THE DEBUT SINGLE FOR THE MINOR MAJOR LABEL….

Everything But The Girl have featured here on quite a few occasions before, and there have been very welcome words, thoughts and opinions from a number of contributors, but I think this is the first time there has been a look specifically at Each and Every One, a significant single for a number of reasons.

The duo had previously released their debut 45, a cover of the Cole Porter classic Night and Day, on Cherry Red Records in the summer of 1982, following which the label released solo albums by both Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt.

While this was all happening, Geoff Travis of Rough Trade and Mike Alway of Cherry Red were busy talking to WEA Records in which they presented an idea of how an indie-label could be set-up, managed and most importantly of all, financed by a major label without the singers/bands being accused of selling-out. Here’s an extract from an interview given by Travis back in 1996:-

Q: How did you create the Blanco Y Negro label with Warner Brothers?

A: A friend of mine, Mike Alway, was the head of the Cherry Red label. He was fed up with his bosses- he thought they weren’t backing his judgment. I said “why don’t you start your own label?” I couldn’t really integrate him into Rough Trade. What I was thinking was we’d start an indepedent label but what he was thinking of was starting a label but doing it with a major (record label). I wanted to work with Mike so I said OK. We went to the head of Warner Brothers with the idea. We got Tracey Thorn and about thirteen other acts. That taught me about how the corporates work and what it meant to be on the inside. What it really meant was we could really sign the bands we wanted to. Some bands wanted to work with us but we didn’t have the resources for them before that.

Q: When making the deal with Warner Brothers, did you have any misgivings about working with a major label?

A: I didn’t really. People always said that we discovered hundreds of bands but we never kept them. We felt terrible about that because we knew what we were doing. One of the things that made me take this seriously was when Scritti Politti left us and signed to Virgin. Aztec Camera left us and signed to Warners. They said, in so many ways, that if they had known what we were going to do (with Blanco Y Negro), they would have stayed with us. It would have been nice to keep them but financial restraints made it impossible for them to stay. There has to be a balance- people have to make a living. That’s very important. I think that you can have your cake and eat it in the sense that you can do what you want to do without compromising.

I have the philosophy that it’s interesting to see what happens on the other side of the fence. The Jesus and Mary Chain had been on Creation and they didn’t enjoy that. They wanted to sign to a major. Have we been tainted and corrupted by our association with Warners? I don’t know. You’d have to ask the people we work with.

Everything But The Girl had the honour of being the first to issue anything on the new label, in April 1984, with the 7″ having the catalogue number NEG1.

The 12″, from which these have been ripped, has NEG1-T stamped on the inner label:-

mp3: Everything But The Girl – Each and Everyone
mp3: Everything But The Girl – Laugh You Out The House
mp3: Everything But The Girl – Never Could Have Been Worse

Apologies for the fact that the recordings are a bit hissy and sub-standard in places…blame it on the poor pressing and the age of the vinyl.

All three songs are well worth your time, but I’ve a really soft spot for the last of them as it is so reminiscent of The Smiths who, at this point in time, had not long released their debut album with the next 45 Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, about to take them to new heights.

Each and Everyone got as high as #28 in the UK singles charts, but to almost everyone’s disbelief did not provide the springboard for future hits with none of the next nine singles making the Top 40 – indeed only one made the Top 50 – and it wasn’t until the summer of 1988, and their cover of I Don’t Want To Talk About It, before they became more familiar faces to the record buying public.

JC

5 thoughts on “THE DEBUT SINGLE FOR THE MINOR MAJOR LABEL….

  1. This is the only Everything But The Girl release that I own (12″). I recall being chuffed that all 3 songs were great – value for money. I bought my copy from a newly opened record shop in Baillieston, Main Street – which I could easily walk to. It’s opening meant I was able to buy more releases as I saved the hefty price of bus fares into the city centre.

  2. You’re so right about Never Could Have Been worse, JC.
    Also, if someone had presented it as a lost Sundays song
    I’d have believed them.

  3. I think Tracey mentions in one of her books that the week this came out Martin Fry and Elvis Costello were reviewing the weeks singles for the NME and playfully bickering about who would get to steal I mean keep the review copy.

  4. Pawa50 said it all, Laugh You Out The House is my favorite EBTG song. 1:50 of Pop Perfection. But all three songs set a standard that for me, Tracey and Ben met and exceeded throughout their career as a unit and as solo artists. They are still making and releasing important, challenging and enjoyable music 40 years on.

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