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Tracy Thorn
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Tracey Thorn: Bedsit Disco Queen Review – Perfect for Music Lovers

Paola_Bassanese_itcher_contributorAs far as music autobiographies go, Tracey Thorn‘s book is an excellent read. How many pop stars do you know who have an MA in English? Her writing style is engaging and her prose flawless. ~ Paola Bassanese

She described the outcome of her music career as “Violent lifestyle swings from luxury to squalor”.

The Guardian described Bedsit Disco Queen as “a book that pulls back the veil for fans with candour and humour” and I couldn’t agree more.

There is not an ounce of self-importance or ego; having met a few popstars I can say that egos are often inflated (I guess adoring fans and millions in the bank go to your head).


The Fascination with Music Biographies

Pop stars and music journalists lead an alternative lifestyle: they travel extensively, they work odd hours and their job is very creative. They meet quirky characters and get to have extreme experiences (whether chemically-enhanced or not, we are not here to judge).

I have started becoming quite fascinated with music biographies and autobiographies recently and Tracey Thorn‘s autobiography became a must (no, you will not catch me reading One Direction’s biographies any time soon).

It all commenced with the book signing of Tracey Thorn‘s book and I knew I wanted to find out more about my favourite time in music history, the 1980s.

In a world before digital music, producing songs was pure craftsmanship and miles and miles of tape were recorded, cut and pasted.

Unpublished artists would put together a tape and send it to record companies, waiting impatiently for weeks. Fans would create fan clubs and wait for goodies in the post. In the days before twitter and leaked songs, waiting for a music release left you on tenterhooks.

Only music biographies and autobiographies can give you an in depth account of what went on in the lives of popstars

Only music biographies and autobiographies can give you an in depth account of what went on in the lives of popstars.

Interviews in papers and magazines have been vetted by agents and publicists, whereas personal accounts, albeit edited, proofread and polished before publication, give you a fuller picture.


Pop Success Described in Diminutive Tones

“And I miss you like the desert miss the rain” – remember Missing? The 1995 club hit was a Todd Terry (mentioned in my colleague David‘s piece on 1996 dance anthems) remix of Everything But the Girl‘s 1994 song. This is to date the band’s most popular, loved and recognised song.

Tracey also provided the vocals for Massive Attack‘s hit Protection.

This type of success could make most people in the music industry swan around getting the VIP treatment, but for someone like Thorn it only meant being able to pay the bills after years of living in bedsits.

Naturally media- and spotlight-shy, Tracey avoided public appearances when possible. This created not only an aura of mystery but also ensured she could raise a family without the intrusion of paparazzi.

There’s plenty of personal struggles which endears her to the readers

Tracey‘s life has never been plain sailing: without giving too much away, there’s plenty of personal struggles which endears her to the readers. Those struggles are also reflected in her song lyrics, which appear throughout the book.

Why is `Bedsit Disco Queen´ a Good Read?

As the proud owner of an autographed copy of Tracey‘s book, I would definitely recommend it.

It Ticks Many Boxes

It’s an account of indie music in the 80s

It’s a well written book with plenty of flair

It gives you a behind-the-scenes account of the life of a (not average) popstar


Engagement: 9 out of 10. Great storytelling and you do feel for Tracey and her partner Ben in their highs and lows

Humour: 8 out of 10. Tracey has plenty of wit and her humour is subtle. Very clever.

Nostalgia: 10 out of 10

Storytelling: 10 out of 10


Great insight into the world of indie popstars and their lifestyle

Intelligent and humorous


If you are not a fan of the 80s you may not appreciate the references

You might feel intimidated by Tracey’s brilliance
Well, that’s why I chose this book – it’s all about learning more about what happened in the 80s and 90s music scene


What’s your all-time favourite music biography?

I am Paola Bassanese, and I love twitter – I think in slogans! I am a contributing author at itcher mag covering mainly quirky movies that I like and that I hope you′ll like too. [n-e-x-t] I have written a few books including The Foraging Home Cook, and also write about health and lifestyle for the Huffington Post. I consider myself to be a Londoner even though I was born in Italy. I love 80s music and foreign language films, but I also enjoy going to the opera and ballet.
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