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Tuesday 3 March 2020


2020 Charity Shop Purchase 16 - Everything But the Girl - Idlewild

No, not the band fronted by Roddy Woomble but the fourth album from 1988 on the Blanco y Negro label by husband and wife Ben Watts and Tracey Thorn, recording as Everything But the Girl and my final Lockerbie purchase.

Wiki uses the awful term sophisti- pop to descrine their music. This is also used to describe the likes of Danny Wilson, Prefab Sprout and the Style Council. So far so good then the names Simply Red and Bryan Ferry pop up.

A few intersting things (to me at any rate) about this copy of the album.It originally was part of the West Lothian District Library Gramophone Record Collection (number 14288 to be precise). For a record library record it is in remarkably good condition.
When I went to check it for scratches the inner sleeve was from Parallel Lines by Blondie although the record was EBTG. My copy of Parallel Lines just has an ordinary inner sleeve so I've swopped them over.
It also has the address of a Miss LB in Dundee written on one side and the proclamation that "Ken loves May" on the other.
So a record that was originally in a library in West Lothian, may have resided in Dundee before pitching up in a Lockerbie charity shop prior to finding a good home in Glasgow!

Later copies of the album contain the single I Don't Want to Talk About It but not this one.
The first song would have featured on my Sunday Songs on a Monday series had I had it at the time, The second song isas relevant now as it was then.

Everything But the Girl - Goodby Sunday

Everything But the Girl - The Night I Heard Caruso Sing


  1. "When I went to check it for scratches the inner sleeve was from Parallel Lines by Blondie although the record was EBTG. My copy of Parallel Lines just has an ordinary inner sleeve so I've swopped them over."
    The absolute joys of second-hand record purchasing. Better to have the wrong sleeve than the wrong record, which happened to me, getting a Wonder Stuff album instead of a Fat Possum compilation.

    1. That's a bugger.
      It has happened to me on more than one occassion

    2. Let me tell you this, I was not happy. Not happy at all.

  2. I once bought what I thought was a George Jones album (shrink wrapped) only to discover when I got home that it was some "Top of the Pops" budget album inside. It almost made me break into song (probably "Things Have Gone To Pieces" - one of George's saddest songs.

  3. Ps - everyone everywhere should own a copy of the Everything but the Girl album "The Language of Life" (30 years old last month).

    And copies of "I Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love" & "Missing".

  4. This continues an amazingly long run of actually having the album you're posting about. Unlike FBCB, this was the end of the line for me and Everything But the Girl. Love the early stuff though. Many will say I spent too much time on the appetizer and missed the main course completely.

  5. Idlewild is EBTG running on 5-Star Petrol. After the very 60s inspired pop/folk/jazz of Baby The Stars Shine Bright, they focused on songs that range from Cafe Jazz to heartfelt ballads, breezy/easy Pop and some Folk/Country tinged Pop. All the time the lyrics were filled with imagery and memories. Ben's vocals on his ode to his father is one of EBTG's stand out songs in a career full of them.

  6. What an absolutely stunning song "Caruso" is. I had no idea EBTG had this in them. The song would not sound out of place on a Michael Marra lp. Utterly fantastic. I shall go and buy this album.

  7. When I was pursuing Mrs Spence (should say Ms Spence) in the early days I took a keen interest in EBTG as they were one of her favourite bands - it's what you do isn't it? - and got to like their first few albums, saw them a few times too. That sort of fizzled out when they re-invented themselves and went dancey/trip-hop-py. Neither of us play any of their stuff these days but now I've listened to those two tracks again I'll fish out their albums filed behind the cobwebs in the record cabinet, this weekend for a trip down memory lane. I can recommend a couple of Tracey Thorns' memoirs too.