Everything But The Girl: A Pioneering Duo’s Journey Through Music
It was the early 80s when a duo from Hull decided to make their mark on the British music scene. Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt came together to form Everything But The Girl, or EBTG as they’re known by fans. Their debut single, a raw and emotive cover of Cole Porter’s Night and Day, caught the attention of critics and set the tone for what was to come.
What followed was a series of gold albums, each one a unique blend of jazz, guitar pop, orchestral wall-of-sound, and drum-machine soul. Thorn’s hauntingly beautiful voice and Watt’s innovative arrangements were a match made in musical heaven, earning them a loyal following.
EBTG’s break in the US came in 1990 with the release of Driving, which received heavy airplay on American radio stations. But just two years later, their world tour was abruptly halted when Ben was struck down with a life-threatening auto-immune disease. His near-death experience was documented in his critically acclaimed memoir, Patient.
The duo returned in 1994 with the million-selling Amplified Heart, which featured their biggest hit to date, Missing. Todd Terry’s remix of the track propelled it from underground club hit to global chart success, reaching number 2 on the US Hot 100 and number 3 on the UK Top 40.
Their next album, Walking Wounded, released in 1996, was a nod to the burgeoning electronic music scene of the mid-90s. It produced four UK Top 40 hits and became EBTG’s first platinum album, cementing their status as musical pioneers.
In 2000, after a successful run, the duo decided to call it quits, leaving fans devastated. Thorn focused on family life and went on to release a number of solo albums and non-fiction books. Watt, on the other hand, delved into DJing and remixing and even launched his own electronic label, Buzzin’ Fly. He also returned to his roots as a singer-songwriter, releasing a trilogy of solo albums between 2014-2020.
But the good news for fans is that, after more than two decades, EBTG has released a new studio album set titled ‘Fuse’.