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Everything But The Girl Biography

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Everything But The Girl (EBTG) are a British two-person band formed in Hull, England in 1982.

The band's members are:
  • Lead singer and bassist Tracey Thorn (born September 26, 1962)
  • Guitarist 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. [1] 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 chose their unusual name (Everything But The Girl) from a well-known slogan of Turner's Furniture in Beverley Road, Kingston upon Hull.

E.B.T.G.'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 E.B.T.G. 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.

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'.

Subsequent releases underscored E.B.T.G.'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 pubic 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 Baby The Stars Shine Bright, an album of Bacharach-esque songs recorded with an orchestra. The first track, ‘Come On Home’, was released as a single.

In 1988, E.B.T.G. released ‘Idlewild’, a collection of mature songs that began a trend towards middle-of-the-road, adult-oriented contemporary music. A cover version of Rod Stewart’s hit ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ was released as a non-L.P. single; it achieved a high UK chart position and was later added to the album.

The band’s 1990 album ‘The Language of Life’ featured the single ‘Driving’. The album ‘Worldwide’ was released in 1991, and included the single ‘Old Friends’. ‘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, E.B.T.G. 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 E.B.T.G. 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 E.B.T.G. 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. Their subsequent albums Walking Wounded and Temperamental, showed the band's musical progress as well as established Ben Watt as a notable D.J..

E.B.T.G. has been on hiatus for a few years, working on other projects.
Artist information courtesy of their Wikipedia entry, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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