Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Thursday, 9 November 2017


In August 1987 The Sugarcubes released Birthday, an instant indie hit thanks to John Peel and the music press, a record so different and otherworldly that almost on its own it took the band round the world. I've posted it before, twice. The following year they put out Life's Too Good, an album with Birthday plus nine slices of high octane Icelandic guitar-pop. I've included many of them, Delicious Demon and Fucking In Rhythm And Sorrow especially, on compilation tapes and mix cds ever since. Motorcrash was the last single from the lp, released to promote their US tour at the end of '88, a tour which saw them wined and dined and play at The Ritz in New York with Bowie and Iggy in attendance.


During the American tour they played Saturday Night Live, which you can watch here. The performance by co-vocalist Einar Orn which illustrates exactly why Bjork would eventually go solo. In this clip they play Auburn, Alabama with similar results- blistering band, brilliant lead vocalist, irritating co-vocalist.


TheRobster said...

Why does Einar get such a bad rap? I always enjoyed his contributions and still do. He's one of the many things that made the Sugarcubes so different and attractive. Take him out and you begin to dilute that unique quality they had.

Motorcrash was one of my favourite tracks from the album. I had the 12" of it that I bought as an import. Must check to see if I still have it. More recently, I re-bought 'Life's Too Good' on re-issued luminous green vinyl. That makes it four times I purchased that album in some format or other. Worth every single penny, and more!

Anonymous said...

His contributions on record were always fine but live he tended to jump in a bit more and was a distraction. He made them different I agree, and coming out of punk I get the point of it/him. Still irritating at times.
Swiss Adam

Echorich said...

Einar kept be from loving Sugarcubes and left me at liking them. When Bjork cut the cord, it was a revelation.

The Lighthouse Mancunian said...

Always felt Einar complemented Bjork wonderfully.
Also saw him defend her to the hilt against a grim and aggressive crowd at Leeds University, so got a soft spot for the big fella.
"I really don't like lobster!"

Brian said...

Einar or not, there was nothing out there like Life's Too Good. Still pull that one off the shelf quite a bit. Robster, I too have a 12" of this song. I'm wondering, is that version of Motorcrash you have any different than the regular single? Mine isn't. So I'm curious if you might have a remix or extended version... I bought the 12" for the live version of Motorcrash.

JC said...

I think Einar was an essential part of what made Sugarcubes so enjoyable, but there is no question that in the live setting, or indeed in a TV studio when they were miming to the latest single, he always tried to hog the limelight. Irritating? Yes, absolutely. But they couldn't have done it without him.