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Everything But the Girl Biography


Home > Music > E > Everything But the Girl > Biography


Birth Place: Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Years Active: 1982–present
Genres: Pop, Rock, Alternative Rock, Electronica, Bossa Nova, Sophisti-pop, Lounge, Trip-hop, Jazz, Alternative Dance


Everything but the Girl was a jazz/pop duo that formed in Hull, England in 1981. The band consisted of lead singer Tracey Thorn, and guitarist/keyboardist and singer Ben Watt. The duo met while attending college in Hull and hit it off musically. Thorn was a member of the trio Marine Girls and Watt was working as a solo artists signed to the indie label Cherry Red. Despite both Thorn and Watt already having music careers that were moderately successful, they felt compelled to work together and formed Everything but the Girl. The duo's debut album, “Eden” appeared in 1984 and their style of music quickly placed them into a genre of music that was led by bands such as Swing Out Sister, Sade, Matt Bianco, and The Style Council. The duo's popularity began to climb slowly and steadily over the next few years as they began to tour and continued to release album after album.

1988 saw a slight change in the duo's musical direction with their release of “Idlewild.” The album contained songs that moved towards a more adult-contemporary sound. The duo began to embark on collaborative work over the next few years working with other bands such as Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. 1992 saw the band with their second successful U.K. single on their hands, “Love Is Strange.”

The duo's touring and recording schedule was interrupted when Watt's health began to decline. While taking time away from the music limelight to recuperate, Watt wrote a book about his autoimmune disease. Meanwhile, Thorn was working with Massive Attack and Deep Dish on side projects. When Watt had recovered, the duo signed with Virgin Records in the U.K. and Atlantic Records in the U.S. and Canada. “Walking Wounded” appeared next, followed by “Temperamental,” which showed the band's musical maturity and creative progress.

Everything But the Girl has not put out any new recording since 1999, and while neither Thorn or Watt claim the band to be “officially” disbanded, both members have gone on to focus on their solo careers. In 2011, Thorn released a cover version of The xx's “Night Time,” which Watt played guitar and sang backing vocals on. This was the duo's first recording together in over a decade. Both Watt and Thorn continue on with their solo projects and collaborations with other artists. Watt works as a dance music producer in addition to his solo career. Thorn and Watt are also married to each other and have three children.