- 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: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,883 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Family Tree Box set
Customers who bought this item also bought
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
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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.
Now, first of all I must say that the presentation is quite nice. It is a pink box filled with some mini cd's, a lyric book, a little letter by Bjork herself and her version of the 'Greatest Hits' although bereft of the latest single which can be found on the fans 'Greatest Hits' in stores now. The pink box is covered with a white slip case and is rather quite snazzy, although I find it a bit of a pain to keep all the contents within this box without causing an indentation on the casing of the mini-cd's.
The music is as you would expect, brilliant. There is not a bad tune on here. The string arrangements with the Brodsky quartet are haunting and beautiful, the remixes are also interesting, Bjork that you can dance to, and the roots cd shows off Bjork's progression from the days before the Sugarcubes to her latest musical offerings.
On to the negative aspects of 'Family Tree' which there are a few, minor, but a few. First of all why the need for the miniature cd's? Surely at around twenty minutes each all these songs could have fit on one or two regular sized cd's. Okay, they're quite cute when you first open the box, and the artwork on the slips are nice, but their novelty wears off rather quickly what with having to constantly replace the cd's. I have already mentioned the problem with the pink box itself so I won't dwell on that any more than I have already. However if there is one major complaint to bring up that is the lack of the new song. What is the point of selling a box set for £40 knowing full well that the fans will pay and then leave off a new song that is only available on the 'Greatest Hits' until November 25 when the single comes out? It is an insult to the fans and a deplorable rouse to extract more money from a record buying public that already pays way too much.
So is this worth buying? For collectors, completists and obsessive fans I would say without hesitation, "yes". For Neophytes and borderline fans, stick with the 'Greatest Hits' or any of Bjork's back catalog. The music, the presentation and my penchant for collectable stuff by artists I respect has dulled my minor feeling of being ripped off and I do think it is worth the money. The inadequacy of the box is nothing, the mini-cd's, well I can always transfer the tracks to my computer, and the missing song? I would have ended up buying the 'Greatest Hits' at any rate.
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
After amassing a collection of over 65 Björkish CDs over the years, I'm not going to pay $60 for three new songs. I'm tired of this.Read more
Horrible packaging? Yes.Read more