BJÖRK

Bjork 3

I have this utopian view that the common person – like your gran, or the guy who works in the sandwich shop – actually wants an adventure, to hear something they’ve never heard before. I might seem leftfield, but I’m really not trying to be weird, you know.

Björk, Daily Telegraph, 2005

Born: 1965, Reykjavík, Iceland

Featured album: Medúlla (2004)

SO YOU WANT to be an art-pop genius? Well, it helps if you were born a child prodigy – just ask Captain Beefheart, Diamanda Galás and Nina Hagen. But with the exception of maybe Kate Bush, few gifted youngsters who’ve grown up to traverse music’s outer limits have attained the sort of mainstream recognition Björk has. Maybe that’s because she’s as earthly as she is otherworldly, as attuned to pop as she is to the avant-garde.

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CROMAGNON

Cromagnon

I think it was Brian [Elliot] who said ‘You know, Elvis [was] shaking his hips with his acoustic guitar and people were freaking out. Ten year’s [sic] later there’s Hendrix spraying his guitar with lighter fluid and setting it on fire – what the hell is gonna happen in thirty years?

Salvador Salgado, Orgasm liner notes, 2009

Formed: 1969, Connecticut/New York, USA

Featured album: Orgasm/Cave Rock (1969)

CROMAGNON’S MUSIC MIGHT be as primitive as the band’s name suggests: an elemental stew of grunts, screams and people hitting things, with about as much structure as an amoeba. But these hedonistic barbarians were among the first to chart rock’s outer limits, mapping terrain that is still being explored to this day.

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