Everything But The Girl - Amplified Heart (25th Anniversary Vinyl LP)
I Don't Understand Anything
Walking To You
We Walk The Same Line
25th Anniversary Vinyl Edition
Released July 5 2019 (Originally released June 1994)
Hi Fidelity Half-Speed Mastering
180gm vinyl pressing
On Buzzin' Fly Records under exclusive license to Chrysalis Recordings
Amplified Heart was Everything But The Girl's million-selling and critically acclaimed seventh studio album and now appears for the first time on vinyl in a deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition mastered at half-speed for optimum audio fidelity at London's Abbey Road Studios.
The record - released in early 1994 by UK alt-pop duo Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt - contains the original version of what was to become the band's biggest hit, Missing. If Todd Terry's famous house remix took that song onto the world's dance floors and upper reaches of the global pop charts in 1995 (#2 on US Billboard Hot 100, #1 on US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, #3 on the UK Top 40, and #1 in Canada, Germany and Italy), the original version also remains a timeless classic, now in heavy demand on modern streaming services, and one that perhaps better reflects the enduring appeal of the album's modern-retro hybrid of ardent folk-soul and scratchy electronica.
Yet, the genesis of the album was anything but easy. Written in the aftermath of Ben's harrowing near-death experience in 1992 from a rare auto-immune disease, the lyrics written alternately by Thorn and Watt are raw unflinching stories of love and isolation, that often disarm with their candour.
To capture the sound, the duo turned in part to folk-rock legends Danny Thompson (double bass), Dave Mattacks (drums), and engineer Jerry Boys (Sandy Denny, REM, Sawmills Studio) to anchor the heart of the songs but also to electronic producer, John Coxon to find the loops and dusty sounds that give the album much of its underlying atmosphere. Brief cameo roles are played by Richard Thompson on electric guitar and veteran string arranger Harry Robinson (Nick Drake's River Man).
The new vinyl edition has been mastered by long-time Everything But The Girl mastering engineer, Miles Showell, now at Abbey Road Studios, who is one of only a handful of engineers specialising in half-speed mastering that uses new techniques to more faithfully reproduce the sound of original master tapes.
Assembling the artwork was difficult. Ben and Tracey's own label Buzzin' Fly Records acquired the rights to the album from Warner Music in 2017, but Warner had lost or disposed of original photography. As a result, the new front cover was sourced from the original photographer who did not have the exact frame but was able to provide the near-identical one taken a fraction of a second later. Similarly, the original back cover photo - taken from a hotel room at night in Osaka by Ben in 1992 - was nowhere to be found; instead, Ben unearthed the original negatives and selected a new photo of a Japanese bullet train taken the same night with a similar atmosphere for the new back cover. English fashion and art photographer Corinne Day's iconic portraits of the duo that made up the centrefold of the original CD booklet were also lost; with only scans of the booklet prints to work from, the images were digitally de-noised and - unable to be enlarged further - were used for the new vinyl's labels.
The original 1994 release of Amplified Heart saw Todd Terry's remix of Missing added as a bonus eleventh track on later CD runs, and an expanded deluxe double CD version including a heft of bonus material came out in 2013, but this new vinyl edition is faithful to the original 1994 ten-track running order and does not include the Todd Terry remix or additional tracks.
REACTION TO ORIGINAL RELEASE IN 1994
'An affectingly intimate work, as sorrowful, contemplative and melodic as they have ever been' TIME OUT
'Matches their wonderful Idlewild for sense of purpose and tunes. The results are, to a song, high quality' MOJO
'Captures expertly the fragmentary confusing nature of emotional ruction' THE INDEPENDENT
'Their newest album, and possibly their best' NEW YORK TIMES
'Poetic minimalism at its finest' LA TIMES
'The most beautifully mature album of their career and one of the sleeper gems of 1994' NEWSWEEK