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Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried…

Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star (edition 2014)

by Tracey Thorn (Author)

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1114108,775 (4.09)16
Title:Bedsit Disco Queen: How I grew up and tried to be a pop star
Authors:Tracey Thorn (Author)
Info:Virago (2014), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star by Tracey Thorn

  1. 00
    Patient: The True Story of a Rare Illness by Ben Watt (chazzard)
    chazzard: Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn are married, and are members of the band Everything But The Girl.

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Showing 4 of 4
Tracey is a likeable and witty writer, describing her passion for music developing in the punk era. She describes the music she developed, how she met and worked with Ben in 'Everything but the girl'. It's very insightful about the music business. ( )
1 vote PhilipKinsella | Aug 12, 2016 |
Beautifully written (as you would expect from a woman who managed to get a First in Eng Lit while juggling two bands, a solo career, and touring). This is wry and understated, and Tracey comes across as level-headed and self-aware as she remembers her youth and almost nerdy passion for making music, and the highs and embarrassing lows of being a pop star. ( )
2 vote LARA335 | Apr 21, 2015 |
Earlier in 2014, I read Viv Albertine's Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. and enjoyed it very, very much - in fact, it was and remains my favourite book of 2014. In reviews and interviews, it was often compared to Tracey Thorn's Bedsit Disco Queen, so I was keen to read that as well.

And I enjoyed it, but not as much as #clothesmusicboys. Partly that's because Viv Albertine came of age musically in the 1970s, the same decade in which most of my ongoing music interest began; Tracey Thorne is the best part of a decade younger, and the music genres she has passed through are of less interest to me.

But it's also because Viv Albertine has led (for both good and ill) quite an extreme life, and her autobiography reflects this - whereas Thorne is a much more reserved and contained character, and so her autobiography is much less dramatic. For all that, it's still a very worthwhile read. ( )
1 vote timjones | Jan 15, 2015 |
An utterly delightful memoir by Tracey Thorn, the lead singer of Everything But The Girl. Tracey has always presented an opaque, cool front to the world, letting her song lyrics hint at her life but here she takes us back to the teenager growing up in suburban Hertfordshire, needing to become involved in the post-punk music scene in London but unsure of how to go about it. Gaining some indie success as part of The Marine Girls, Tracey went to study at Hull University and within a few hours of arriving had met fellow-record label artist Ben Watt. They bonded over music and started the band Everything But The Girl (taking the name from a local shop) and were soon gaining mainstream success while still at University.

Tracey shares the successes the band achieved but also the quandary of how to keep both afloat in the never-constant flow of the pop world while staying true to your vision. EBTG had highs, they had lows but more through happenstance than design kept finding opportunities for success. Thorn also shares her offstage life with Ben Watt and the awful experience in the 1990s when Ben was crippled with an illness that left them facing an unknown future.

Warm, involving, insightful and full of humour, Tracey's book is one of the best autobiographies of recent years. ( )
4 vote Chris_V | Jun 18, 2013 |
Showing 4 of 4
Like Bennett, Thorn is observant, funny, modest and dry. Both have a profound sense of pop; they have each mastered their chosen form’s versions of catchy. Most of all, they share a particularly English conflict between propriety and fame.
Writing this book has helped Thorn return to music, with two more albums completed since 2007, but her prose is not as assured as her unique voice. However, reading Bedsit Disco Queen sent me back to EBTG's rich, understated canon. It felt like catching up with a long-lost friend.
I fell for the deceptive simplicity, the way Thorn can make you feel as if you were at the gig or in the damp cottage, precisely because she doesn't exaggerate, doesn't surrender to the slightest nostalgic overstatement. She seizes your attention because she never asks for it, and in that her authorial voice is very like her singing voice, soft and low, magnetic
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I'd always kidded myself that it was punk that got me started.
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Tracey Thorn was one half of internationally successful group Everything But the Girl and collaborated with Paul Weller, Massive Attack and dance legend Todd Terry. This is the funny, perceptive and candid story of her 30-year pop career. I was only sixteen when I bought an electric guitar and joined a band. A year later, I formed an all-girl band called the Marine Girls and played gigs, and signed to an indie label, and started releasing records. Then, for eighteen years, between 1982 and 2000, I was one half of the group Everything But the Girl. In that time, we released nine albums and sold nine million records. We went on countless tours, had hit singles and flop singles, were reviewed and interviewed to within an inch of our lives. I've been in the charts, out of them, back in. I've seen myself described as an indie darling, a middle-of-the-road nobody and a disco diva. I haven't always fitted in, you see, and that's made me face up to the realities of a pop career - there are thrills and wonders to be experienced, yes, but also moments of doubt, mistakes, violent lifestyle changes from luxury to squalor and back again, sometimes within minutes.… (more)

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