"For your bedroom needs, we sell everything but the girl". That sign in the window of a local furniture shop inspired Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt in 1982 to name their band. The first time I ever heard the band was 13 years later, when they scored massively with their international hit song 'Missing'. I liked, but never investigated further. Until some three years ago.
Before Everything But The Girl, Tracey Thorn built a name on a smaller scale with shambly minimalist indiepop group Marine Girls. Their debut album 'Beach party' is, however amateurish its songs and performances are, now seen as one of the pillars of the indiepop scene. It was quite a huge step from there to Everything But The Girl's wonderful debut album 'Eden'.
Leaving the twee sounds of Marine Girls behind to step into a world of bossa nova and chamber jazz pop, the feeling stays as intimate. Thorn's warm vocals are in tune now, and the quality of the songs is lightyears removed from the very nice, but almost childish compositions from only a couple of years before.
After 'Eden' Everything But The Girl had (and still has) a career of hits and misses, but their debut is my favourite. If you only know them from their later hits (I think in the UK they had some chart succes before 'Missing'), you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.
1. Marine Girls - In love
2. Marine Girls - Love to know
3. Everything But The Girl - Even so
4. Everything But The Girl - I must confess