Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun LP
A lot of people have one album that changes their lives, something that in some way alters everything after the first moment the hear it. 1999's Agaetis Byrjun is that album for a lot of people. Agaetis Byrjun ("A Good Beginning"), is actually Sigur Ros' second beginning. Three years previously they released their debut album, Von. After that the trio became a quartet and they evolved into something astounding. As suggested by a lyric from Agaetis Byrjun's title track, Sigur Ros had bigger ambitions after releasing Von.
Agaetis Byrjun was recorded by the band with producer Ken Thomas in 1999 at their Sundlaugin studio in the Icelandic countryside. It gradually grew into a huge commercial success in Iceland, remaining in the top of the charts for over two years and became available to the rest of the world in 2000 when Fat Cat released the album in the UK, and in 2001 when PIAS Recordings released the album in North America. Agaetis Byrjun was an album that came literally out of nowhere and seemed to tug at the heartstrings of those who least expected it. No one thought an album by an unknown band of four shy Icelandic men in their early-20s, singing in Icelandic, would become the worldwide music phenomenon it became.
In their 9.4 review, Pitchfork called Sigur Ros "the first vital band of the 21st century"; Billboard hailed Agetis Byrjun as "alluring, exotic, and unspoiled, just like the country that spawned it"; and Q Magazine even went so far as to call it "the last great record of the 20th century." Tracks from the album have been synched in several notable films such as Vanilla Sky and The Life Aquatic.
Reissued on the band's own record label Krunk, the out of print record comes pressed on 2 x 12-inch heavyweight vinyl LPs and features the exact original packaging specs.