Earth Intruders

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"Earth Intruders"
Single by Björk
from the album Volta
Released April 9, 2007 (Digital single)

6:13 (album version)
3:18 (single version)
4:26 (Mark Stent's extended edit)

4:50 (without outro)
Björk singles chronology
"Triumph of a Heart"
"Earth Intruders"

"Earth Intruders" is a song written and recorded by Icelandic singer Björk. The song was released as the first single from her 2007 full-length studio album, Volta.

The single was released digitally in the USA on 9 April and 21 April 2007 and in Europe on 28 April 2007.[2][3][4] The single was released in a physical box set on 4 February 2008. Due to high digital download sales, it remains Björk's highest charting single in the United States to date.


The first mention of "Earth Intruders" as a song title was made on All Access on March 10, 2007,[5] and was later confirmed as the lead single through an article by The Guardian on March 11, 2007.[6] On March 26, 2007, a distorted sample of the song was uploaded to YouTube as part of the viral marketing campaign for the Volta album.[7][8] A fifteen-second sample of the track then appeared on the Rhino Records online ringtone website on April 1, 2007.[9][10] The purchased ringtone featured a different clip (with different lyrics) to the one used in the online preview on the site; both audio samples were subsequently spread across music forums.[11] On April 3, 2007 it was reported that the Björk section of the Rhino Records online ringtone store had been removed.[12] After internet radio station WOXY played the song on April 6, 2007 the song was made widely available across file-sharing networks.[13]

The album version of Earth Intruders was leaked to the internet on April 24, 2007 due to the full album being made available accidentally on the UK iTunes Store on April 23, 2007 for a total of six hours, two weeks before the album's official release date.[14] Björk said of the song was based on a dream during a cross-Atlantic flight to New York where;


"Earth Intruders" is co-produced by R&B record producer Timbaland and his protégé Danja.[16] Congolese group Konono Nº1 play electric likembes on the song.

Critical reception[edit]

"Earth Intruders" received favourable reviews from music critics. Drowned in Sound reviewer Mike Diver gave the song 9/10, praising it as "immediately catchy, compellingly left of centre, and undeniably unique".[17] Digital Spy reviewer Miriam Zendle cited "Earth Intruders" as returning to Björk's earlier commercial sound, comparing it to her more recent albums that were "incredibly difficult to grasp hold of".[18] Music website Popjustice called it the 80th greatest single of 2007.[19]

Music video[edit]

Screenshot from "Earth Intruders"

The music video for "Earth Intruders" was directed by Michel Ocelot. It was accomplished within strict time constraints through a combination of live-action, silhouette animation, 3D computer graphics, traditional animation, cut-outs and other special effects.[20] "Kirikou" was danced by Legrand Bemba-Debert in a costume made, based on Ocelot's ideas, by paper sculptor Anne-Lise Kœhler.[21] A preview was shown during Le Grand Journal show on French TV channel Canal+ on 17 April 2007.[22] The full video was made available in the iTunes Store on 24 April 2007.[23]

It features Björk's face floating in the background, first upside down, then upright, singing with her eyes closed. In the foreground, a large group of silhouetted tribal warriors dance in time to the music. The video features psychedelic colours and patterns imposed on an earthy backdrop. The video ends with Björk's face slowly fading into the middle of a glade, her eyes being opened just as she sings the last lyric. Ocelot stated that Björk had originally wanted Kirikou (the child-hero of Ocelot's Kirikou and the Sorceress and Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages) to be featured as a 20-year-old in the video. It was nominated for the 2007 Q Award for Best Video.[24]

Club Mixes EP[edit]

A digital-only "Earth Intruders – Club Mixes" EP was released on the iTunes Store in the US/UK on May 21, 2007. The European iTunes release contained only three of the original five tracks.[25] It is only the second time (the first being Play Dead) that an instrumental of a Björk track has been officially released. With this release, it was determined that "Earth Intruders" would have no physical release in any territory worldwide. Also, the Mark Stent mix was initially labelled as an "Extended Edit", but on May 23, 2007, was retitled to "Radio Edit"; the "xxxChange Mix" was retitled from the previous non-descriptive title "Earth Intruders Remix".[26]

  1. Mark Stent Radio Edit 4:26
  2. xxxchange Mix 4:38
  3. Lexx Remix 6:40
  4. Lexx Edit 4:05
  5. Mark Stent Radio Edit Instrumental 4:29

The European iTunes Store release omitted the tracks "Mark Stent Radio Edit" and "Lexx Edit."[25]

Limited edition release[edit]

A limited edition "multiformat" box set was released at the beginning of February 2008 with slightly different artwork. The box set consists of a sticker-sealed fold out box with five nesting boxes containing two 12" vinyl singles, a CD and a DVD in colored paper sleeves.

12-inch vinyl 1[edit]

Side A. "Earth Intruders" (xxxchange Remix)
Side B. "Earth Intruders" (Jimmy Douglas Mix)

12-inch vinyl 2[edit]

Side C. "Earth Intruders" (Lexx 12" Remix)
Side D. "Earth Intruders" (Mark Stent Mix)


  1. "Earth Intruders" (Mark "Spike" Stent Mix)
  2. "Earth Intruders" (Jimmy Douglas Mix)
  3. "Earth Intruders" (Lexx Remix Radio Edit)
  4. "Earth Intruders" (xxxchange Remix)
  5. "Earth Intruders" (Lexx 12" Remix)


  1. "Earth Intruders" (Video directed by Michel Ocelot)


On April 21, 2007, a barefooted Björk appeared as musical guest on an episode of the U.S. comedy-variety show Saturday Night Live in promotion of the album. She performed the songs "Earth Intruders" and "Wanderlust."[27][28] On June 8, 2007 (recorded on June 5, 2007), Björk performed, along with her tour musicians, on the UK television show Later With Jools Holland for the fifth time in her solo career. She performed "Earth Intruders," "The Anchor Song," and "Declare Independence." Björk has also performed the song on every show of the worldwide Volta Tour, usually as the very first song played after she enters the stage. Björk's set at Glastonbury Festival was broadcast on BBC Four on 22 June 2007, with "Earth Intruders" being the first song of the concert.

Chart performance[edit]

"Earth Intruders" reached number 67 on the UK Official Download Chart, while the remix EP later released charted on its own at #150. In the United States, the song debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 at number 84 in the issue dated April 28, 2007.[29] This is Björk's highest position on the U.S. Hot 100, the previous being "Big Time Sensuality" in 1993, which peaked at number 88. The song also peaked at number 75 on the U.S. Billboard Pop 100.[30]


Chart (2007) Peak
Belgium (Wallonia) 46
Belgium (Flanders) 48
French Download Chart 22
French Airplay Top 100[31] 90
French Top 100 Singles[32] 64
Greek Singles Chart[33] 18
Japan Hot 100[34] 7
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[29] 84
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 75

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Miss (February 2010). "Fashion Meets Music: Björk". Retrieved 2011-08-29. 
  2. ^ (2007). "All Access Music Group". Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  3. ^ (2007). "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Arbitron Ratings, Music News and more!". Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  4. ^ (2007). "\/\unity - New Information on VOLTA!". Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  5. ^ (2007). "\/\unity - First Single from Volta: 'Earth Intruders' April 10th". Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  6. ^ "10 essential albums for spring". The Guardian. London. 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  7. ^ (2007). "\/\unity - Possible slight leak on youtube?". Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  8. ^ (2007). "Pitchfork: Bjork Trickling Out Volta Teasers". Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  9. ^ (2007). "\/\unity - Earth intruders ringtone!!!!!!!". Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  10. ^ "Rhino Ringtones | Bjork". Rhino Entertainment. 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  11. ^ (2007). "\/\unity - Earth intruders ringtone!!!!!!!". Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  12. ^ (2007). "\/\unity - Earth intruders ringtone!!!!!!!". Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  13. ^ (2007). "EARTH INTRUDERS 6PM Woxy.". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  14. ^ (2007). "iTunes UK blunders with Bjork - iPod/iTunes - Macworld UK". Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  15. ^ (2007). "MTV News – Tsunami, Timbaland Help Shape Bjork's Forthcoming Volta". Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  16. ^ The Guardian (2007-03-11). "10 essential albums for spring". London. Retrieved 2007-03-11. 
  17. ^ (2007-05-21). "Drowned in Sound - Reviews - Singles - Björk - Earth Intruders". Archived from the original on 20 June 2007. 
  18. ^ (2007). "Music - Singles Reviews - Bjork: 'Earth Intruders' - Digital Spy". Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  19. ^ (2007). "Popjustice - The Greatest Singles of 2007". Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  20. ^ Lugt, Peter van der (2008-08-25). "This is animation". Archived from the original on 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  21. ^ Kœhler, Anne-Lise (26 May 2010). "Animation works, cinéma d'animation". Anne-Lise Kœhler, sculptures et cinéma's Photos (in French). Facebook. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  22. ^ "Le clip "Earth Intruders" disponible en streaming" (in French). 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  23. ^ "Earth Intruders video and recent media". 17 April 2007. Archived from the original on 26 April 2007. 
  24. ^ (2007). "Dazed&Confused + Q Award Nomination". Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  25. ^ a b (2007). "\/\unity - Earth Intruders Club Mixes (5 track EP, May 21/28)". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  26. ^ (2007). "\/\unity - Earth Intruders Club Mixes (5 track EP, May 21/28)". Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ Damien Mulley » Blog Archive » Bjork on Saturday Night Live April 2007
  29. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles. Memomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-89820-180-2. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  30. ^ (2007). "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  31. ^ France Airplay TOP 100 - 22/04/2007
  32. ^ Steffen Hung. "Björk - Earth Intruders". Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  33. ^ Greek IFPI Singles Chart Archived February 10, 2003, at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ Bjork Earth Intruders @ - 40 Top 20 & Top 40 Music Charts from 25 Countries