Sigur Rós ‎– Ágætis Byrjun

FatCat Records ‎– fatcd11
CD, Album, Repress, Digipak

Tracklist Hide Credits

01 Intro 1:36
02 Svefn-g-englar 10:04
03 Starálfur
Double Bass [Kontrabassaðist] – Gerður*
04 Flugufrelsarinn 7:47
05 Ný Batterí
Brass [Brässuðu - General Brass] – Sammi*, Snorri*
06 Hjartað Hamast (Bamm Bamm Bamm)
Harp [Harpaði] – KK (14)
07 Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása
Guitar [Slide - Strauk Stálið (Stroked Steel)] – Pétur*
08 Olsen Olsen
Choir [Söng] – Álafosskór
09 Ágætis Byrjun 7:56
10 Avalon 4:00


  • Engineer [Allt Mögulegra - Everything Is Possible]Addi 800
  • Engineer [Allt Mögulegt - All Possible]Ken Thomas
  • Strings [Strengjabrúðurnar - String Dummies]Szymon Kuran


This is the 2nd press version of the UK release, coming in a standard digipak featuring a plastic tray. The embryo at the cover is arranged in a different angle than on the 1st press version.

Originally released in Iceland in June 1999 by Smekkleysa Records.

The album's packaging leaves the first track untitled, though the band's website gives the piece the name "Intro". It has also been labeled by the band as "Nujryb Siteaga" (Ágætis byrjun backwards).

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout: FATCD11 01 6
  • Other: Made in the UK by Universal M&L

Other Versions (5 of 44) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
SM 79 CD Sigur Rós Ágætis Byrjun(CD, Album, Ltd) Smekkleysa SM 79 CD Iceland 1999 Sell This Version
XLDA610, XLDA 610 Sigur Ros* Ágætis Byrjun(10xFile, MP3, Album, RE, 320) XL Recordings, XL Recordings XLDA610, XLDA 610 UK 2013
PIASV 001 CD, 946.0001.20 Sigur Rós Ágætis Byrjun(CD, Album, Dig) [PIAS] Recordings, [PIAS] Recordings, Krúnk, Krúnk PIASV 001 CD, 946.0001.20 Europe 2000 Sell This Version
fatlp11 Sigur Rós Ágætis Byrjun(2xLP, Album) FatCat Records fatlp11 US 2001 Sell This Version
fatcd11 Sigur Rós Ágætis Byrjun(CD, Album, Car) FatCat Records fatcd11 Unknown Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 3 Reviews

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April 1, 2006
edited over 12 years ago
The title 'Agaetis Byrjun' means 'A good start' or 'An OK start' and comes from a comment one of their friends made on hearing an early demo of a song from this album.

If you haven't heard any Sigur Ros, this album is the best place to start. It was voted Iceland's Album of the Millenium (despite no albums being released in Iceland for the first 9 centuries).

This album, compared to their other efforts is quite string-heavy and also features the singer's trademark, playing the guitar with a bow, and the first time they sung in Hopelandic, a made-up language that features heavily in () and Takk.

One aspect of their music that is lost on a lot of their fans is the lyrics. Translations are available on the net, search them out and have a read of them whilst you listen to the album! It should add an extra dimension to their music!


April 4, 2005
edited over 13 years ago

At a push, I'd say this is my favourite record in my collection. Whilst not all is to my tastes ('Starálfur' sounds a little too much like a Disney number), there are moments here of such intense beauty that it's hard not to get caught up in it all. Even after 5 years of heavy rotation, the climax of 'Viðrar Vel Til Loftárasa', 'Ný Batterí' and co still get me. Every time.

Despite their later release '( )' seemingly reaching a much wider audience, for me this will always be their landmark album. Essential.


April 20, 2003

Translation/explanation of the track titles:
'Svefn-g-englar' = 'Sleepwalkers', but if you drop the -g- in the middle it changes to 'Sleep angels'; 'Starálfur' = 'Staring elf'; 'Flugufrelsarinn' = 'The liberator of flies'; 'Ný batterí' = 'New batteries'; 'Hjartað hamast' = 'The heart is pounding'; 'Viðrar vel til loftárása' = 'Good weather for airstrikes', words that were actually spoken by an icelandic TV weatherman during the first gulf-war; 'Olsen olsen' is the name of a popular cardgame; 'Ágætis byrjun' = 'A pretty good start'.