I’ve got the “Ísbjarnarblús” for you, with some reggae and rock if you don’t mind.

Our third classic album is the first solo album of Bubbi Morthens (° 6. June 1956as Ásbjörn Kristinsson Morthens): “Ísbjarnarblús” (Icebear Blues). The album was recorded during 1979, released on 17. June 1980 (Iceland’s Independence Day) on the Iðunn label and sold about 15.000 copies. The long player came out 4 days before the supporting gig of Bubbi’s punk band Utangarðsmenn (The Outsiders) for The Clash concert atLaugardalshöll at the Reykjavik Music Festival. Remember CIA # 2: The Outsiders ‘in’, Fraebbblarnir ‘out’.

When you mention the name Bubbi in the land of fire and ice, you start a discussion like the one “Why are Icelanders still/again hunting the lovely whales?”. But Bubbi is one of the few spiders in the country’s musical web, our should I say a chameleon without a camouflage outfit or Spider Man? Some people called him the Icelandic Bruce Springsteen, out of respect. You just can’t neglect Bubbi, he was ‘in’ (Utangarðsmenn/The Outsiders, Egó, Das Kapital, MX-21, G.C.D. to name just a few outfits), not yet ’out’ of the music business and scene. One of the bestselling musicians of all time, but he has received almost no attention outside Iceland. You love him or you hate him, no inbetween; most certainly because of his ‘Ego’.

But enough about the artist, let’s tell the story behind the album. His first solo album was a like a blended whisk(e)y, containing rock, blues and reggae.

Starting point of the LP was to make an acoustic blues album inspired by Leadbelly, but during the sessions they all got inspired by Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Megas (yup, another spider man), Magnus Eiríksson the album’s style changed considerably. Especially the lyrics were revolutionary. Because Bubbi wrote without comprises about the injustice of Icelandic society, particularly in regards to fish industry workers and also migrant workers, his personal background.

– Wim Van Hooste

Songs on the album:
Side 1
1. Ísbjarnarblús
2. Hrognin eru að koma
3. MB Rosinn (Bubbi & Tolli Morthens, his brother)
4. Grettir og Glámur (Daniel Pollock/þórarinn Eldjárn)
5. Færeyjablús
6. Jón pönkari (Utangarðsmenn/Gunnar Ægisson)

Side 2
1. Hollywood
2. Agnes og Friðrik
3. Hve þungt er yfir bænum
4. Þorskacharleston
5. Mr. Dylan
6. Masi
7. Stál og hnífu