Editor’s Note: Our recurring “Portrait of the Artist” playlist series pays homage to the artists responsible for the most inspired and indispensable discographies of all time. We hope you enjoy these tributes, and stay tuned for many more to come.
One week from today, Tracey Thorn will release her fifth solo album Record, the latest achievement in the consummate class act’s impressively prolific and non-linear career that has spanned nearly forty years. From her early days with the short-lived, all-female indie outfit Marine Girls to her dynamic ‘80s and ‘90s collaborations with kindred musical spirit and husband Ben Watt as the dynamic duo Everything But the Girl to her more recent solo repertoire, Thorn’s musical output has consistently defied rigid stylistic classification.
“I’ve been in the charts, out of them, then back in again,” Thorn reflects in the author’s note that opens her excellent 2013 memoir Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Popstar. “Been signed, dropped, re-signed, mixed and remixed, I’ve seen myself described as an indie darling, a middle-of-the-road nobody and a disco diva. As Bono once sang, ‘There’s nothing you can throw at me, that I haven’t already heard. The career I’ve had has been one that’s existed mostly on the margins, outside of the genre-specific accounts of the period.”
Indeed, it is Thorn’s versatility as a vocalist and songwriter that has fueled the creative pivots and brave risks that have characterized her career to date. Whether accompanied by no more than an acoustic guitar or providing the emotive spark behind dancefloor-driven anthems, Thorn’s voice has always resonated with listeners partial to music with depth and substance.
Hence why we’re thrilled to indulge your ears with this special career-spanning tribute playlist that celebrates Thorn’s musical legacy. Comprised of her official singles, less familiar album tracks, rarities, remixes and collaborations, we suspect that you’ll find a lot to fall in love with here, whether it’s for the first time or all over again. Happy listening!
PRE-ORDER Tracey Thorn’s Record: