Bjork’s Debut turns 25 years old this month. This album accompanied me on a journey that changed the course of my life.
The month it was released, July 1993, coincided with the moment I embarked on my gap year.
I was eighteen years old, and had just finished taking my A Level exams (in English, Geography and Biology, if you must know). I was desperate to leave school and take a break from education.
Most of my classmates were getting ready to head off to university, but I was determined to take a different path.
I was heading to Israel, to spend three months working on a kibbutz.
I bought Debut on tape, especially to listen to on my walkman (remember those?) during the flight from London to Tel Aviv.
My ears had never heard anything quite like it before. Bjork formed the soundtrack to my summer of adventure and transformation.
Human Behaviour reminds me of eating felafel in the streets of old Jerusalem, and feeling like I was living in some exotic dream.
Big Time Sensuality reignites the excitement and pure joy I felt upon arriving in Israel, in that hot and sunny and mysterious country, ripe for exploration and new adventures with new friends.
Venus as a boy takes me right back to the first time I heard it, on my walkman, on that flight from London to Tel Aviv, not really sure what I was letting myself in for, both in terms of the Debut album itself and the journey I had just begun.
Violently Happy was me getting drunk on Israeli bottles of beer, dancing in the kibbutz pub, shaking my long hair and feeling like I’d escaped from prison.
There’s More To Life Than This was my anthem for the whole of my gap year; there most certainly was more to life than staying in my home town or going off to university. There was a whole world out there and I wanted to live it.
Come To Me is probably my favourite song on the album.
Going to Israel changed my life; I made friends with people from all over the world, my eyes opened up to the possibilities of life, and most importantly, for the first time I truly believed in myself.
I’m not saying that Bjork changed my life. But she was the soundtrack to that momentous summer, when I lived and worked in Israel and became a global citizen for the very first time.