Everything but the Girl

Everything but the Girl was an English sophisti-pop duo from Kingston upon Hull that released four albums and assorted shortplayers on Blanco Y Negro between 1984 and 1988, followed by a string of titles on Atlantic during the early 1990s.

Members: Ben Watt (vocals, guitar, piano, programming), Tracey Thorn (vocals, guitar)

Everything but the Girl formed in 1982 when musicians Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn, both signed to post-punk indie Cherry Red Records as solo artists, decided to pool their talents into a joint venture.

Watt (b. Dec. 6, 1962) debuted with the 1981 single “Can’t” (b/w “Tower of Silence” / “Aubade”), produced by folkster Kevin Coyne. Another track from that pairing, “Departure,” appears on the Cherry Red multi-artist comp Perspectives and Distortion along with tracks by Robert Fripp, the Lemon Kittens, Matt Johnson, and Eyeless in Gaza.

In 1982, he collaborated with Robert Wyatt on the five-song EP Summer Into Winter. That September, he recorded his debut solo album North Marine Drive, issued the following year. On it, he handles guitar, piano and vocals, accompanied only by saxophonist Peter King.

Thorn (b. Sept. 26, 1962) hailed from the Marine Girls, a post-punk quartet that released the album Beach Party on small-press Whaam! Records, followed by the single “On My Mind” (b/w “The Lure of the Rockpools”) on In Phaze, both in 1981. She made her solo debut with the mini-album A Distant Shore, released in 1982 on Cherry Red. The Marine Girls wrapped with the 1983 Cherry single “Don’t Come Back” (b/w “You Must Be Mad”).

Watt and Thorn took the name “Everything but the Girl” from an advertising slogan used by the retail outlet Turner’s Furniture, located on Beverley Road in Kingston upon Hull. Their debut single, the Cole Porter cover “Night and Day,” appeared on Cherry in 1982, prior to Watt’s solo album. It was backed by a song apiece by Watt (“Feeling Dizzy”) and Thorn (“On My Mind”).


  • Everything but the Girl (1984)
  • Eden (1984)
  • Love Not Money (1985)
  • Angel (EP, 1985)
  • Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (1986)
  • Idlewild (1988)
  • The Language of Life (1990)


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