Saturday, May 27, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter E, Part 12)

Two singles from 1984 by Everything But the Girl today, and this first one is my absolute favorite from the band. Both of these singles appeared on what is my favorite album by them, the U.S. release simply known as 'Everything But the Girl.' Unless you were a lucky and deep digger in the import bin, debut album 'Eden' was nowhere to be found in these parts. What we got instead were six of the 12 songs from the UK release, plus two additional UK singles and four B-sides.

For much of my teenage years, I didn't even know 'Eden' existed. By the time I did pick up a copy of the import, 'Everything But the Girl' was so much a part of me that I thought 'Eden' seemed inferior in every way. When does that ever happen? In my experience, the UK version of an album is almost always better, but the addition of five of the six songs from these UK singles below really beefed up the U.S. release. I even liked the album cover of the U.S. version better. That's probably sacrilege to some fans since artist Jane Fox of Marine Girls created the cover for 'Eden.' Of the songs below, only "Native Land" B-side "Don't You Go" didn't make the U.S. album, and that song wouldn't appear anywhere else until the 2012 deluxe edition of 'Eden.'

One more thing about this time around 1984 and 1985. Obviously, this album and the next one took many personnel, from flugelhorn players to pedal steel aficionados to Johnny Marr on harmonica, but Tracey Thorn on vocals, Ben Watt on guitar and piano, Philip Moxham of Young Marble Giants on bass and June Miles-Kingston of the Mo-Dettes on drums was a tight unit that should have received more accolades. How about one more post on EBTG before I put their vinyl away?

"Each and Every One" 12", UK Chart Peak: No. 28
"Each And Every One"
"Laugh You Out The House" (dedicated to Echorich)
"Never Could Have Been Worse"

"Native Land" 12", No. 73
"Native Land"
"Riverbed Dry"
"Don't You Go"


Echorich said...

Brian, we approach the debut from a similar point of view! I did get Eden about a year after I bought the eponymous American release, but I have to say, I have a higher affection for the latter.
Without one of their 3 greatest songs - yes they deserve 3 based on the long and wonderful musical journey they took me on - Eden misses some of what made the band's debut special for me. Laugh You Out The House is 1:50 of sheer pop brilliance - yes, I know I said that many times before. It amazes me to this day how much they managed to pack into less that 2 minutes.
Never Could Have Been Worse is a song that points to the new pop sound growing out of Post Punk all over the UK. I'd go as far as to say that one song equals ALL of The Smiths best songs.

Oh and those three greatest songs -- in my estimation - the aforementioned Laugh You Out The House, Fascination - also from the debut and Two Star from Amplified Heart.

kevinpat said...

My apologies for my extended absence my friends. Last bunch of months been dealing with health issues that made me just close up shop on everything. I always enjoyed my visits here, shooting my mouth off as well as learning about all good stuff I missed over the years. A number of times I did visit but left no comment. Hope all is good with you all!

I must admit my favorite EBTG tracks are their covers, specifically Costello's "Allison" and Waits "Downtown Train" What a beaut!

Thanks Bri.

Echorich said...

Glad to see you back Kevpat! EBTG do covers better than just about everyone! I love The Jam's English Rose, Pretenders' Kid, Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time and Springsteen's Tougher Than The Rest.

Walter said...

That's what I expected under E, Brian. Love EBTG during all the times. I agree to all your words and all their cover versions are simply fantastic

Brian said...

Nice to hear from you, Kevinpat. Sorry about your tough times. Hope you are doing well. If you're up to it, drop me an email. All of this talk of covers has me thinking a post on those is due. I'll get to that at some point. Every one of them mentioned by you and Echorich is great. I have a tremendous soft spot for Time After Time.

Echorich said...

Great idea Brian! Please consider their take on Costello's Almost Blue. It's a shame it was relegated to b-side status. It would have made an impact on Baby The Stars Shine Bright or Idlewild. The first time I heard their version, it gave me a whole new appreciation for EC's songwriting abilities.

Brian said...

Tracey's voice was made for Almost Blue.

Rol said...

Not the biggest EBTG fan, mainly because I didn't really become aware of them until all the dancey stuff started, by which time they'd lost me. Investigating those earlier records has thrown up some real treats though.

JC said...

Proud to say I have Eden on vinyl from way back in the day. It's a wonderful album.

I even got to hear many of its songs played live when I caught the band at Glasgow Uni in early 85. It's those sort of memories that make me never wish I'd been born in any different era....

Brian said...

JC, You should be proud. If you saw them in '85, you probably saw the lineup with Philip and June. So jealous. It's amazing how often her name pops up on my records... EBTG, Fun Boy Three, Mo-dettes and on and on. I have had that 12" of Each and Every One forever, but I just picked up the 7" at Missing with you a few weeks ago. There was no reason to get it other than the fact it had a different cover than the 12" and I had never seen it before. Again, it's a sickness.