Shh! The Secrets Behind Björk’s Whispering Hit: “It’s Oh So Quiet”

Bjork | It’s Oh So Quiet

🤫 #Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” is a ’95 cover, but did you know it was originally by Betty Hutton in ’48?💃Turn up the volume & embrace the hush with this iconic bop!🎶 #MusicTrivia #ThrowbackThursday #TBT Read about it:

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Breaking the Silence: Bjork’s Unique Artistry

Dive into the whimsical world of Björk’s iconic “It’s Oh So Quiet” as we explore the artistry and versatility that cemented her status as a boundary-pushing musical legend.

Icelandic singer, songwriter, and actress Björk Guðmundsdóttir, known mononymously as Björk, has undoubtedly made her mark on the music world since she began her solo career in the 1990s. With her distinctively eclectic musical style, Björk has influenced countless artists and garnered a multitude of awards and accolades. One of her most notable and iconic songs, “It’s Oh So Quiet,” showcases the unique artistry that she brings to the table.

Originally released in 1995, “It’s Oh So Quiet” is a staple from Björk’s second studio album, Post. The song, a cover of Betty Hutton’s 1951 rendition of “Blow a Fuse,” has a whimsical, jazzy style that immediately sets it apart from her other works. With its playful lyrics, abrupt transitions between soft, gentle verses and boisterous, brassy choruses, the song embodies the emotional roller coaster of falling in love.

The accompanying music video, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Jonze, matches the song’s quirky energy with its colorful, highly stylized visuals and choreography. The video’s effervescent feel and over-the-top performance solidified Björk’s reputation as a highly creative artist unafraid to take risks.

Despite its undeniable charm, “It’s Oh So Quiet” is not without its critics. Some listeners argue that its upbeat, almost campy nature is a departure from the experimental and avant-garde sound that Björk is best known for. However, it is important to note that Björk’s catalog spans various genres, and she has never been one to shy away from exploring new musical territories.

Throughout her career, Björk has received numerous awards and recognition for her work. Among them are 14 Icelandic Music Awards, 5 BRIT Awards, and 1 Polar Music Prize. She has also been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, solidifying her place in music history as an innovative and boundary-pushing artist.

In conclusion, “It’s Oh So Quiet” serves as a testament to Björk’s incredible versatility and her willingness to explore various musical styles. While it may stand out from her other works, it remains a beloved part of her discography and an excellent example of her artistic prowess.

A Hush of Chart Success

Bjork’s vibrant reinvention of a classic, “It’s Oh So Quiet” shatters silence with its brass-infused energy, catapulting the quirky tune to chart-topping success worldwide.

Released on November 13th, 1995 as the third single from Bjork’s second album, “Post,” “It’s Oh So Quiet” immediately grabbed listeners’ attention with its unique sound and energy. The song, a cover of a 1951 Betty Hutton track, showcased Bjork’s ability to take an older tune and breathe new life into it with her distinctive vocals and a touch of brass instrumentation.

Upon its release, “It’s Oh So Quiet” found instant chart success, entering the UK Singles Chart at an impressive #14. As the weeks went by, it continued to climb the charts, eventually peaking at #4, where it remained for two consecutive weeks. This made it Bjork’s highest-charting single in the UK to date, a record it held for over a decade until “Who Is It (Carry My Joy on the Left, Carry My Pain on the Right)” reached #3 in 2005. In total, “It’s Oh So Quiet” spent 16 weeks on the UK Singles Chart.

The song also achieved notable success in other countries. In Australia, it reached #6 on the ARIA Singles Chart and was certified Gold, while in New Zealand, it peaked at #8 on the RIANZ Singles Chart. European audiences similarly embraced the track, with it reaching the top 10 in countries like Belgium, Ireland, and Norway.

Additionally, “It’s Oh So Quiet” managed to make an impact in the United States, despite not being released as a commercial single. It reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, and its music video, directed by Spike Jonze, received considerable airplay on MTV, further boosting the song’s popularity.

Even though “It’s Oh So Quiet” did not top any major chart, its undeniable charm and unforgettable sound helped it secure a well-deserved spot in the pantheon of Bjork’s most memorable and beloved tracks.

Unraveling the Intricacies of Bjork’s Lyrics

“It’s Oh So Quiet” is undoubtedly one of Bjork’s most widely recognized songs, and its lyrics capture the essence of her unique and captivating style. Let’s immerse ourselves in the poetic depth of these lyrics:

It’s oh so quiet
It’s oh so still
You’re all alone
And so peaceful until…

You fall in love
Zing boom
The sky up above
Zing boom
Is caving in
Wow bam

You’ve never been so nuts about a guy
You wanna laugh, you wanna cry
You cross your heart and hope to die

‘Til it’s over and then
It’s nice and quiet
But soon again
Starts another big riot

While maintaining a playful and uplifting tone, the lyrics of “It’s Oh So Quiet” effectively communicate the tumultuous emotions experienced during the throes of love. The song illustrates the calm before falling in love, describing it as quiet and still. However, the moment love strikes, it is likened to an explosion or a “big riot” that overtakes one’s life.

At the time the song was released in 1995, the world was going through significant changes. The Cold War had come to an end, and a sense of hope and optimism for the future was emerging. This newfound freedom and openness to love can be seen reflected in the lyrics, as they capture the spirit of embracing love wholeheartedly, even if it means experiencing emotional upheaval.

The lyrics of “It’s Oh So Quiet” are a testament to the transformative power of love and the rollercoaster of emotions that it brings. Through her poetic and vivid imagery, Bjork has created a timeless representation of the human experience of love, one that resonates as strongly today as it did when the song was released.

A Visual Symphony: The Music Video for “It’s Oh So Quiet”

A Visual Symphony: Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” music video dazzles with its vibrant sets, Broadway-esque choreography, and Spike Jonze’s imaginative direction, creating a whimsical, iconic masterpiece.

The music video for Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” is a delightful and visually stunning tribute to the song’s whimsical nature. Directed by legendary filmmaker Spike Jonze, who has previously worked with the likes of Beastie Boys, Fatboy Slim, and Weezer, this music video showcases Bjork’s eccentric persona through a dream-like sequence filled with colorful sets and synchronized dance routines.

The video was released in 1995 and quickly gained recognition for its unique approach and captivating visuals. Shot on a 20th Century Fox film set, the video begins in a dull, grey-toned world where Bjork finds herself in a tire shop. As the song’s first quiet verse begins, the scene slowly comes to life as the surroundings transform into a vibrant and lively setting, reflecting the theme of the song.

As the video progresses, Bjork is joined by an array of characters, including dancers dressed as mechanics, postal workers, and other everyday people, who come together in perfectly choreographed dance numbers. The video’s choreography, which was done by Michael Rooney, adds a Broadway-esque appeal to the visual masterpiece. The sudden bursts of energy and activity during the song’s chorus, contrasted with the calm, serene moments during the verses, effectively capture the essence of “It’s Oh So Quiet.”

One of the most memorable scenes in the video is Bjork’s enchanting dance with a mailbox, which seems to come to life as the two engage in a playful and flirtatious routine. This magical moment, combined with the various dance sequences, make the video feel like a tribute to classic Hollywood musicals.

The video’s production was reportedly quite challenging, as it was shot in one continuous take with no cuts or edits – a testament to the impeccable timing and smooth transitions achieved by the director, cast, and crew. Jonze’s visionary approach and dedication to the project are evident throughout the video and have resulted in a truly iconic piece of art.

In conclusion, the music video for “It’s Oh So Quiet” is a visual masterpiece that effectively captures the song’s fluctuating energy and whimsical nature. With its engaging dance sequences, vibrant sets, and imaginative direction by Spike Jonze, the video has left an indelible mark on the world of music videos and continues to be a fan favorite to this day.

A Trip Down the Lane with Composer Hans Lang

Hans Lang, the brilliant composer behind “It’s Oh So Quiet,” is truly a musical gem worth admiring. Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1908, Lang began his illustrious career as a pianist and arranger, but it wasn’t long before he branched out into the world of composition. One of his most notable works is the original version of “It’s Oh So Quiet,” titled “Und jetzt ist es still,” composed in 1948 with lyrics by Erich Meder. The song found success once more when it was covered by American artist Betty Hutton in 1951 as “Blow a Fuse.”

Throughout his career, Hans Lang composed music for numerous films, including the 1955 Austrian drama “Drei Männer im Schnee” and the 1959 comedy “Ein Mann geht durch die Wand.” Lang’s compositions are characterized by their catchy melodies and elegant simplicity, showcasing his versatility and skill. He continued to create memorable music up until his death in 1992, leaving behind a legacy that will be cherished by generations of music enthusiasts.

Awards, Accolades, and Notable Appearances

Bjork’s timeless classic “It’s Oh So Quiet” captivates hearts with its enchanting melody and whimsical charm, transcending genres and gracing screens from the Grammy’s stage to video game consoles.

As a testament to its charm, “It’s Oh So Quiet” garnered a fair amount of recognition over the years, both in the form of awards and appearances in various media. One of the most notable achievements for this Bjork classic was its nomination for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance category in the 1997 Grammy Awards. Though the song ultimately did not take home the trophy, its nomination is a testament to its impact and popularity.

Adding to its accolades, the song’s surreal and visually stunning music video, directed by legendary filmmaker Spike Jonze, was nominated for Best Direction and Best Choreography at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. The video features Bjork dancing and singing amid a chaotic world where everything seems to come alive, and it remains an iconic piece of the ’90s music video era.

“It’s Oh So Quiet” has maintained a lasting presence in popular culture and has made notable appearances in television, movies, and video games. For instance, it was featured in the film “I Could Never Be Your Woman” (2007) starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Paul Rudd. The song has appeared in popular television shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars,” where its infectious energy and theatrical nature make it an ideal choice for dance performances.

In addition to these appearances, the song has been used in numerous advertisements and trailers for various products, showcasing its universal appeal and ability to capture audiences’ attention. It was also featured in the 2010 video game “Dance Central” for Xbox 360 Kinect, allowing players to dance along to the upbeat track.

Over the years, “It’s Oh So Quiet” has inspired a number of cover versions by various artists. Some of the most notable renditions include those by English singer and actress Lucy Benjamin for the 2002 comedy film “Swept Away,” as well as by singer-songwriter and actress Zooey Deschanel for her band She & Him’s album “Volume One” (2008). The song’s appeal transcends genres, as evident by a unique jazz rendition by British a cappella group The Swingle Singers and a more recent cover by Irish singer-songwriter Hozier in 2020.

With its contagious energy, whimsical lyrics, and unforgettable melody, “It’s Oh So Quiet” remains a beloved classic in Bjork’s discography and continues to make its mark across various forms of media, delighting audiences of all ages.

Dissecting the Musical Anatomy

Diving into the technicalities of “It’s Oh So Quiet,” one can truly appreciate the intricate tapestry Bjork has woven with this piece. The song is written in the key of G major, which lends itself to a bright and uplifting sonic landscape. The chord progression alternates between the simplicity of I-IV-V (G, C, D) and a more complex I-IV-ii-V (G, C, Am, D) during the louder, more energetic sections. This subtle shift helps keep the listener engaged and adds depth to the composition.

The tempo of the song is another noteworthy aspect, as it employs a moderate 110-120 beats per minute (BPM) during the quieter verses and then abruptly accelerates to a lively 170-180 BPM during the chorus and bridge. This dramatic change in tempo mirrors the emotional rollercoaster the lyrics describe, with the quieter moments representing the calm before the storm of love and passion.

In terms of instrumentation, “It’s Oh So Quiet” showcases a rich blend of orchestral and big band elements. The song begins with a delicate music box-like melody, setting the stage for the hushed verses. Once the chorus kicks in, listeners are treated to a vibrant explosion of brass, percussion, and strings, reminiscent of classic Hollywood musicals. This contrast between serenity and exuberance not only highlights Bjork’s unique vocal range but also creates a dynamic auditory experience.

Another fascinating element is the rhythmic structure of the song, as the verses utilize a laid-back, syncopated swing rhythm while the chorus and bridge employ a driving, straight-ahead beat. This juxtaposition further emphasizes the theme of quiet versus loud, making the song both unpredictable and captivating.

In essence, “It’s Oh So Quiet” exemplifies Bjork’s innovative songwriting prowess and her ability to seamlessly blend various musical styles and structures. From the expertly crafted chord progressions to the masterful tempo shifts and orchestration, this track stands as a testament to the creative genius that has made Bjork an enduring and influential force in the music world.