With autumn descending and this month marking both her 50th birthday and the 30th anniversary of her debut album ‘A Distant Shore’, here is a long overdue celebration of the genius of Tracey Thorn.
Although best known for the Todd Terry remix of her band Everything But The Girl’s ‘Missing’ and for providing the vocals for Massive Attack’s ‘Protection’ from their second album of the same name, if you scratch the surface there is a lot more than the faceless voice of a couple of dance hits.
Genre hopping between folk, jazz and house Thorn has retained the knack for writing perfectly crafted pop songs, with beautifully sophisticated arrangements and a dreamy, melancholic delivery.
Despite her debut solo album now being seen as something of a lost classic, Thorn’s best work has often been in her numerous collaborations with other musicians and groups such as Working Week, The Style Council and the aforementioned Massive Attack.
The longest lasting and arguably the most fruitful of these musical relationships has been with fellow University of Hull graduate Ben Watt as Everything But The Girl and their debut album ‘Eden’ remains a blueprint for sophisti-pop, an album which inspired much contemporary imitation but has never been matched.
30 years on from her debut Thorn still creates beautiful music cut from the same cloth, here is a look at a few classic Tracey Thorn tracks:
Everything But The Girl – Each and Every One
Tracey Thorn – Plain Sailing
The Style Council – The Paris Match
Everything But The Girl – Night and Day (Cole Porter)
Tracey Thorn – Simply Couldn’t Care
By Callum West