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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic tour through Tracey's life (and mine).....
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...
Published 21 months ago by Bob Stanley

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Says what happened not much more
An interesting enough read but not a great deal of depth to it. We pretty much know about the records but never had any insight into the relationship between Ben and Tracey. In his book he alludes to his depression, them almost splitting up - their relationship is only ever mentioned in passing here.

Too much "then we did this album" stuff...
Published 8 months ago by ourman


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic tour through Tracey's life (and mine)....., 5 Mar 2013
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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read., 15 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star (Hardcover)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real pop pleasure, 30 Oct 2013
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pop Life, 12 Aug 2014
By 
J. Ang - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.

The reader celebrates with her when EBTG scores their first hit single "Each and Everyone", and sympathises when people lumps them with the lite/nu-jazz movement when they were trying so hard to protest (albeit quietly), and when they are finally dumped by their record company for not being the kind of pop band they thought they were, and is encouraged by a sense of providence when they win their biggest hit "Missing" to date almost immediately after that happens. Thorn's modesty comes through in the way she tells of how she never felt EBTG fitted into the whole pop circus. For example, though pop stars in their own right, Thorn still gets starstruck and speechless when Courtney Love scoots over the stage when recording a programme to tell her she loved her work with the Marine Girls and that the late Kurt Cobain had been one of their fans.

As a longtime fan of both her work with EBTG and as a solo artist, it was a special treat to read the lyrics of songs interspersed at the ends of chapters, which gave a fresh insight into the context of those familiar songs which I had loved and lines that I had sung along to over the years. They defined for me the term "singer-songwriter", because Thorn's lyrics were often as personal as diary entries.

A definite must-read for any EBTG/Tracey Thorn fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great lady, 24 Jun 2014
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Says what happened not much more, 26 April 2014
By 
ourman (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
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An interesting enough read but not a great deal of depth to it. We pretty much know about the records but never had any insight into the relationship between Ben and Tracey. In his book he alludes to his depression, them almost splitting up - their relationship is only ever mentioned in passing here.

Too much "then we did this album" stuff.

Also the whole "we may have been easy listening but we were punk" thing - that got tired very quickly. That fact that TT of EBTG refers to The Beatles as boring at one point is a giggle. You should like a band more after you've read something like this surely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what you might expect from Tracey Thorn, 5 Jun 2014
By 
S. Bateman (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is my third music biography after Heart and Kate Bush, and I wasn't disapointed. I'd heard Tracey do a couple of radio interviews back in the early days of ETGB, so was able to read the entire book as though with her speaking voice. Though I didn't know a lot about her as a person, the whole easy tone of the book - the honesty, self-depraction and humour helped you get the feel that you have gotten to know her. I was lucky enough to get into Thorns music quite early on, after the two Marine Girls albums, a Distant Shore and ETGB's first single, and basically grew up with the band and it's output. So like other's, reading Tracey's journey did bring back lots of memories of my own teens, through my 20's, 30's and 40's. There are some great anecdotes here, plus some great insights into the whole music biz crazyness. There are some real laugh out loud moments. I lost interest in her musical output when the whole dance mix thing kicked in, but this book has encouraged me to go back and listen to that with fresh ears. I think I now have a chance of catching up with where she's moved to musically, and intend to buy her recent solo albums that I've been studiously ignoring. I recommend this book to anyone who loved Tracey's music
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trace of Pop, 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star (Hardcover)
Brilliant autobiography which traces the life of one of the UKs most underrated and unsung pop groups EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL and voice TRACEY THORN. A minority report by a major pop talent on a historical moment, this is set to become a new benchmark for literary and intelligent musical autobiography. It begins, kitchen-sink fairy-tale-like with her first audition singing from inside a wardrobe and continues with the same mercurial and quixotic mix of media surrealism and everyday humanity. I read this book in two days, it's that delicious. Classic but unique.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Tracey, You took me back to my youth in a flash!, 27 Jun 2014
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Being born in the same year as the author, I identified with everything she experienced as a teenager growing up in the seventies. The lifestyle, music etc etc. As a fan of EBTG it was so interesting hearing her story first hand from someone who is known to shy publicity. Funny, heartwarming and emotional, this book is well written which is no surprise due to her academic qualifications. I really enjoyed this book and if you were a teenager growing up in this era who enjoyed the same culture and music influences, I think you will too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely interesting, 13 Aug 2014
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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I follow Tracey Thorn on twitter and I like what she has to say. I grew up with Everything But The Girl, and loved a few of their tracks, which have been some of the sound tracks to key moments in my life. These things, along with the book blurb calling Tracey the Alan Bennett of pop, made me decide that I had to read this.

I think the Bennett comparison is probably not the case, if I'm honest. Thorn writes engagingly and honestly about her life in pop music. I like her frankness over the distinctly non starry aspects of the business, and the difficulties of balancing the life you want with the life you sometimes end up living and the life you are trying to have with your family. I thought her ambivalence about what fame can give you was interesting, and all in all it was a good read. It didn't glue me to the page, but it was well written, thoughtful and pragmatic to a degree you don't usually get in a pop star's autobiography.
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Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star by Tracey Thorn (Hardcover - 7 Feb 2013)
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