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Everything But The Girl are another band I have to thank my sister P for getting me into, although I did like them before I listened to her CD’s but listening to more than the stuff I heard out and about and on radio fully converted me. I know there were singles released before but I think the one that alerted me to EBTG was the single When All’s Well because I liked the beat and Tracey’s voice.
EBTG formed in Hull, England in 1982 and consist of Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt who are also a married couple and have several children. It was not known for a long time that they were even a couple. They met at Hull University and had both signed to the same record label as solo artists. The name Everything But The Girl is a slogan taken from a furniture shop in Hull.
Eden, the debut album was released in 1984 and reached #14 in the UK album chart and was a huge hit, mainly due to the single Each And Every One which was their first hit single and reached #28 in the charts. The album is considered part of the sophisti-pop genre which includes other UK bands such as The Style Council and Sade. The US version of the album was self titled Everything But The Girl and contained a slightly different track listing.
In 1985, when Love Not Money was released it contained many songs with deeper meanings such as the songs Angel which is about child poverty, Ugly Little Dreams is about men’s attitudes to intelligent women and Sean is about the troubles in Northern Ireland. The album was a huge success and reached #10 in the UK album chart.
Their third album, Baby The Stars Shine Bright was released in 1986 and was not quite as successful as the previous album, only reaching #22 in the UK. The album was completely self produced by EBTG and contains pop songs recorded with an accompanying orchestra. It is believed the inspiration behind the album came from artists such as Patsy Cline, Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb.
Idlewild, released in 1988 contains the massive hit single I Don’t Want To Talk About It which helped it to reach #13 in the UK charts. The same song was also a hit previously for Rod Stewart and the original writer Danny Whitten. The song was originally missing from the album but was included later due to its success.
1990 saw the release of The Language Of Life and was their first international hit album, reaching #77 in the US and #10 at home in the UK. The single Driving was the biggest hit on the album and reached #30 in the US chart. Worldwide was released in 1991 with the hit single Old Friends. This album reached #29 in the UK chart.
Acoustic was released in 1992 and contains some of their previous hits and also some cover versions of Cyndi Lauper’s song Time After Time, Tom Waits’s Downtown Train, Elvis Costello’s Alison and Bruce Springsteen’s Tougher Than The Rest. The acoustic album was a US only release. Another compilation album was released in 1993 titled Home Movies.
Their next studio album was released in 1994 called Amplified Heart and was another return to fame for EBTG, reaching #20 in the UK and #46 in the US. The album contains probably their best known song, Missing which peaked at #3 in the UK chart and #1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart. The rise in success continued with the release of Walking Wounded which was released in 1996 and is the highest charting of their albums to date, reaching #4 in the UK and #37 in the US.
Also in 1996 was the release of The Best Of Everything But The Girl which itself was another huge hit and peaked at #23 in the UK. Their latest studio album released in 1999 called Temperamental reached #16 in the UK. Since then there have been two more compilation albums, Like the Deserts Miss the Rain released in 2003 and Adapt Or Die: Ten Years of Remixes which was released in 2006.
Ben and Tracy continue to work on their solo careers.
My Top 10 Everything But The Girl Songs are:
01. Apron Strings
02. I Always Was Your Girl
04. Another Bridge
05. Good Cop Bad Cop
07. Meet Me In The Morning
08. I Don’t Want to Talk About It
09. Old Friends
10. Trouble And Strife
write by Dermot