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From the Video Music Archives II

Björk Guðmundsdóttir’s Unravel was released on her third album Homogenic in 1997, but neither as single nor video. Which is strange, since to my ears it’s one of the most haunting love songs ever written. A lot of other people thought so, too, and all this demand led to the Vespertine-style video released with a collection of her greatest hits in 2003 or 2004. And what a video it is. It begins with what could be yarn, though perhaps a tad gossamery for knitting. Smoke maybe? And then we have Björk’s head, possibly with some of that same stuff (whatever it is) tied up in her hair. And then we see that she is hunched up, rocking back and forth, with … something on her back, but … er … hmm. Well … um … could be a Tribble, maybe. Or maybe the white stuff is smoke, and it’s an ash tray. Or maybe … ah … vaguely, um, sexual … but I’m really not sure. Wouldn’t want to go out on limb here. And then there’s that other big thing, which also looks like a back, thrashing about, with a lot more of that white stuff – plenty of white stuff all over the place, being collected and whatnot. With a grin. Hmm. In short, I have no idea what the hell is going on here. But it’s a great song. Diminished, somewhat, perhaps, by the video. But haunting.

And here is a lovely version of the song performed live at the Riverside Church. And if you wondered whether some of her incredible vocal effects were produced with the magic of studio electronics, here she is in the famous Swan Dress performing live in Japan. Incredible.

While you are away/My heart comes undone/Slowly unravels/In a ball of yarn/The devil collects it/With a grin/Our love/In a ball of yarn/He’ll never return it/So when you come back/We’ll have to make new love/He’ll never return it/When you come back/We’ll have to make new love/While you are away/My heart comes undone/Slowly unravels/In a ball of yarn/The devil collects it/With a grin/Our love, our love,/In a ball of yarn/He’ll never return it/When you come back/We’ll have to make new love

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