Rhino Factoids: Everything but the Girl Breaks a Record

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Rhino Factoids: Everything but the Girl Breaks a Record

20 years ago today, Everything but the Girl set a record on the Hot 100 which, although it has since been beaten, is no less remarkable an accomplishment now than it was at the time: their song “Missing” remained on the chart for 55 freaking weeks.

To put the success of “Missing” in the proper perspective, you have to be aware of a few things, the first being that the song in question, which was Everything but the Girl’s first Hot 100 hit in America, was a single from the duo’s eighth album, Amplified Heart. That’s right: Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt had been around the block more than a few times before finding their way into the top 40, and despite getting rather a lot of buzz in the States with their 1990 single “Driving,” it nonetheless failed to secure enough airplay to make it onto the Hot 100.

So what changed with Amplified Heart that led “Missing” to be found by listeners? You can attribute that predominantly to the efforts of Todd Terry, who remixed the song and turned it into a floor filler in dance clubs around the world. According to Thorn, it was always envisioned as a dance track, but as she told Rolling Stone, “We put on sort of a laid back house groove instead, then when we gave it to Todd, he took it in a really, really strong New York house direction, which had a real simplicity to it, but it was very infectious.”

Funnily enough, “Missing” never did make its way into the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, but it nonetheless became a record-setter. In fact, it actually set another record that it continues to hold even now: it was the first single ever to spend an uninterrupted year on the Hot 100. As for Everything but the Girl, Thorn and Watt’s last album together was 1999’s Temperamental, after which they’ve since only released individual solo records, but it’s not impossible that we might someday hear something new from them again, given that they’re a couple. Then again, maybe we won’t.

"One of the things that contributed to the end of Everything but the Girl was the slight pressure of being a couple and a band together,” Thorn told The Guardian in 2012. “We've been together a long time now and you don't necessarily need to increase the things that make your life stressful."