As you will have noted, I have been doing a lot of Peel-related posts of late. I have also noted other bloggers doing posts on singles that they have found during a rummage in cupboards or wherever, including Song, By Toad and The Vinyl Villain.
…so why not combine the two?
The Sugarcubes are legendary as the biggest band to have come out of Iceland, at least until Sigur Ros, and the fact that their lead singer, Bjork has had a substantial amount of solo success since the band split in 1992. Their debut single ‘Birthday’ was no.1 in the 1987 Festive Fifty, as well as a minor chart hit, (and no.23 in the Millennium Festive Fifty!) It paved the way for their 1988 debutalbumLife’s Too Good. But (as well as a later remix in 1992 at the time of the band’s split), there was another version of the song, re-recorded in 1988, which featured Jim and William Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain.
I first saw the Sugarcubes on The Chart Show, a fairly revolutionary TV programme given that it was all videos and absolutely no presenters. The Sugarcubes were featured on the once every three weeks indie chart on many occasions, and it was here that I saw the video for Birthday. Weird and wonderful. Interestingly, this version of the single was ‘Single Of The Fortnight’ in Smash Hits, too. It took me thirteen years to find the CD single, when I did it cost me £8 ($16 US) and as far as I’m concerned, it was worth every penny.
So for your listening pleasure, first up, the Peel-favoured original version of Birthday:
and the entirety of the 1988 re-recording:
And finally, as treat, the original version of Birthday in Icelandic.
Oh, and if anyone has got an mp3 of The Sugarcubes doing a song called ‘Cat’ could they let me know? Ta.