Blue Eyed Pop – The History of Popular Music in Iceland

BLUE EYED POP by Dr. Gunni is the first book in ENGLISH about the History of popular music in Iceland.

Iceland has a population of only 320.000. Despite this, the tiny nation has been a hotbed of musical activity and accomplishment, resulting—among other things— in globally celebrated musicians like Björk, Sigur Rós, múm, Emilíana Torrini and Of Monsters and Men. And these beloved icons are but the tip of the iceberg—the country is crowded with interesting, often groundbreaking musicians, as evident by an annual flood of fantastic albums and the lauded Iceland Airwaves music festival, which serves as a harvest feast for the Icelandic scene.
In BLUE EYED POP – THE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC IN ICELAND, the first English-language book to cover Iceland’s rich history of popular music, scene stalwart Dr. Gunni takes us back to the dire beginnings of pop music in Iceland and recounts its history through the decades. This book is a must-have for any serious fan of Icelandic music, a funny and insightful read from a trusted inside source, featuring an abundance of rare and cool images.
Dr. Gunni (Gunnar Lárus Hjálmarsson) is a jack-of-all-trades in the Icelandic music world. After catching a serious case of Beatlemania at the age of ten and then being baptized to the church of punk rock in 1979, Gunni has religiously pondered and listened to music, with an emphasis on his local scene. Dr. Gunni has through his career written about music for most of Iceland’s publications; his repertoire includes two beloved tomes on the history of Icelandic music (this book is partly based on 2012’s “Stuð vors lands”); hosted various radio shows, supervised a pop quiz show on TV and regularly performed his own music, both as solo artist and with notable local acts such as S.H. Draumur, Bless and Unun.



Chapter 1 – “Pop” Before 1950
Dancing Out of the Darkness

Chapter 2 – The Beginning of Modern Pop
Bands, Singers, Song-writers and Labels of the Early Fifties

Chapter 3 – Rock arrives
Icelanders Get All Excited About Rock ‘n’ Roll

Chapter 4 – Beatlemania in Iceland
The War Cry From Liverpool Reaches the Reef
* Hljómar (Thor’s Hammer), Dátar, etc…

Chapter 5 – The Hippies Rock Out
Getting Heavy and Progressive
* Trúbrot, Óðmenn, Svanfríður, Icecross, Pelican etc…

Chapter 6 – The Silly Seventies
Just Having Fun

Chapter 7 – The Early Eighties Rock Explosion
Rokk in Reykjavík
* Fræbbblarnir, Þeyr, Purrkur Pillnikk, Tappi Tíkarrass etc… 

Chapter 8 – Life after Rokk í Reykjavík
The Joyful and Vivid Eighties

Chapter 9 – The Sugarcubes and their protégés
World Domination or Death!

Chapter 10 – The ball-pop bands of the nineties (and beyond)
Artistic Ambition at the Country Ball

Chapter 11 – Metal and hard (and not so hard) rock in the nineties
Guitars Guitars Everywhere

Chapter 12 – Björk Conquers the World
I Was Just Created This Way

Chapter 13 – GusGus and Electronica in Iceland
Dancing with a New Toolbox

Chapter 14 – Sigur Rós
We Haven’t Got Any Hate Mail Yet

Chapter 15 – Rock, Rap, Raggea and Pop in the New Millennium
Full of Energy and Promise

Chapter 16 – The „Krútt“-Generation
The Introverted Ambassadors
* múm, Sin Fang, Sóley, Emilíana Torrini etc…

Chapter 17 – The Class of Now
Anything Can Happen!
* Of Monsters and Men, Ásgeir, Ólafur Arnalds etc… 

+ Lists
* Best Icelandic albums, best sellers, etc…

+ Maps (of Reykjavík and Iceland)
* Where were The Sugarcubes formed? Where did the Sigur Rós guys meet first? Where was Ágætis byrjun recorded? Etc…


  • Paperback: 224 Pages
  • Publisher: Sögur útgáfa (October 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-9935-448-45-3
  • Dimensions: 21.6 x 23.8 x 1.8 cm / 8.5 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 854 g / 30 oz

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