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Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star Hardcover – 7 Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; Reprint edition (7 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844088669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844088669
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

The Alan Bennett of pop memoirists. I loved her book so much I wanted to form a band, too. Preferably with Thorn. (Caitlin Moran, bestselling author of How to be a Woman)

As distinctive and lovely as its author's singing voice, Bedsit Disco Queen isn't just a wry and wise memoir of a unique career: it acts as a kind of eulogy for a forgotten era of British pop. (Alexis Petridis)

A corker of a read: fascinating, compelling and beautifully written. (Emma Kennedy, bestselling author of The Tent, the Bucket and Me)

An intensely readable account of thirty years of being in love with music ... Most would recognise her voice, with its rich blend of melancholy and yearning. Her written voice is similarly distinctive: warm, assertive, sweetly funny, but most of all honest. (Chris Harvey Daily Telegraph)

As a witty and wise chronicle of a life spent dipping in and out of the limelight, this is second to none. (Fiona Sturges Independent on Sunday)

Book Description

The Sunday Times top ten bestselling memoir of Tracey Thorn's 30-year pop career with Marine Girls and Everything But The Girl, and her collaborations with Paul Weller, Massive Attack and Todd Terry. A Radio 4 Book of the Week in March 2013.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Bob Stanley on 5 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If this book has a target demographic, them I'm it. Two years younger than Tracey I've loved her work whether solo or as half of EBTG throughout my adult life - starting with Eden, retrospectively picking up on A Distant Shore, and then forwards all the way through to last year's Christmas album.

I feared I may be disappointed by the book, but on the contrary I enjoyed it immensely - you may feel you know someone to a degree through their music and lyrics, but of course you don't really, and the book fills in some of the gaps in an entertaining and enlightening way. Another reviewer disliked lyrics being quoted. I didn't - for some tracks (Hatfield 1980 for example) a little explanation and suddenly it all falls into place....

Part of the pleasure for me was of course taking me through my own life, to which Tracey's music has been a constant soundtrack. Whether it would capture a non-fan's attention in quite the same way I really don't know - but I hope it does acheive a wider audience.

I read most of the book one evening in a Prague hotel room last week, having skipped the "let's all go to the bar after dinner" invitation from my work collagues. The next morning I came down to reception and as the lift doors opened I realised that the music playing faintly in the backround was "Come on Home" - the irony of it playing as hotel lobby music wasn't lost......
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By MrCooling on 15 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have literally just finished reading this and I have to say it is absolutely brilliant - must read for any fan of music.

And by that, I do mean fan of music...not just Everything But The Girl. To be honest, I am not much of a fan of their music, but I found this a highly entertaining and interesting read - full of real insight into the musuc business, the way musicians are influenced and create their work, and the life of a musician. It is also brilliantly written, with a lovely, glib sense of humour and a personality that really drew me in.

I would also say that I am also reappraising the EBTG output as a result of reading this - I admit that I had pigeon-holed them in the exact way Tracey said they feared they were, and even raged against at one point. Now I fully appreciate their ethos, their personalities and their intent, I look forward to listening to their albums with a different point of view.

A cracking read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Brancusi on 30 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love intelligent writing about pop and I think this is one of the best. Pop star 'autobiographies' can be disappointing to say the least, but dear reader, have no fears. Tracey Thorn's writing is direct, as though she is telling her story to you personally. Just as interesting to me was the thread of how independent pop production of the late 70's and 80's changed, and how she didn't and did keep her own thing going.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Ang on 12 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Tracey Thorn's career has followed a very unique trajectory, unlike any other pop act, and she documents it with acerbic wit and candour in this immensely readable book. Thorn's early teens sees her morph into a new-born punk aficionado that leads to her joining an amateur all-male band as the token girl who could only sing from inside a closet. She goes on to set up an all-girl band Marine Girls, with their ironically twee anti-rock anthems, and enjoys a brief turn as a solo artist with an eight-track album she records in a shed. She finally meets her lifelong partner Ben Watt, a labelmate in a fledgling record company, with whom she becomes Everything But the Girl, the group which she has almost been ubiquitously associated with for almost three decades, and to finally become a solo artist again.

What is immediately evident from the first few pages of this memoir of sorts is how naturally Thorn transposes her immense talent as a lyricist into that of a bonafide prose writer. There is a certain elegance in her writing that makes you identify her immediately as the real deal, and not a glamorous pop diva who is keen to paint a poignant rags-to-riches picture of herself. Instead, what the reader gets is an honest and at times humorously self-effacing account of her uncertain foray into the music world, and the exciting yet perilous journey that ensues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roxy on 24 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Despite not being an Everything But the Girl fan, I decided to read this as I'm of this era. Tracey Thorn's story is told with discretion, yet enough self-reflection to comment when she was being a bit too... um... well I guess too 'right on' for her own good. I think we all have strong beliefs when we're young, and these soften as we get older as we begin to understand others perspectives, and reading Tracey's story shows a woman throughout her life who becomes less staunched in certain beliefs.

Tracey seems to have lived a blessed life, despite the horrible trauma her partner went through when ill. It's almost a relief to read a book where there is no torturous childhood or skeletons in the closet. Or if there is, Tracey isn't sharing.
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