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Editors’ Notes

It’s hard to overstate just how radical the first Everything but the Girl album sounded when it was released in 1984. The British indie scene was then dominated by spiky and squirrelly bits of post-punk. Young musicians were looking to undermine the stereotypes of '60s and '70s rock 'n' roll, but nothing was as quietly audacious as Eden. While other bands were looking to reggae and funk, Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt embraced music that was largely ignored (if not altogether reviled) by the rest of their generation. In an understand and elegant fashion, Eden weaves strands of cocktail jazz and bossa nova, taking discarded forms of “easy listening” and refilling them with wit and soul. They carried themselves with a rare aura of self-respect, and the clean and naked tone of their music made them seem wise beyond their years (college sweethearts, Watt and Thorn were only 21 at the time of this recording). Among the standouts are “Each and Everyone,” “Bittersweet,” and “Even So.” Produced by Robin Millar, who'd very quickly find success helming a similar sound for Sade, Eden ignored prevailing trends and instead created its own form of soul music.

Customer Reviews

Could This be the Perfect Morning Music Album, to be Played All Day?

The arrangements by Ben Watt are jazz-inspired and quite lush, beautifully done. Tracey Thorn, the vocalist and lyricist for most of the songs, has a rich alto voice, singing of loss in love and friendship and defiant independence in spite of it all. The album is a short wonder, but it packs a lot into just less than 40 minutes. If you enjoy Roxy Music's Avalon, if you liked The Style Council's My Everchanging Moods (featuring, by the way, Thorn and Watt on the remake of The Paris Match), you will love Eden.

So easily 5 stars

Eden is an essential collection for anyone who appreciates easily-listening, pop, samba, vocal jazz...it's moody, dark, introspective without being soul-sapping or negative. "Eden" is an easy buy.

Amazing

This is just a great album - a wonderful mix of cool jazz, bossa nova, pop and folk. Thorn's vocals are unique, interesting, and smooth. I had a tape of the American version of Eden, called simply, "Everything But the Girl", that I literally played into oblivion during my college years. It's a shame Itunes doesn't have that album, too, because, while Eden is superb, EBTGs music list on Itunes doesn't include Native Land, Laugh You Out of the House or Riverbed Dry - some wonderful songs from that compilation.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Hull, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Originating at the turn of the 1980s as a leader of the lite-jazz movement, Everything but the Girl became an unlikely success story more than a decade later, emerging at the vanguard of the fusion between pop and electronica. Founded in 1982 by Hull University students Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt, the duo took their name from a sign placed in the window of a local furniture shop, which claimed "for your bedroom needs, we sell everything but the girl." At the time of their formation, both vocalist...
Full Bio