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Tracey Thorn Biography

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Birth Name: Tracey Anne Thorn
Born: 1962/09/26
Birth Place: Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Years Active: 1982 - Present
Genres: Pop, Folk, Electronic, House

Tracey Thorn (born Tracey Anne Thorn, September 26, 1962) is an English pop singer and songwriter. She is best known as being one half of the duo Everything but the Girl, who are currently on extended hiatus. 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. She later earned an MA degree at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Thorn began her musical career in the punk-pop hybrid group Stern Bops playing guitar and providing some vocal backing. She then joined Marine Girls playing guitar and sharing vocals. The band released two albums (“Beach Party” in 1981 and “Lazy Ways” in 1982) and several singles. The group disbanded when Thorn decided to concentrate on her studies at Hull, and on Everything but the Girl.

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 U.S., where it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

Everything But The Girl have been on extended hiatus since 2000, while Watt has concentrated on his DJ work, and Thorn has been a full-time parent and, most recently, writing and recording her solo material. They released compilation albums in 2002 and 2005, and Watt has played on some filmed performances of Thorn's solo work and on her 2011 recording of the xx's “Night Time.”

Thorn's first solo work was a 1982 mini-album entitled “A Distant Shore.” 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 “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),” Lloyd Cole and the Commotions on the track “Big Snake” and Adam F on “The Tree Knows Everything,” from “Colours.”

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” from the album by Massive Attack of the same name. Just prior to her return to recording in 2007, Thorn contributed vocals to the song “Damage” by the band Tiefschwarz on the album “Eat Books.”

In March 2007, Thorn released her second solo album “Out of the Woods” on Virgin Records and on Astralwerks. The record included contributions from Cagedbaby, Ewan Pearson, Charles Webster, Sasse, Darshan Jesrani, Martin Wheeler and Alex Santos.

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),” published by her partner and husband 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 Watt's Strange Feeling Records in the U.K., and on Merge Records in the U.S. 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 is a Christmas album entitled “Tinsel and Lights.” It was released in October 2012, included covers of songs by The White Stripes, Ron Sexsmith, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Sufjan Stevens, Low, Scritti Politti plus two original songs and contributions from Green Gartside and Watt.