Released : 1995
Everything But The Girl took their name from a department store in Hull, where Ben Watt and Tracy Thorn were both at the unfashionable city’s university. They evolved slowly about as far off the music industry’s beaten track as you could imagine; In the confused pan-stylism of punk’s aftermath anything became acceptable, they versioned Cole Porter’s mercurial standard Night And Day in 1982 drawing a line showing far British pop had sprung.
Album after album followed by the duo until, as Watt revealed, they were bored and stuck in a creative rut that also had a commercial ceiling. Watt told the Guardian of the period “I remember looking at Tracey some nights at these pin-drop-silent gigs, just thinking, I wish someone would go, ‘Fuck off!'” Their eighth release Amplified Heart seemed to plow a similar furrow to many of it’s forebears, but they had a plan. One of the tracks, a(nother) mid-tempo ballad about what would be recognised now as borderline stalking behaviour, was written with the possibility of a remix version in mind.
Brooklynite DJ Todd Terry expertly took Missing where it wanted to go, keeping the desultory beat and elements of the skittering guitar but adding a floor-ready overtow. Framed by Thorn’s mournful vocals, in the wake of classics like Massive Attack’s Blue Lines, it was another proto sad banger and huge global hit, one that would revive them completely for much of the decade, even as Watt battled a rare illness. Hull and New York for their part were rarely seen out together again afterwards.