It was back in 2010 when Tracey Thorn released her third solo album, Love and Its Opposite. I bought it at the time, but singularly failed to fall for its charms after a couple of listens, which meant it found its way onto the shelves where the CDs are kept, increasingly ignored over the years now that I concentrate almost exclusively on vinyl, old and new alike.
I do still pick up some second-hand CDs, especially if it’s a way to listen to some music that had otherwise passed me by back in the day. One of the purchases last year was a Tracey Thorn 2xCD compilation, Solo: Songs and Collaborations 1982–2015, comprising 34 tracks across her career as a solo artist as well as many songs recorded with other artists as a guest singer. It’s a compilation I’ll be returning to in due course, as there are some very interesting things I reckon are worth drawing to your attention.
The compilation opens with a track from Love and Its Opposite, and maybe it’s the fact I’m a bit older, and I’m slowing down somewhat, but I found myself really appreciating the nuances of what was actually the lead single from the album:-
mp3: Tracey Thorn – Oh, The Divorces
The compilation also includes a number of Tracey’s cover versions, one of which was the b-side to a very limited 7″ single of Oh, The Divorces, with just 200 copies pressed up for Record Store Day in April 2010.
mp3: Tracey Thorn – Taxi Cab
The original can be found on Contra, an album released by Vampire Weekend in early 2010. Tracey’s take isn’t substantially different from the original, but it does make for a very pleasant and easy-going listen.
It all led to me giving Love and Its Opposite another listen for the first time in over a decade, and while I won’t ever hold it up as my favourite album recorded by Tracey Thorn, it certainly has some moments worth giving better attention to. Such as this:-
mp3: Tracey Thorn – Come On Home To Me
It’s another cover version, of a song written and recorded by Lee Hazelwood back in 1971. The additional vocal on this one is supplied by Jens Lekman. If you’re thinking you know this already, then that might well be down to Echorich including it in on ICA 262(b), back in September 2020.