EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL set to reissue four of their 80s albums
EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL are set to reissue four of their classic albums in a 2 CD casebound book sets on Edsel Records ‘ Eden / Love Not Money / Baby The Stars Shine Bright / Idlewild’ are to get the reissue treatment on June 4th 2012.
Everything But The Girl was formed in 1982 by Tracey Thorn (b. Brookmans Park, Herts 26.9.62) and Ben Watt (b. Barnes, London 06.12.62). Both had already had early acclaimed starts in their teens on the UK post-punk independent scene – Tracey with her indie minimal girl group, the Marine Girls (1980-1983, later name-checked as one of Kurt Cobain’s favourite bands); Ben with more experimental solo folk-jazz recordings featuring alt-folk icon, Robert Wyatt (1981-1983). All the recordings had been released by London independent, Cherry Red, during its A&R heyday under Mike Alway (1980-1983). The pair met by coincidence at Hull University in the autumn of 1981.
Merging their respective early non-rock influences (Tracey:Buzzcocks, Billie Holiday, torch songs, disco; Ben: John Martyn, Brian Eno, Bill Evans) their first release was a stark acoustic cover of Cole Porter’s ‘Night and Day’ (1982) on Cherry Red. Originally intended as a last-minute B-side to two originals, it unintentionally threw the pair into the burgeoning London jazz-pop scene.
Returning to work in the relative isolation of Hull, each then released acclaimed minimalistic solo albums that topped the UK Indie Charts – Tracey’s ‘A Distant Shore’ (1982, recorded in a friend’s garden shed, incl. cover of Lou Reed’s ‘Femme Fatale’) and Ben’s ‘North Marine Drive’ (1983, incl. cover of Dylan’s ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’) before they pooled songs for the Everything But The Girl debut, ‘Eden’, recorded with producer Robin Millar in the summer of 1983, but not released due to contractual issues involved in their move to Blanco Y Negro/WEA until May 1984. It spawned a Top 40 hit (‘Each And Every One’) and went on to sell 500,000 copies, while Paul Weller unexpectedly invited them both to guest on a track on the debut album by The Style Council, ‘Café Bleu’ (1984).
The next three albums charted different paths. The breezy folk-jazz of ‘Eden’ was followed by the politicised electric guitar pop of ‘Love Not Money’ (1985), the orchestral 60’s wall of sound of ‘Baby, ‘The Stars Shine Bright’ (1986) and the more introspective machine-pop-soul of ‘Idlewild’ (1988). All three went gold in the UK, with ‘Idlewild’ also seeing a quick re-release after the band’s Top 3 UK Top 40 success with a cover of Danny Whitten’s ‘I Don’t Want To Talk About It’ in the summer of 1988.
Eden [EDSK 7004] – 17 bonus tracks, including five previously unreleased home demos, and four BBC radio sessions
Love Not Money [EDSK 7005] – 11 bonus tracks, including three previously unreleased home demos, and three BBC radio sessions
Baby The Stars Shine Bright [EDSK 7006] 28th May – 12 bonus tracks, including five previously unreleased home demos
Idlewild [EDSK 7007] – 18 bonus tracks, including seven previously unreleased home demos and an outtake
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