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Everything but the Girl

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This is the signature song of Everything But The Girl, a British duo consisting of Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn. They were students at the University of Hull when they met. She was a singer in the pop duo Marine Girls and Ben contributed a photograph to the cover of their LP. They wound up becoming inseparable, forming their own group in 1983 and getting married not long after. The name Everything But The Girl was inspired by an advertising slogan of Turner's Furniture, a popular store in Hull near the university. Watt and Thorn quickly became popular in their native Great Britain and began to gain popularity in the United States in 1990 with the release of the album The Language of Life, which produced singles that got airtime on VH1. However, their career was almost ended when Watt contracted Churg-Strauss syndrome, an autoimmune disease which can lead to death. Watt ultimately recovered, but the prospect of his death contributed to this song's heartfelt lyrics.

"Missing" was initially a minor hit on the pop charts and a bigger one on the Adult Contemporary charts. In 1995, they gave the song to producer Terry Todd, who remixed if for nightclubs. The new release was a big worldwide hit, ultimately peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, many of the band's fans greatly prefer the original release, which is the version that's usually performed now. They continue to record, but have cut back on performing to raise their children, whom they wish to provide with as much of a normal life as possible, which means keeping them out of the limelight. (thanks, Mike - Santa Barbara, CA)
Tracey Thorn told Rolling Stone that "Missing" was originally intended as a dance-oriented track. She explained: "It was written with that idea in mind, totally... we put on sort of a laid back house groove instead. Then when we gave it to Todd, he took it in a really, really strong New York house direction, which had a real simplicity to it, but it was very infectious."
This was the first ever single to spend an uninterrupted year (55 weeks in total) on the US chart.
The song reached the Top 10 of nearly every chart around the world and landed at #1 in Canada, Germany and Italy.
Everything but the Girl
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Comments (3):

I too like the non-dance version. Much more heartfelt. The drum track on the dance version completely ruins the song for me. One time when the song was relatively new, we were 4x4ing, alone, in the middle of the vast Anza-Borrego Desert, and this song came on a distant AM station. What a feeling... "like the deserts miss the rain" in the middle of the desert.
- Dougee, San Bernardino, CA
This song can be interpreted as a love song, but in fact it is about a friendship found and lost, as Tracey once told in an interview. It is about a friend of hers whom she shared a house with who suddenly disappeared without a trace.
- Vera, Pittsburgh, PA
I personally like the original, non-dance version of the song, and was somewhat disappointed when I bought the 12" and the original version was not on it. It seems to capture the spirit of the song better than the house remixes.
- Jesse, Madison, WI
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