Each and Every One
In 1964, despite my youth, I was captivated by the smooth sounds and smoky vocals of ‘Girl From Ipanema’, recorded by Stan Getz, with Astrud Gilberto singing. This South American feel was new to me at the time, and I enjoyed the discovery, along with the Bossa-Nova beats and Jazz influences it brought. I never expected to find something just like this again. And I really didn’t expect it to come from the North-East of England.
Twenty years later, and I heard a song on the radio. I thought it must be an old song, and possibly from a Latin American group. I liked it, but didn’t manage to catch the title, or the name of the performers. Imagine my surprise, when a few days later, I saw this very song being performed on a TV music show. Not by a group from South America as I had expected, but by an awkward-looking British duo from Hull. Once I got over the shock, I enjoyed the track as much as I had before, and now armed with the title, and the name of the group, went out and bought the record the next day.
The song was called ‘Each and Every One’, and the group had the slightly irritating name of Everything But The Girl. I later discovered that this name, hardly appropriate for a duo consisting of a young man and a girl, had originated as a shop sign in their university town. (This was later abbreviated to EBTG) The pair were unsmiling, looking down, and dressed like students. They looked like students, perhaps because they were. A couple, as well as vocal partners, they made little of their relationship publicly, though they did later marry, and have children. I found out a little more. The female vocalist was called Tracey Thorn, and the male half of the group Ben Watt. After this first success, they went on to record until 1999, although Tracey Thorn has since released solo albums, and collaborated with many other artists.
In 1994, the song ‘Missing’ achieved worldwide success, enjoying various re-mixes and considerable airplay, to this very day. This song is so well known, that even if you think you have never heard it, as soon as it starts, you will recognise it. They never really found their niche though. Swerving from jazz fusion, to electro-pop, and then recording standards and cover versions. They are unlikely to ever tour again, and though Ms Thorn may release solo work, the group as it was is now a page in history. For me, my chosen song remains my favourite from their time together, and showed me that you don’t have to come from Brazil, to have a smooth soul.