Amplified Heart, Everything But The Girl's million-selling and critically acclaimed seventh studio album, now appears for the first time on vinyl in a deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition mastered at half-speed for optimum audio fidelity by Miles Showell 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, the original version also remains a timeless classic 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 candor. 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.
"We've always been proud of Amplified Heart," says Ben, reflecting on the new edition. "It is both close to the bone - understandable, given its background - but also gentle in its touch, and shot through with resilience. The newly mastered pressing sounds amazing - as good as the original tapes." "I think it's a real rebirth record," adds Tracey, "the moment we got our mojo back. And it's where 'Missing' began its story, so it's a significant album for us."