November 17, 2008

1996: Everything But The Girl

EBTG Wrong

I've always thought this song quite seductive. When Ben Watt almost died in the early 90's and EBTG were later resurrected, they started to create (pop) art on the edge. They have a number of songs that are like a mix of sleek metal and cashmere: Lullaby of Clubland ("I've got no coat... are you on your own?") and Five Fathoms ("I wrap the wheel around me and I go out"). Songs that are marked for me by those key lines, which I associate not with isolation, but with the freedom of a solitary moment. Especially when pushed to the corners of one's comfort zone. Wrong, for me, is summed up by this line: "I wanted everything for a little while / Why shouldn't I / I wanted to know what it was like."

Clearly I am having a London moment. It's the rain and cold and grey following a frustrating week. Do you have any songs like this, that resonate on a key line - one that reveals a certain side of you?

I'd like to occasionally highlight an old song that maybe has not received the attention it merits. I'd share the tracks, but we all know how that goes...


DanProject76 said...

Ah, Wrong... my old break-up song. From when I lived in London, of all places! I didn't do the stalking bit though.

Those last 3 EBTG albums are some of my favourites, are you hacking into my brain?

lutz said...

sleek metal and cashmere.. you are so right, XO, and your's really is my fave blog.
And that last EBTG album is beautiful.

xolondon said...

I woke up this morning and thought, "That post will make me sound like I either went out and spied on people OR went out and sold ass on the streetcorner!" Needless (or not) to say, I did no such things!

...although we are in a recession and I am sure I'd be considered hot with the 75+ crowd. :)

El MarvelOso said...

Well... I thought the last 2 albums (non-compilations) were okay, but not my favorites. I thought Amplified Heart was their Tapestry. I really enjoyed Idlewild and The Language of Life.

fiftypercent said...

The lines that resonate most with my own life:

And you long for the harborlights
But you'll never be free
Of the craving for refuge
And the call of the sea
Always wanting to sell up
But always needing to buy
Until the road leads to somewhere
And that river runs dry

from Curse of the Traveller, by Chris Rea. said...

I also love Temperamental; both great records throughout.

Zbyszek said...

Ah... what a post!

"Walking Wounded" was one of the key albums of my teenage years. From the cover (and the covers off all the singles - pretty hard to find in Poland back then, but I did it), to lyrics, music, mood, Tracey's je ne sais quai.

I've spent months listening to it on my walkman (the only other cassette that stayed in my walkman longer was Elastica's debut).

I remember my sister went to London for the summer of 1996 and I made her a list (I still have it somewhere) with an item that read 'tracksuit top with a playboy bunny logo' - she never found it. Maybe that's for the best.


ww_adh said...

I love Walking Wounded and especially "Wrong." It's definitely one of my 10 favorite albums of the '90s.

countpopula said...

I think EBTG reached their pinnacle with the last two albums. While I loved the early stuff from Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Idlewild, they got a bit West Coast-slick for my taste on Language of Life, even though the songs were decent. Worldwide was better, but from Amplified Heart on was their creative reawakening.

Lullaby of Clubland may be the greatest non-hit single of their well-respected career. I just can't get enough of that song.

xolondon said...

A popular group I see!

Agreed about Lang Of Life, but I do love Meet Me In the Morning.

Zbyszek it is never too late for Playboy apparel.

Michael said...

I love Mirrorball.

Hiredpun's House of Hopefuls said...

I love EBTG's first album still the most. EBTG and the Smiths were my favorite bands in the 80's. The song River Run Dry and Never Could Have Been Worse are great dark pop songs.

However their entire catalog is cool. I am less enamored with the electronica sound however they wear it well.