1990 Everything But The Girl – The Language Of Life

The Language of Life is the fifth studio album by British musical duo Everything but the Girl. It was released on 5 February 1990 by Atlantic Records and Blanco y Negro Records.

The Language of Life became Everything but the Girl’s second album to surpass sales of 500,000 copies, but the album divided the group’s British fanbase. In 2012, group member Tracey Thorn described The Language of Life as “a slightly slick, kind of semi-jazzy, sophisticated record” and recalled that it “was a definite attempt to try and do something that had a character to it, but in retrospect when we were asked why we had taken that direction, we couldn’t entirely say why”

Producer Tommy LiPuma had previously worked with artists like Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Randy Newman, and George Benson, and had contributed production to Aztec Camera’s 1987 album Love. He had expressed an interest in producing Everything but the Girl, and Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt, feeling that they had lost their place within the UK music scene, contacted him and asked him if he wanted to hear some demos. He invited them to New York City, and then to Los Angeles, where they would eventually record The Language of Life.

Tracey Thorn performed lead vocals on the album, and Ben Watt played guitar and piano, as well as doing some singing. Song arrangements were written by Larry Williams and Jerry Hey. The band LiPuma put together included Omar Hakim on drums, John Patitucci on bass and Larry Williams on keyboards. LiPuma produced, in Thorn’s words, “a fully realised, immaculately performed and produced modern American soul-pop record”

Tracks

1  Driving (Ben Watt) 4:00
2  Get Back Together (Ben Watt) 3:57
3  Meet Me in the Morning (Ben Watt; Tracey Thorn) 3:50
4  Me and Bobby D (Ben Watt; Tracey Thorn) 4:09
5  The Language of Life (Ben Watt; Tracey Thorn) 4:02
6  Take Me (Cecil Womack; Linda Womack) 4:08
7  Imagining America (Ben Watt) 4:59
8  Letting Love Go (Ben Watt) 4:45
9  My Baby Don’t Love Me (Ben Watt) 3:42
10  The Road (Ben Watt) 3:45

Media

Musicians

1 Driving

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
SaxMichael Brecker
PercussionLenny Castro


2 Get Back Together

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarMike Landau
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
PercussionLenny Castro


3 Meet Me in the Morning

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
PianoRussell Ferrante
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
FlugelhornJerry Hey
PercussionLenny Castro


4 Me and Bobby D

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarMike Landau
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
SaxKirk Whalum
PercussionLenny Castro


5 The Language of Life

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoJoe Sample
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
PercussionLenny Castro


6 Take Me

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarMike Landau
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoRussell Ferrante
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
SaxKirk Whalum
PercussionLenny Castro


7 Imagining America

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
DrumsVinnie Colaiuta
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
SaxKirk Whalum
PercussionLenny Castro


8 Letting Love Go

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarMike Landau
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
SaxMichael Brecker
PercussionLenny Castro


9 My Baby Don’t Love Me

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarMike Landau
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
PercussionLenny Castro


10 The Road

BassJohn Patitucci
DrumsOmar Hakim
GuitarBen Watt
Acoustic GuitarBen Watt
PianoBen Watt
PianoLarry Williams
SynthesizerLarry Williams
ProgrammingLarry Williams
FlugelhornJerry Hey
SaxStan Getz
PercussionLenny Castro

Other Musicians

SaxMarc Russo
SaxLarry Williams
TrumpetJerry Hey
VocalsTracey Thorn
VocalsBen Watt

Liner Notes

Producer – Tommy Lipuma
Arranged By (Horn Arrangements By) – Jerry Hey
Arranged By (Rhythm Arrangements) – Ben Watt, Larry Williams
Arranged By (Synthesiser Arrangements) – Larry Williams
Engineer – Al Schmitt
Engineer (Additional Engineering By) – Jim Scheffler, Joey Wolpert
Engineer (Assistant Engineers) – Ken Allardyce, Luis Chi-Sing, Michael C Ross, Neal Avron
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Bill Schnee
Mixed By (Assisted By) – Ken Allardyce

Design – The Senate
Illustration – Dirk Van Dooren
Photography By (Cover Shot By) – Nick Knight

Phonographic Copyright (p) – WEA Records Ltd.
Copyright (c) – WEA Records Ltd.
Recorded At – Bill Schnee Studios
Recorded At – Sunset Sound
Recorded At – Ocean Way Recording
Recorded At – Willyworld
Mixed At – Bill Schnee Studios
Made By – WEA Manufacturing Inc.
Pressed By – Specialty Records Corporation