big-band-esque "It's

Oh So Quiet." At the beginning of this year, she released a remix album

entitled Telegram and in September she released Homogenic, which

was produced by electronica heavyweight Howie B. She is currently planning a

U.S. tour for the early part of next year.

Other birthdays: Ray Hilderbrand (Paul & Paula), 57; Lonnie Jordan (War), 49;

Randy Z (McCoys), 48; Livingston Taylor, 47; Margaret Ornolfsdottir (Sugarcubes),

30 and Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes), 37.