• Bedsit Disco Queen

  • How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star
  • By: Tracey Thorn
  • Narrated by: Tracey Thorn
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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Bedsit Disco Queen

By: Tracey Thorn
Narrated by: Tracey Thorn
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Publisher's Summary

The Sunday Times top ten bestselling memoir of Tracey Thorn's 30-year pop career with Marine Girls and Everything But The Girl, and her collaborations with Paul Weller, Massive Attack and Todd Terry.

'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. 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.'

From post-punk teen-band rivalry in suburban Hertfordshire to international chart-topping success via a shared bedsit in Hull, and three decades of touring and making music, this is the funny, perceptive and candid true story of how Tracey Thorn grew up and tried to be a pop star.

©2013 Tracey Thorn (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Bedsit Disco Queen

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Everything and the book

This was really easy to listen to, I totally get what she was going through. I absolutely adored everything but the girl and listen to them fervently. I knew about Ben Watts illness This gave me more insight and to how Tracey lived it. Tracey is a legacy who didn’t sell out.

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A treasure of insight

For a while I've been an EBTG fan. Thorn's book shines a light on a brilliant career but most of all a music fan as well.

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Great Book, Very Raw

In this book Tracey peels back the layers and shares who she really is. It's refreshing to see she isn't just another big headed glitzy musician. She's real and raw and suffers from the same anxieties most people do. I didn't think I would like the book, but it was written very well and honestly just a really good book.

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Delightful!

A fun description of a unique experience in the music biz. Tracey stays true to herself and makes songs that resonate with real experience because of it. The rare tale from this era told by a woman, too! #feminist #music #england #popstar #memoir #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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Insightful autobiography

What made the experience of listening to Bedsit Disco Queen the most enjoyable?

Tracey Thorn reading her own book in her own unique voice

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bedsit Disco Queen?

Tracey's recounting of the dark times surrounding her husband's critical illness

Which scene was your favorite?

Tracey's retelling of the circumstances behind the scenes of recording Everything but the Girl's _The Language of Life_

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely!

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Unusual, but interesting!

What did you love best about Bedsit Disco Queen?

That Tracey wrote and narrated it

What did you like best about this story?

That it wasn't a gossip-fest or tell-all, but a genuine description of what it was like for her to become a musician. If you like books like this, a GREAT one is Ann & Nancy Wilson's book - give it a try!

Have you listened to any of Tracey Thorn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, of course I knew her work, but had not seen any interviews, etc. I didn't really understand the title of the book though

Any additional comments?

I wished Tracey would have described her relationship with Ben in more detail (I am a romantic and think it's great they are still together after all these years!). I also liked how there were a few snips of music in the book

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  • Alan J Power
  • 02-11-14

Everything but the juicy bits.

What did you like best about Bedsit Disco Queen? What did you like least?

Lots about this book was fab. The early years, sticking out as odd in Suburbia, Popstar Tracy at Hull Uni, buying a guitar and signed a year later with the Marine Girls. But as with most celeb biogs it's the "missing" bits that are most felt. The whole story was overly padded out with verbatim reviews from various magazines such as NME and Q Magazine. I wanted to get inside her head rather than into the cuttings file.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I learnt lots about the Indie scene I hadn't really followed at the time and enjoyed the refreshing take on parenting while on tour. Milk and Haribo on the rider etc. The reviews and diary entries went too far though. It did feel a bit like an undergraduate overly quoting and foot-noting references in a first year essay. A lot of people will find this bit fine. Especially fans.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I enjoyed the bit where George Michael turns up in his Chelsea tractor on the school run. While Tracy felt embarrassed I couldn't help wondering what kind of school the ex-red wedge girl was sending her kids to. Strangely, finance is hardly discussed in the book - something that might be none of the reader's business. But how soundly does a millionaire bedsit disco queen sleep at night given her past principles??

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Yes. The soundtrack would be amazing.

Any additional comments?

My review sounds a bit harsh, but I did really enjoy the listen. I was entertained, amused and informed. The musical interludes were a fantastic addition that really complemented each chapter. As with most autobiographies the writer seems like a closed book. Over reliance on old diary phrases and press cuttings and even quotes from her partner's book in place of genuine revelation from the heart. In the end, hugely listenable but not enough juicy bits.

5 people found this helpful

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  • S Tickner
  • 03-11-15

Truly engaging

Honest, engaging and enjoyable throughout. Only a peripheral EBTG fan, but still loved it. Found it strangely soothing. A really nice balance of personal and professional stories delivered with a generous dose of humility. Recommended (especially if you grew up thru the same times). Recommended...even if you didn't.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ltcolumbo
  • 11-09-15

great!

very good autobiography. well worth a listen . Tracey narrates it beautifully. wish it was longer.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Shane
  • Shane
  • 02-18-14

The voice of a popstar queen

What did you like most about Bedsit Disco Queen?

The voice of Tracey not only can her voice sing but for sure a characterises the essence of her personal and music performance though a part of her life.

What did you like best about this story?

Being made away the full depth and detail of this part of her life both personal and professional. I followed this enlightening story with the experience of Tracey Thorn, her name had cropped up from time to time in various parts of my musical history.
One of Tracey's latest piece of music I took interest in was, were Tracey had collaborated with a dance music producer named Stuart Price (Thin White Duke) and the time had produced Madonna's last album.

What does Tracey Thorn bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

This to me makes that difference, her voice characters simply reflect so well to this part of her life tourney. Totally makes it the little more special to the listener reader.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

In some respects yes yet more toward common interest.

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyed this story and will probably take up with it again sometime later in this year. Worth every penny money well spent and I have it for keeps. I recommend Tracey story to anyone especially if you have a keen interest in the music scene from her time as a music performer. And yes, I would love to Tracey, "Yeah babe always a pop star no doubt.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sally phoenix
  • 11-21-22

Nostalgic, poetic and a great story

Tracy Thorn’s story was such a treat, especially if you lived through the eighties music scene ….. this was such a joy….

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  • Becky Allen
  • 08-10-22

Amazing story. Didn’t want it to end

I’m too young to know about the early part of Tracey Thorn’s career but found the whole book absolutely wonderful. Such an interesting life and such interesting insights into the nature of life. As I read it, I listened to the relevant albums of the time. Whether you know her music or not, you’ll love this book.

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  • P. S. Bristow
  • 04-29-22

Good for anyone who is interested in music

Tracey along with many of her contemporaries is not a natural broadcaster or story teller and once you adjust to that the book is an easy and fulfilling listen.

I appreciated its neutral approach, there is a very balanced and natural flow to book, its not looking to score points, or grandstanding, its simply recounting a life full of ups & downs but underpinned by self belief and the desire to chase a dream.

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  • George Whyte
  • 06-27-21

A must listen for EBTG fans

Enjoyed listening to Tracy describing the highs and lows of pop stardom, delighted she found contentment in life on her own terms

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  • Celia Minoughan
  • 05-09-21

A brilliant book

Having been an Everything But The Girl fan since about 1985 I was fascinated to discover Tracey's early life and influences, how the Marine Girls came together, and how she met and started making music with Ben. Tracey is a very engaging and honest narrator of her music career ups and downs. Her account of the personal side of their lives including Ben's illness and her desire to have children was moving and gave me the explanation of the career gaps. I strongly recommend this book.

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  • StephenWhiteLion
  • 02-22-20

If you love music & musicians you will love this

Gives a music lover an insight into how bands are formed and make music. Insiteful.

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  • Amanda
  • 12-06-15

Love and Music

Loved this story - love Everything But the Girl even more now! Beautifully read too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 12-20-18

Evocative of the 80's

I got my o ld 80's vinyls out recently having bought a new turntable. amongst them was Eden, one of my faves from the 80's and I often wondered where EBGT are at these days ( I moved to Australia in 91). Then hearing Tracey on DID and finding out about the book was a real trip back in time.
The book is beautiful. The modesty and self doubt make her human just like the rest of us mere mortals and you feel like you will soon pass her in the street and shout Hey Tracey ! as if you know her. that's the mark of a great bio...