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Idlewild...Plus Double CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 May 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Edsel
  • ASIN: B007O3VP6E
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,521 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Continuing Edsel s reissue programme of Everything But The Girl s first four albums. Idlewild was followed by the more introspective machine-pop-soul of gold selling 'Idlewild' (1988), which was given a quick re-release after the band's Top 3 UK Top 40 success with a cover of Danny Whitten's 'I Don't Want To Talk About It' in the summer of 1988, now included on CD 2.

In a beautifully presented 2 CD casebound book, put together with the full involvement of Ben and Tracey, and featuring a newly-written note by the couple, along with all the lyrics, Idlewild features eighteen bonus tracks: 10 non-album single A- and B-sides, and 7 previously unreleased home demos, and a previously unreleased version of Apron Strings , recorded for, but not used in the John Hughes film She s Having A Baby .

BBC Review

Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt formed Everything but the Girl in 1982, following limited previous indie success for both members, Thorn having been a member of Marine Girls. Having met at Hull University and taking their name from a slogan on a local furniture shop, they began their pop life with a cover of Cole Porter’s Night and Day in 1983. But it would be another year before they really broke through with their first LP, Eden, freshly reissued alongside three following LPs.

The duo’s debut chimed nicely with their anti-rock stance and soon found its way into 500,000 homes. Tracks such as Each and Every One, Tender Blue and Crabwalk swooned jazzily, set alongside more mellow (conga-assisted) numbers such as The Spice of Life. Coming just as the likes of The Style Council were leaping all over anything un-rock, it offered a bit more depth than what was available elsewhere.

1985’s Love Not Money was a more indie proposition from its first cut onwards, the none-more-jangly When All’s Well. Sounding not unlike something Lloyd Cole and the Commotions or The Smiths might have made, it sounded a desire for EBTG to be heard above the bigger crowds they were beginning to play to.

1986’s Baby, the Stars Shine Bright saw them adopt a wall of sound atmosphere, triumphant orchestration making a bid for classic album status. Come on Home and Come Hell or High Water are two of many high points, and their songwriting shines throughout.

Idlewild (its tracklisting is to the left), originally released in 1988, rounds off this foursome of reissues. On it, things are stripped back to present a machine-pop-soul affair, with standouts including The Night I Heard Caruso Sing, Apron Strings and I Was Always Your Girl. Anyone who thought EBTG were just a couple of indie mopers will be proved mistaken: Idlewild features elements of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and possesses a minimal R&B feel. It really is quite marvellous.

These four albums represent essential listening for anyone interested in EBTG’s output ahead of their mega-selling Missing single of 1994, as their influence can be felt in the material of acts like Belle and Sebastian and The xx.

As a bonus, each album comes with a wealth of hand-picked extra tracks, featuring B sides, non-album singles and home-recorded demos, making these the complete picture of a band hitting a fantastic stride at a very early stage of its career.

--Ian Roullier

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Classy pop? No, something far more. Pop, no matter how classy, doesn't weather 20 years like this and still have the power to move. This album is one that I have listened to repeatedly over that whole time. At times, it has real touches of sublimity. There is real pain here, a longing for a better world that is always somewhere just beyond reach, a world from which we are barred by our neuroses and emotional attachments. And there are moments of redemption too, when it seems we can almost escape, listening to Caruso or hearing shouts from the playground.

Far from an Ikea exercise in pop style, this is a work of extraordinary beauty and maturity.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this about 18 months after it came out but my copy does not have the Rod Stewart song. Actually it's a Danny Whitten song (of Crazy Horse and Neil Young fame) and I Love it.
Idlewild has a sense of maturity, which is stunning when you consider that EBTG were still spring chickens when they produced it. It has fine production values and really shows that they had been on a fast learning curve re sparse v full arrangements.
The songs touch you and are like small vignettes into possible lives. They have such conviction that they could be factual or just beautifully crafted short stories. For many years it was the only EBTG album I owned. I just could not imagine anything else they did could be this good. I was wrong, they have produced many fine albums and now I would be hard pressed to name a favourite. Over the years they have changed but managed to preserve that essential quality that makes them who they are.
A very special album by a very special group. Highly recommended.
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This was an album that perhaps put them in the light with I don't want talk about it. The plus is well worth the money having so many b sides and tracks from the era as well as demos. Well its down to you many of us have the album already but with all the extras on the second disc its like having an album that just wasn't released. Ok most of these tracks are b sides but are good and reflect the era. If you are a fan go for it. If you don't have the album get the plus for a treat.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
EBTG is an impeccable band, with flawless catalog. I'm waiting for your next reissues

Everything But The Girl es a una impecable banda, con un catalogo perfecto. Estoy esperando sus próximas reediciones
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I'm no fan of their later dance-style, but this early work hits the spot for me. Tracey's voice is a treat to listen to, and the arrangements complement the songs perfectly. Goodbye Sunday and I Always Was Your Girl are favourites, as well as the Danny Whitten classic I Don't Want To Talk About It, but there are no weak songs. The only thing I would change is Ben singing on The Night I Heard Caruso Sing - he's not a bad singer but I'd rather hear Tracey any day.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
BEWARE: This Idlewild and Language of Life vinyl reissues from Music On Vinyl are not authorized and NOT remasters - not even the 2014 remasters done for the cd reissues.

Sounds quality is terrible - just a hissy digital transfer of the 1988 cd pressed onto vinyl

Best to wait for proper reissues from authorized companies like Superdeluxe Edition who work with the artists
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Format: Audio CD
Well 5 stars for the original album...some lovely romantic songs - one of their best albums for my taste. How many times did I play Blue Moon Rose back in the 80s!

Extras..what can I say.. extras are nearly always disappointing. If you are a fan of the sound of a Casio then the 'home demo's' will delight. But I can't even listen once right the way through. The A-sides and B-sides section, however, is better - I like 'Living on Honeycomb' and 'Dyed in the Grain'. And again, some nice pics.
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Format: Audio CD
I never tire of listening to this classic album. Every track is a gem. There is so much longing for a better world in these sogs and the mood draws you in to try and understand the viewpoint of the lyrics.This album is amongst my alltime top ten.I agree that you should never tamper with such afine piece of work as this,how can you improve upon perfection?
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