Get this crazy baby off my head!


Everything But The Girl

Everything But The Girl - Acoustic - 1992 - Atlantic

Here is a stunning acoustic collection of sophisticated jazz pop-tronica by Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn. EBTG had their first indie hit with a samba version of Porter’s “Night And Day” and two years later hit the Top 40 with “Each And Every One,” from their great debut album, Eden. They simplified their sound with 1988’s Idlewild and had a big hit with “I Don’t Want To Talk About It.” In 1994, they became more electronica orientated when they joined the hugely popular electronic, trip-hop outfit, Massive Attack, on the hit single “Protection” featuring Tracey Thorn’s vocals. In 1994, EBTG developed a more sensuous club sound, reminiscent of Sade, with their album Amplified Heart. Their albums, 1996’s Walking Wounded and 1999’s Temperamental, established them as a serious force in the jazz pop genre. Much of EBTG's music is associated with clubbers, but even if you're not into music of that genre, you should find something to enjoy in this album, as it is also a brilliant album for serious music fans, and is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. You will not be disappointed by this acoustic jazz pop album. As well as their own compositions, Ben and Tracey cover songs by Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Elvis Costello, and Tom Waits. Check out their "Walking Wounded" album, and buy Tracey Thorn’s great 2007 solo album, "Out of the Woods." For similar music in this vein, it is worthwhile listening to the "Matt's Mood" album by Matt Bianco, and Sade's great "Diamond Life" album.


1 Love Is Strange - Smith, Baker
2 Tougher Than The Rest - Springsteen
3 Time After Time - Lauper, Hyman
4 Alison - Costello
5 Downtown Train - Waits
6 Driving - Watt
7 One Place - Thorn
8 Apron Strings (Live) - Watt/Thorn [Recorded Live In Minneapolis / St. Paul]
9 Me And Bobby D - Watt/Thorn
10 Come On Home - Watt/Thorn
11 Fascination (Live) - Thorn [Recorded Live In Manchester]

All tracks recorded at Livingston, London, except where stated


Ben Watt - Guitar [Guitars], Piano, Vocals
Tracey Thorn - Vocals


Steve Pearce - Bass Guitar, Track 1
Damon Butcher - Additional Keyboards, Track 5
Martin Ditcham - Percussion, Tracks 7, & 9
Dick Oatts - Soprano Saxophone, Track 11

BIO (Wikipedia)

Everything but the Girl (EBTG) is a two-person English band formed in Hull in 1982. The band's members are lead singer and sometime-guitarist Tracey Thorn (born September 26, 1962), and guitarist, keyboardist & vocalist Ben Watt (born December 6, 1962). Watt and Thorn are also a couple; they are intensely private about their relationship and personal life. It was not a publicized fact for some time that they were a couple, or that they had subsequently married. The duo have a strong desire to raise their three children outside of the spotlight. When Thorn and Watt met, their paths were very similar; they were both attending the University of Hull, and both had signed to independent record label Cherry Red Records as solo artists. Thorn was also a member of the trio Marine Girls, and Watt contributed a photograph to the cover of their first album, Lazy Ways. The pair each had solo album releases through Cherry Red Records: Thorn’s 1982 L.P. was A Distant Shore, an eight-track mini-album. Watt’s L.P. was entitled North Marine Drive. They formed a duo and took their unusual name "Everything but the Girl" from the slogan of well-known Hull shop Turner's furniture on Beverley Road. EBTG's debut single, a cover version of Cole Porter's "Night and Day", was released in June 1982. Following steady sales and exposure from the Pillows & Prayers compilation album, the single was re-issued in August 1983. Their first album was released in 1984 in the UK as Eden. 1984 also saw the UK release of singles "Mine", and "Native Land". Their first UK hit single, "Each and Every One", had a jazzy sound, and EBTG was considered part of the jazz/pop movement known as sophisti-pop that included other British acts like Sade, Matt Bianco, and The Style Council, on whose Café Bleu album they guested. EBTG and Sade both worked with producer Robin Millar and engineers Ben Rogan and Mike Pela for their debut albums. Although Eden was released in the UK, a different recording, Everything But the Girl, was released in the United States. The U.S. release contained about half the tracks from "Eden", along with some different tracks, including 'Mine' and 'Native Land'. The U.S. release balanced the bossa nova stylings of the British version with a more folk rock aesthetic, helping to establish the group's eclectic musicality. Subsequent releases underscored EBTG's versatility and range. Their 1985 album Love Not Money featured a shimmering pop sound with jangly guitars, and included a cover version of The Pretenders' song "Kid" (not on the UK L.P.). The lyrics have strong social and political content. "Angel" comments upon child poverty and public attitudes towards it. "Sean" is a bitter comment on the Northern Ireland troubles. "Ugly Little Dreams" comments upon male attitudes to intelligent women and is dedicated to actress Frances Farmer. "Angel" was also released as a single in the UK. The following year they released the self-produced Baby the Stars Shine Bright, an album of original pop songs recorded with an orchestra. They revealed the album's inspiration by their choices of B-sides for its single releases: one finds songs from Bacharach and Jimmy Webb on the 12" versions (as well as a cover of Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces"). The first single was "Come On Home", followed by "Don't Leave Me Behind". While the jump from jazz to post-Smiths rock (with the release of Love Not Money) may have jarred some of their audience, the move to orchestral pop was much bolder and foretold the stylistic swap they'd make ten years later with Walking Wounded. In 1988, EBTG released Idlewild, a collection of mature songs that began a trend towards middle-of-the-road, adult-orientated contemporary music. A cover version of Danny Whitten's "I Don't Want to Talk About It" (previously a hit by Rod Stewart) was released as a non-L.P. single; it achieved a high UK chart position and was later added to the album. Around this time, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions asked Tracey to contribute vocals to the song "Big Snake" on their final studio album Mainstream. Tommy Lipuma produced the band’s 1990 album The Language of Life. The album, which featured the single "Driving", was another lush pop effort, but with a more contemporary sound. Jazz great Stan Getz contributed a solo. Next came Worldwide, and its single "Old Friends" in 1991. Worldwide's lyrics revolve around the themes of relationships, travel and personal memories. 1992 saw another UK hit single with the release of the Covers E.P. The lead track was "Love Is Strange", and the E.P. featured cover versions of Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher Than the Rest"; Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" and Elvis Costello's "Alison". These four tracks were included on the U.S.-only album Acoustic. In 1993, EBTG released a cover version of Paul Simon's "The Only Living Boy in New York" as a single in the UK. The duo were forced to curtail recording and touring for a few years when Watt contracted Churg-Strauss syndrome, an autoimmune disease (he subsequently wrote a memoir, Patient, about his ordeal). The next work of original music was not until 1994, when EBTG released Amplified Heart. Although most of the music was still acoustic-based, it had a much more contemporary feel. Producer Todd Terry remixed the track "Missing", and when EBTG released the remix as a single, it became a huge international hit. It hit the top of nearly every chart around the world, and charted in the U.S., a feat that had previously eluded the band. The track reached number two and stayed in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for well over a year. The success of that track, along with a collaboration Thorn did with the bands Massive Attack and Deep Dish, influenced them and helped usher the band into a more electronic sound. Having completed contractual obligations to WEA, they were free to shop their recordings and had full ownership of their future recorded works. They signed licensing deals with Virgin Records for the United Kingdom and Europe, and Atlantic Records for the United States and Canada. Their subsequent albums Walking Wounded and Temperamental, showed the band's musical progress as well as established Ben Watt as a notable dance music producer. Between the two albums he produced "Stars All Seem To Weep" for Beth Orton, and it immediately garnered attention. This would bolster his growing reputation as a D.J. and producer.