Author(s): Tracey Thorn
In her bestselling autobiography Bedsit Disco Queen, Tracey Thorn recalled the highs and lows of a thirty-year career in pop music. But with the touring, recording and extraordinary anecdotes, there wasn't time for an in-depth look at what she actually did for all those years: sing. She sang with warmth and emotional honesty, sometimes while battling acute stage-fright.
Part memoir, part wide-ranging exploration of the art, mechanics and spellbinding power of singing, NAKED AT THE ALBERT HALL takes in Dusty Springfield, Dennis Potter and George Eliot; Auto-tune, the microphone and stage presence; The Streets and The X Factor. Including interviews with fellow artists such as Alison Moyet, Romy Madley-Croft and Green Gartside of Scritti Politti, and portraits of singers in fiction as well as Tracey's real-life experiences, it offers a unique, witty and sharply observed insider's perspective on the exhilarating joy and occasional heartache of singing.
Long-listed for Penderyn Music Book Prize 2016.
Smart, chatty ... [Thorn is] a sufficiently deft writer to negotiate the populist and the high-brow ... a thought-provoking and enjoyable read Mail on Sunday Honest and compassionate Sunday Telegraph If you care at all about pop music you should read both [Naked at the Albert Hall and Bedsit Disco Queen] Sunday Herald Revelatory, always entertaining ... a genuine insider's perspective ... Thirty years of consideration went into this quietly impressive volume, and it shows Independent A writer in fine voice ... [a] cracker of a book Scotsman Thorn is the perfect analyst of our reverence for and terror of singing ...Thorn's practical, warm tone gives her a Miss Marple-like ability to appear kindly while holding mistruths up to account ... She is best, though, as a sympathetic guide to the singers she loves Daily Telegraph Tracey's characterful phrasing is as persuasive on page as it is on record Grazia Gem-like confessions that make it feel like a proper discussion. I loved it -- Nina Stibbe Telegraph A thoughtful and sensitive study of singing and her very English struggle with the embarrassment Telegraph As distinctive and lovely as its author's singing voice ... a wry and wise memoir of a unique career A subtle, suggestive book about performance -- Keith Miller Times Literary Supplement The Alan Bennett of pop memoirists. I loved her book so much I wanted to form a band too An intensely readable account of thirty years of being in love with music. Warm, assertive, sweetly funny and most of all honest Daily Telegraph, praise for Bedsit Disco Queen As a witty and wise chronicle of a life spent dipping in and out of the limelight, this is second to none Independent on Sunday, praise for Bedsit Disco Queen She can pick at the scab of a subject and release some of the unsavoury contents which have been festering under the surface. Dubbo Weekender
Tracey Thorn was singer and songwriter with Everything But the Girl from 1982-2000. At that point she semi-retired from the music business to bring up her children. She has since recorded three solo albums, Out of the Woods, Love and Its Opposite, and Tinsel and Lights, and published her autobiography, Bedsit Disco Queen. She lives in London with her husband Ben Watt and their three children.