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

Tracey Thorn

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

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. 4.1 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Biography, Music, Stage & Screen
Format
Pages
RRP
Date of Publication February 2013
ISBN 978-1844088669
Publisher Virago
 

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.

Reviews

The Guardian

Zoe Williams

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.

26/01/2013

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The Independent on Sunday

Fiona Sturges

Those searching for bacchanalian rock'n'roll hijinks will not be able to find them here. But, as a witty and wise chronicle of the post-punk era and a life spent dipping in and out of the limelight, this is second to none.

03/02/2013

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The New Statesman

Toby Litt

It’s no surprise that Bedsit Disco Queen is an immensely likeable book. Everything but the Girl are (were?) an immensely likeable band and Tracey Thorn is an immensely likeable person — at least, she comes across that way in her songwriting, singing, interviews and, now, her autobiography.

07/02/2013

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The Observer

Kitty Empire

Bedsit Disco Queen is that most satisfying thing — a book that pulls back the veil for fans with candour and humour, while charting a social history of UK pop with Zelig-like perspective.

10/02/2013

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The Sunday Telegraph

Chris Harvey

Intensely readable … Her written voice is warm, assertive, sweetly funny, but most of all honest … Strangely, Watt remains somewhat elusive.

13/02/2013

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The Sunday Times

Lucy Denyer

It is a beautifully written book, dryly funny and searingly honest about growing up, whether it was discovering feminism, or being slightly out of her depth as a 15-year-old at an Anti-Nazi League rally. Despite looking back, she writes from the moment, not allowing her older self to intrude too much, which lends the story real immediacy. Perhaps what is most satisfying about the book, though, is Thorn’s contentment...

24/02/2013

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The Daily Express

Charlotte Heathcote

The name-dropping is understated (collaborating with Paul Weller didn't quite go to plan; Morrissey invited them to tea then hid when they turned up) … a nuanced and unusually reflective autobiography.

03/02/2013

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The Evening Standard

Nick Curtis

[A] drily downbeat memoir. In prose as in song, Thorn has a lovely, lulling, disarming tone, with steel beneath the self-effacement … Like Morrissey, only a lot more likeable, Thorn is a distinctive and interesting English voice.

31/01/2013

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The Independent

Pierre Perrone

… 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.

22/02/2013

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©2013 The Omnivore