Some Björk anniversary vinyl has arrived at SDE and as you will be able to see from our photo gallery (below) it’s something of a mixed bag…
Of the three albums ordered, Vespertine is the star of the show. The glossy gatefold sleeve for the 2001 album is pin-sharp in terms of both the photography and artwork and it’s very, very beautiful. The inner sleeves are printed on uncoated card and contain lyrics and further artwork. No surprise that the coloured vinyl is a blissful pure white. One of our records had a small brown blemish on it, however this didn’t seem to affect playback.
Homogenic (1997) and Debut from 1993 are both single albums and come in top-loading sleeves. Homogenic looks reasonable on the front, but the back has the tell-tale signs of scanned artwork with some rather ‘soft’ text. The vinyl is bright green.
Disappointingly, for an anniversary reissue, Debut is rather awful to look at. The front cover is far too yellowy and the contrast of the original is lacking. The rear is even worse. The text is so far out of focus it hurts to look at it. It’s hard to understand why One Little Indian thought this was adequate. Major labels get regularly accused of being lazy with this kind of thing, but you don’t expect it from an ‘indie’. They could have recreated the design (just text and a logo after all) and re-typeset everything. The inner sleeve is plain black and the vinyl is an attractive sandy colour. There is also no sign of the booklet that came with some early vinyl pressings, so unlike the other two albums there are no lyrics and you will find none of the other photographs of Björk from the Debut era.
All of the records come with a bespoke sticker that have words that summarise the nature and tone of the record, so for Homogenic these include ‘cosmopolitan’, ‘contrast’, ‘warrior’, ‘volcanic beats’ etc. For Vespertine you get ‘celestial’, ‘whispered vocals’, ‘loyal swans’ etc. All come with a download card.
The coloured vinyl is very nice of course, but why go to the effort of pressing coloured vinyl without sorting out reproduction issues with photographs and graphics? Bjork has remained with the same record label for 22 years, so you’d think maintaining negatives and an archive of artwork wouldn’t be that much of a challenge. Out of the three SDE has seen Vespertine is highly recommended but proceed with caution with the other two, or at least manage your expectations!
The anniversary coloured vinyl reissues are limited to 5,000 for each album. Click on the photos below to enlarge, and then click again to carry on viewing the gallery.
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Debut (limited edition coloured vinyl)
Post (limited edition coloured vinyl)
Homogenic (limited edition coloured vinyl)
Vespertine (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)
Medúlla (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)
Volta (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)
Biophilia (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)