Tracey Thorn in 2012
|Birth name||Tracey Anne Thorn|
26 September 1962 |
Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England
|Labels||Cherry Red (1980–1983)
Blanco y Negro (1983–1994)
Strange Feeling (2010–present)
Tracey Anne Thorn (born 26 September 1962) is an English singer, songwriter and writer. She is best known as being one half of the duo Everything but the Girl.
The youngest of three children, Thorn was born in Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire. She grew up in Hatfield and studied English at the University of Hull, where she graduated in 1984 with First Class Honours. She later took an MA degree at Birkbeck College, University of London.
After 27 years as a couple, Thorn and Ben Watt married in 2008 at Chelsea Register Office. They live in Hampstead, North London. The couple have twin daughters born in 1998, and a son born in 2001.
Stern Bops (1979–1980)
Thorn began her musical career in the punk-pop hybrid group Stern Bops playing guitar and providing some vocal backing.
Marine Girls (1980–83)
Thorn then formed Marine Girls as primary songwriter, playing guitar and sharing vocals. The band released two albums (Beach Party in 1981 and Lazy Ways in 1983) and three singles. The group disbanded in 1983.
Everything but the Girl (1982–2000)
Thorn met Ben Watt at the University of Hull where they were both students, and both signed as solo artists to Cherry Red Records. Their first album together was Eden, released in 1984. Everything but the Girl released a body of work that spanned two decades. Their biggest chart success came in 1995, when DJ Todd Terry remixed a song from their Amplified Heart album. "Missing" became a huge hit all over the world, especially in the United States, where it peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
- For more detail, see also Everything But The Girl
Solo career and collaborations (1982–present)
Thorn's first solo work was a mini-album entitled A Distant Shore (1982). A re-recorded version of the track "Plain Sailing" was released as a single, and was included on the Pillows & Prayers Cherry Red records compilation album.
In the 1980s, Thorn contributed guest vocals and backing vocals for The Style Council on the track "The Paris Match" (from the album Café Bleu), The Go-Betweens on their track Head Full of Steam, Working Week on the single "Venceremos (We Will Win)" and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions on the track "Big Snake".
In the 1990s, she collaborated with Massive Attack on several projects, including the soundtrack for the motion picture Batman Forever where she contributed with "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game". Their first project together was the song "Protection" (for which she wrote the lyrics and melody) from the album by Massive Attack of the same name. She also co-wrote and sings on the track "Better Things". She also sang 'The Tree Knows Everything' on Adam F's debut album, "Colours".
In March 2007, Tracey Thorn released her second solo album Out of the Woods on Virgin Records (Worldwide) and on Astralwerks (USA). Thorn cited her post-punk peers and idols Terry Hall (from 2-Tone Records ska-revivalists The Specials, and New Pop trio Fun Boy Three), Edwyn Collins (of Postcard Records' jingle-jangling Scots Orange Juice) and scene-queen Siouxsie Sioux in the song "Hands Up to the Ceiling". The record includes contributions from Cagedbaby, Ewan Pearson, Charles Webster, Sasse, Darshan Jesrani, Martin Wheeler and Alex Santos.
The first single from the album, "It's All True", accompanied by remixes from the likes of Kris Menace & Martin Buttrich, was released on 7 February and the second single, "Raise the Roof" was released on 18 June. The third single, "Grand Canyon" was released on 30 October. A fourth single, "King's Cross" (which is a cover version of a Pet Shop Boys song) was released on 12 December.
In 2008, Thorn collaborated with the Hungarian acoustic downtempo group The Unbending Trees on their single "Overture", which also featured on their album Chemically Happy (Is The New Sad), released by her partner Ben Watt.
In 2009, Thorn collaborated with the Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman for a cover of The Magnetic Fields' "Yeah! Oh Yeah!" for a compilation album commemorating twenty years of Merge Records, Score! 20 Years of Merge Records: The Covers!.
Thorn's third solo album Love and Its Opposite was released in May 2010 on Ben Watt's Strange Feeling Records in the UK, and on Merge Records in the US. Recorded in London and Berlin and produced by Ewan Pearson, it contained eight new songs and two cover versions, "Come on Home to Me" by Lee Hazlewood, and "You Are a Lover" by The Unbending Trees.
Thorn's fourth solo album was a Christmas album entitled Tinsel and Lights. It was released in late October 2012, and included covers of songs by Carol Hall, The White Stripes, Ron Sexsmith, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Sufjan Stevens, Low and Scritti Politti, plus two original songs and contributions from Green Gartside and Ben Watt. The original song "Joy" is featured in the 2012 film All Is Bright with Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd.
A compilation album, Solo: Songs and Collaborations 1982 - 2015, was released in the UK on 23 October 2015. It features 34 tracks on two discs.
Virago published Thorn's memoir Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star, early in 2013. It received widespread critical acclaim and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller.
In 2015 Virago published her second book, Naked at the Albert Hall, about singers and singing.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|1982||A Distant Shore
|2007||Out of the Woods||38||-||44||172|
|2010||Love and Its Opposite
|2012||Tinsel and Lights
- 2010 – Opposites EP (contains experimental remixes of tracks from Love and Its Opposite)
- 2011 – You Are A Lover EP (10" green vinyl released for Record Store Day)
- 2011 – Night Time EP
- 2011 – Extended Plays 2010–2011
|1982||"Plain Sailing"||A Distant Shore|
|2007||"It's All True"||Out of the Woods|
|"Raise the Roof"|
|2010||"Oh, the Divorces!"||Love and its Opposite|
|"Why Does the Wind?"|
|2011||"You Are a Lover"|
|"Night Time"||Night Time EP|
|2012||"In the Cold, Cold Night"||Tinsel and Lights|
|"Tinsel and Lights"|
|1984||"Venceremos (We Will Win)" with Working Week||single only|
|"The Paris Match" with The Style Council||Chilled Jazz with The Style Council and Cafe Bleu (Style Council album)|
|1986||"Head Full of Steam" with The Go-Betweens||Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express|
|"Apology Accepted" with The Go-Betweens|
|1987||"Big Snake" with Lloyd Cole and the Commotions||Mainstream|
|1993||"Over the Rainbow" with James McMillan||Makin' Changes by James McMillan|
|1994||"Protection" with Massive Attack||Protection (Massive Attack)|
|"Better Things" with Massive Attack|
|1995||"The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game" with Massive Attack||Batman Forever|
|1997||"The Tree Knows Everything" with Adam F||Colours (Adam F)|
|2007||"Damage" with Tiefschwarz||Eat Books (Tiefschwarz)|
|2008||"Overture" with The Unbending Trees||Chemically Happy (Is the New Sad)|
|2009||"Yeah! Oh Yeah!" with Jens Lekman||Score! 20 Years of Merge Records: The Covers!|
|2010||"Without Me" with Tevo Howard|
|2012||"Taking Down The Tree" with Green Gartside||Tinsel and Lights|
|2015||"Disappointing" with John Grant||Grey Tickles, Black Pressure|
- Bedsit Disco Queen, p.10
- "BBC – Pop singer Tracey Thorn on the best and worst of London life". BBC News. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- Battan, Carrie (18 October 2011). "Listen: Everything But the Girl Reunite to Cover the xx's "Night Time"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Tracey Thorn – Tinsel and Lights". Buzzinfly.com. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- "Metrodome picked up UK rights to Carol Morley's new film The Falling". www.artsfoundation.co.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
- "Virago signs Everything But the memoir". The Bookseller. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- Profile, The Observer, 20 January 2013
- "Incredible praise for Tracey Thorn's memoir". www.virago.co.uk.
- "New Statesman | Tracey Thorn". www.newstatesman.com.
- "Naked at the Albert Hall: The Inside Story of Singing". www.amazon.co.uk.
- "Chart Stats – Tracey Thorn". theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Chart Stats – Tracey Thorn". greekcharts.com. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Chart Stats – Tracey Thorn". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Chart Stats – Tracey Thorn". billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- Bedsit Disco Queen; How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star by Tracey Thorn, ISBN 978-1-84408-866-9, Little Brown (2013)