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Family Tree Box set

3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 12 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • ASIN: B00006LUM6
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,326 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Family Tree explores Björk's artistic progression in part by sifting through older material and experiments with musical tangents. Just a month removed from the release of her Greatest Hits collection, which was compiled entirely from fans' votes, this multi-disc set highlights the artist's selections. In addition, the box contains five 3-inch discs of rare and previously unreleased material. Two of them focus on her fascination with classical arrangements and include songs she performed live with the Brodsky Quartet in 2000. Two more are given over to her earliest work, including a few Sugarcubes tracks, as well as "Sídasta Eg," a song Björk composed on her flute when she was 15. The last of the five minidiscs, Beats, contains her first post-Sugarcubes club-oriented experiments with 808 State's Graham Massey and Mark Bell that eventually yielded her startling Debut. While it feels scatterbrained at times, Family Tree successfully strips down Björk's creative output into a fascinating history lesson, providing a glimpse at the forces behind Björk's ornate, iconoclastic style. --Matthew Cooke

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 2 2003
Format: Audio CD
Here we have 5 mini-CDs (3-inches) and a normal-size CD similar (but not identical) to GREATEST HITS.
Somewhere in the world, there are people who have kept half an eye on Bjork's career but never bought one of her albums. People who may not feel inclined to buy one of her proper albums, yet have heard enough of her to desire more than the GREATEST HITS. If these people exist, FAMILY TREE will appeal to them. However, experienced Bjork fans are likely to regard FAMILY TREE as a terrible wasted opportunity.
It contains:- some familiar, easily-obtained album tracks; a handful of the many non-album single-sides she's released since 1993; two (only two) genuine rarities from the '80s; and an abbreviation of the famous 1999 London concert with the Brodsky Quartet (omitting some of the most interesting one-off moments from that concert).
Perfectionism is a virtue where `proper albums' are concerned. But to assemble a compilation like this, an artist needs some understanding of the "hardcore fan" mentality - of the devoted followers and their interests and desires. Unfortunately Bjork, like most artists, lacks that understanding. When this box was released in 2002, Bjork had a 25-year recording career behind her. Fans knew all too well that a great deal of her most interesting, even revelatory, work was unavailable - either deleted or confined to bootlegs.
Whether Bjork realises it or not, her reputation would have been enhanced by a box of four or five full-length CDs, consisting mostly of rare/previously unreleased material, spanning her entire career from child-stardom through Tappi Tikarass, the Sugarcubes and Kukl, to the present day. Instead she's given us this unsatisfactory product. And now she's made the same mistake twice, with an equally inadequate live box set.
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Format: Audio CD
First of all, in the interest of fairness to her fans, Björk offers TWO Greatest Hits collections: 1) a nice, comprehensive cheap one, just fine for general fans, and 2) Family Tree, which is deeper and more personal, intended for enthusiasts (or those who are budding).
This way, everyone can get what they want, and no-one can RIGHTLY complain about it being "too expensive."
Family Tree is Björk's own chosen "soundtrack" to her career, spanning over 20 years, and involving many collaborators (other people who well deserve to be credited and, by law, paid for their contributions) not appearing on the cheaper, fan-chosen Greatest Hits.
Add the artwork and her favorite lyrics - both chosen because of importance to her - finally you'll realize that this singularly personal retrospective more than fair in the additional cost, provided you are (or feel you may be, as I did) enthusiastic about her work.
The main 5-inch disc collection of 12 originals (her "Greatest" choices) leaves behind the often enjoyable, yet less intimate pop/techo-driven studio stylings of "Big Time Sensuality", "Army of Me" and "Possibly Maybe" (those original versions are on the OTHER Greatest Hits), in favor of deeper, more personal, theatric, and romantic songs.
These include the sweeping, beautifully sobering, Oscar-nominated orchestral "I've Seen It All" (a duet with brilliantly chosen Thom Yorke of Radiohead) and the dark, foreboding "Scatterheart" (a kind of "Bachelorette meets Vespertine"), both high points of Selmasongs (in case you passed on that CD and would prefer spending the extra money on this instead).
Also unique to the main 5-inch disc "greatest" collection are the sweet romantic simplicities of "You've Been Flirting...
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By A Customer on Dec 25 2002
Format: Audio CD
All these reviews bring up good points- this set is for Bjork die-hards only. It was expensive, but as a major Bjork fan(I did a big report of her in music that earned me an A+. Yay!) I needed it. I hadn't realized that the new song wasn't on this version, as I didn't know there actually was one,and that is just mean. There's no way I'm buying another version, as Bjork should realize. Does she think we're made of money? Personally, I kind of like the greatest hits even though I have all her cds. Its puts some of her best in one nice cd. The Roots cds are the best. I think the mini cds are cute, although I was worried they wouldn't work on my player. They do. They show Bjork's creativeness although I agree all the songs could fit on about 3 cds. That would have lowered the cost a bit, and I'm surprised Bjork did that. She doesn't seem to be the type to get all of what fans are worth. Bjork lovers will highly enjoy the Roots, Beats, and Strings, even if it was more costly than neccessary. But even though we're kind of complaining, the company knew all her crazy fans would buy it. And we did.
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Format: Audio CD
I was very anxious to buy this box set because I am a great fan of Bjork. I think her music is innovative and beautiful. I'm sure the music is great on this box set, but I am unable to play any of the 3" CD. I have to warn those people that are on the fence about this set. I would not buy it unless you know for sure you're stereo is capable of playing 3" discs. I shelled out $... and learned the hard way. I can only play the Greatest Hits CD, which is sort of anticlimactic since I own all of Bjork's previous releases. My stereo cannot play the 3" CD's. Also, I cannot even download the songs from the CD's onto my Mac and burn my own CD from them because I have a slot loading CD-ROM drive. I am very disappointed and am just baffled as to why Bjork, Inc. decided to releases these songs in this format. Would it really have compromised her artistic integrity to releases the CD's on a regular 5" format? I feel like I've been ripped off. Please know that I have nothing against Bjork or her music. In fact, I love her music. I'm just annoyed that I cannot listen to it.
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