The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good

Special Edition Fluorescent Green Vinyl + Download

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Life’s Too Good is the debut studio album by Icelandic alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, originally released in August 1988 via One Little Indian and Elektra Records.

The members of The Sugarcubes had formerly been in a variety of Icelandic bands. Björk had the longest career out of any of the members, she had recorded an album as early as 11 years old, and in her late teens, she joined the Icelandic post-punk band Tappi Tikarrass, who released two albums before splitting in 1983.

Drummer Siggi (Sigtryggur) Baldursson was a member of Þeyr, and Einar Örn Benediktsson and Bragi Ólafsson formed a punk band called Purrkur Pillnikk. By 1984, Björk, Einar Örn, and Siggi had formed KUKL with keyboardist Einar Melax, and released 2 albums[ on the independent British record label Crass Records.

The Sugarcubes formed in 1986, with vocalist Björk, her then-husband Þór (Thor) Eldon on guitar, and Bragi Ólafsson on bass.

The band's music has been described as avant-pop, and was characterized by a psychedelic post-punk sound sometimes reminiscent of The B-52's and Talking Heads, whimsical yet heartfelt lyrics, and the imploring, girlish voice of Björk, accompanied by Einar Orn's erratic vocal performances.

Released during a time when post-punk had become synonymous with monochrome and dour connotations of the gothic, Iceland’s The Sugarcubes’ comparably upbeat Life’s Too Good counteracted the often stringent seriousness of the alternative ‘80s, subverting the vitriol of the earlier post-punk movement by offering a colourful and imaginative substitute.

The band’s most revered and well-known single "Birthday" sounded emphatically jovial in the angry wake of Crass, ‘passe punk’ and over produced new wave. Pop at its esoteric finest, it was lauded by critics; reached #2 in the indie charts, but was criminally overlooked in the official UK chart, entering it at just #65. A travesty - yes, especially considering it is the - if not one of - the most perfect pop songs ever recorded: sounding just as wide eyed and inspired now as it did then, its weird, melodic brilliance and depiction of childhood abandon evokes a certain kind of whimsical nostalgia, while Björk's piercing, defiant shrieks and seemingly cryptic lyricism would become a trademark of her subsequent solo work.

Much like The B52’s and Talking Heads, The Sugarcubes proved that post-punk could be playful and seriousness could be silly. "Birthday", despite being The Sugarcubes’ defining moment, isn’t indicative of the debut as a whole, though. In fact, as with some of the best LP’s, it’s hard to place this album within a specific genre.

Having in their previous bands explored punk, jazz-fusion and gothic rock, here, they dabble in myriad styles: from indie pop to experimental and dance; "Mama" and "Deus"’s prominent bass and jagged guitar lines, for example, recall the dub-punk fusion often extolled by the likes of Public Image Ltd. et al, while "Coldsweat"’s brooding, heavy punk-funk is very much of its time.

The deceptively titled "Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow" is a clever album closer, sounding like the witty antithesis of the experimental pop clamour that came before it. Björk tells the tale of a woman coming home from a bar to find a naked man lying depressed on her living room floor, as an erratic, skiffle-like rhythm builds.

Björk's idiosyncratic voice might be the main prevailing aspect here, but however fleeting their existence was, The Sugarcubes were very much a band, with each member having their own respective pedigree in various other outfits prior to their formation.

Despite its moments of innate pop brilliance, there remains a dark chaos on Life’s Too Good - repressed, but ever present. An understated classic, and by far the band's best album, it still sounds vital all these years since its initial release. It's strange but accessible, silly but genius, and ultimately unfailing from start to finish.

Check out these tracks: Birthday; Coldsweat; Deus; and Motorcrash.

This special edition LP on fluorescent green vinyl with album download is pressed in the UK.

(5016958997274)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Traitor

3:08

A2

Motorcrash

2:23

A3

Birthday

3:59

A4

Delicious Demon

2:43

A5

Mama

2:56

B1

Coldsweat

3:15

B2

Blue Eyed Pop

2:38

B3

Deus

4:07

B4

Sick For Toys

3:15

B5

Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow

3:14

B6

Take Some Petrol Darling

1:27

SKU 5016958997274
Record Label One Little Indian
Label / Model # Inertia
Catalogue Number tplp5ltd
Country UK - United Kingdom
Release Date (Year) 14 August 2015
Original Release Date (Year) 01 August 1988
Barcode # 5016958997274
Shipping Weight 0.2100kg
Shipping Width 0.004m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000394m3
Type New
Format Special Edition Fluorescent Green Vinyl, Reissue, MP3 Download Card
Vinyl Colour Green
Genre Rock
Genre Indie Rock
Format VINYL LP

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