My Top 1000 Songs #261: Birthday

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Summer 1988, shortly after graduating college, and I was back home in Chicago at a party with some old high school friends. I got to talking music with my classmate Mark (with a k, to my c); we hadn't been super-close in high school, he was more part of the broader clique I used to hang out with and was dating a girl I was friends with, but he was one of the kindest, sweetest people I knew. So, of course, I made him a mixtape, as I did at the time for pretty much anyone who expressed an interest in music.

The next time I saw him, he couldn't stop talking about this one song I'd put on the tape, "Birthday," by Icelandic band the Sugarcubes, off their recent album Life's Too Good. He was blown away by the vocals, insisting that their singer, Bjork, was gonna be huge.

That was the last time we spoke. He was killed in a tragic accident a few weeks later, at the age of 22. So listening to the Sugarcubes always brings me down a little.

But he was right about that singer.

Live in 1989: