Thursday, April 3, 2014

UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 32)

I'm counting down my top 50 singles from the golden age of the UK Independent Charts.

32. Everything But The Girl - "Night and Day"

Other Contenders: This was EBTG's only charting indie single. It really is too bad the duo never went on to do anything.

Chart Entry: June 19, 1982

Peak Position: No. 6

Comment: First, a word about this Cole Porter standard. If you search "Night and Day" on my iTunes, a dozen different takes come up. It really is one of my favorite compositions, and I have rarely heard a version I didn't like. U2 shattered that streak for me, but hey, it was for a cause, so go ahead and butcher away! As far as contemporary stabs at "Night and Day," EBTG's is the best I have heard. Beautiful.

I can't even imagine how exciting 1982 must have been for Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt. While students at the University of Hull, each released wonderful solo albums, and this song marked the first single as Everything But The Girl. Many of you may have had your first listen of this beautiful and intimate use of guitar and voice on the legendary 'Pillows & Prayers' compilation Cherry Red released at the end of that year. Anyway, I guess the collaboration took, eh? Even though I already had EBTG's version in a couple of places, I always wanted the original single on vinyl. It eluded me for many years, but I finally found the 12" at Avalanche Records in Edinburgh on Feb. 4, 2012. It was a Saturday. There was an audible gasp. Yes, it was kind of a big deal.

Buy "Night and Day" on '82-92 Essence and Rare.'


Echorich said...

Tracey and Ben's Night And Day is the most love lorn, rich version ever made. There's almost an amphetamine driven quality to the pace and Ben's jazz guitar acts like the lover Tracey yearns for, almost ignoring her cadence and tempo, but she manages to keep up with it.
They really know how to put their mark on others' music - English Rose, Alison, Time After Time, Love Is Strange, Downtown Train...

Brian said...

Hi Echorich. So well said, and some great covers there. I love them all. Not a cover, per se, but let's remember Tracey and Ben on Paul Weller's composition The Paris Match too. Some fantastic guitar and voice there.