Walking Wounded is the ninth studio album by English musical duo Everything but the Girl. It was released on 6 May 1996 and issued by Virgin Records and Atlantic Records. The album saw the duo adopting a more electronica-based style, following the success of the remixed version of "Missing" from their previous album, Amplified Heart (1994).

Walking Wounded
Studio album by
Released6 May 1996 (1996-05-06)
Recorded1995
Studio
  • Little Joey's, London
  • Milo, London
  • Strongroom, London
Genre
Length52:18
Label
Producer
Everything but the Girl chronology
Amplified Heart
(1994)
Walking Wounded
(1996)
Temperamental
(1999)
Singles from Walking Wounded
  1. "Walking Wounded"
    Released: 8 April 1996
  2. "Wrong"
    Released: 17 June 1996
  3. "Single"
    Released: 23 September 1996
  4. "Before Today"
    Released: 17 February 1997

Four tracks from the album were released as singles, including the drum and bass-influenced "Walking Wounded" and the house-influenced "Wrong", which became top ten hits on the UK Singles Chart, as well as the downtempo track "Single", which set Tracey Thorn's emotionally direct vocal against breakbeats, organ and strings,[1] and "Before Today".

Composition

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According to Pitchfork's Ruth Saxelby, Walking Wounded draws on downtempo, drum and bass, and trip hop music, "compressing the wide open space of those then-nascent sounds into a pop format".[2] AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that the album is informed musically by trip hop and techno, albeit eschewing the "free-form song structures" traditionally associated with those genres.[3] Treble writer Adam Blyweiss viewed it as a refinement of Everything but the Girl's earlier sophisti-pop sound that "replaced many of the duo's acoustics with reasonable digital facsimiles".[4]

Walking Wounded marked a change in the duo's approach to writing songs. Ben Watt produced various instrumental tracks, while Tracey Thorn wrote lyrics after listening to the completed tracks.[5] In producing the tracks, Watt utilised samples from "unusual" sources;[5] the song "Single", for instance, sampled Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren" and Stan Tracey's "Starless and Bible Black".[6] Thorn later recalled: "We really believed in ourselves and that comes across in the sound. We'd finally got to the point where we realised what our strength was: the softness and warmth of my voice against urban beats; the warm and cold, the soft and hard contrast. We got it perfect on this record; it was our pop triumph."[5]

Release

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Walking Wounded was released on 6 May 1996 by Virgin Records in Europe,[7] and on 21 May 1996 by Atlantic Records in the United States.[8] It reached number four on the UK Albums Chart, becoming the duo's highest-charting album in the United Kingdom until 2023's Fuse,[9] and peaked at number 37 on the US Billboard 200.[10] Four singles were released from Walking Wounded: "Walking Wounded" on 8 April 1996,[11] "Wrong" on 17 June 1996,[12] "Single" on 23 September 1996,[13] and "Before Today" on 17 February 1997.[14] By February 1997, the album had sold 750,000 copies worldwide, according to Billboard.[15] It went on to sell over 1,300,000 copies worldwide.[16]

Walking Wounded was reissued by Edsel Records as a two-disc deluxe set on 4 September 2015.[17] On 8 November 2019, the album was re-released on vinyl by Buzzin' Fly Records.[18]

Critical reception

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Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [3]
Chicago Tribune    [19]
Entertainment WeeklyA[20]
The Guardian     [21]
Mojo     [22]
NME6/10[23]
Pitchfork6.6/10 (1996)[24]
9.0/10 (2019)[2]
Q     [25]
Rolling Stone     [26]
Spin9/10[27]

Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Jim Farber hailed the fusion of electronic and pop styles on Walking Wounded as "groundbreaking" and "at once abstract and immediate, untamed and accessible", while also crediting the "psychological resonance" of the lyrics for "putting EBTG way above the campiness of most neo-lounge acts."[20] Johnny Huston of Spin found that the album's songs are rooted in a "messy intimacy" uncommon in pop music, and that Everything but the Girl's balancing of "tradition and experimentation" and "softness and bite" makes Walking Wounded "more interesting" than the purely instrumental work of the duo's collaborators.[27] In The Guardian, Sheryl Garratt said that the duo had "intelligently" incorporated light drum and bass elements into their sound on an album she called "more a gentle updating" than "a reinvention".[21] Andy Crysell was more ambivalent in NME, expressing disappointment that the record did not constitute an "all-out conversion" to electronic music, although finding its songs "well-crafted and no doubt spectacularly meaningful".[23]

In his retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that Everything but the Girl, being "at its core ... a pop group", had in a sense "dilute[d]" trip hop and techno by adhering to pop song structures on Walking Wounded, yet they "found a way around that by seamlessly incorporating the rhythms into carefully crafted songs."[3] For Pitchfork, Ruth Saxelby discussed Walking Wounded in context with the rest of the group's oeuvre:

Each Everything but the Girl album has its own style and story, but the one on which Thorn and Watt's individual gifts shine brightest is the one on which they stripped everything back. They shared their knottiest feelings, created dialogue with skeletal new sounds, and made the record in a much more insular way than they ever had previously. Its timely sonics and emotionally wrought themes spoke as much to teenagers, myself included, as it did the band's adult contemporaries (Bristol drum 'n' bass head Roni Size gave it thumbs up).[2]

Walking Wounded was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[28]

Track listing

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Walking Wounded track listing
No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Before Today"Ben WattWatt4:18
2."Wrong"Tracey ThornWatt4:36
3."Single"ThornWatt4:38
4."The Heart Remains a Child"ThornThorn3:50
5."Walking Wounded"Watt6:05
6."Flipside"WattWatt4:33
7."Big Deal"ThornWatt4:29
8."Mirrorball"ThornWatt3:27
9."Good Cop Bad Cop"ThornWatt4:54
10."Wrong" (Todd Terry remix)ThornWatt4:45
11."Walking Wounded" (Omni Trio remix)Watt
  • Wales
  • Coxon
6:43
Total length:52:18
Deluxe edition disc 1 track listing
No.TitleLength
12."Corcovado"3:54
13."Before Today" (live)6:30
14."Single" (live)4:51
15."Wrong" (live)7:00
Total length:74:33
Deluxe edition disc 2 track listing
No.TitleLength
1."Mirrorball" (demo)3:31
2."Flipside" (demo)3:56
3."Above the Law" (demo)4:24
4."Speeding Car Side On" (instrumental demo)4:02
5."Walking Wounded" (Dave Wallace remix)8:19
6."Wrong" (Mood II Swing dub)8:54
7."Wrong" (Deep Dish remix)4:03
8."Single" (Photek remix)5:18
9."Single" (Brad Wood Memphis remix)4:42
10."Before Today" (Nellee Hooper remix)5:42
11."Before Today" (Adam F remix)4:14
12."Before Today" (Chicane remix)6:25
13."Before Today" (Dillinja remix)4:57
14."Mirrorball" (DJ Jazzy Jeff Sole Full remix)4:28
15."Corcovado" (Knee Deep Classic Club Mix Ben Watt vocal re-edit)6:19
Total length:79:14

Personnel

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Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[6]

Everything but the Girl

  • Tracey Thorn – vocals
  • Ben Watt – acoustic guitar, vocals, abstract sounds, beats, synthesizer, production, programming, recording

Production

  • Andy Bradfield – mixing
  • Mads Bjerke – engineering on "Walking Wounded"
  • Spring Heel Jack – mixing, production, and programming on "Walking Wounded"
  • Howie B – co-production, programming, and scratching on "Flipside"
  • Johnny Rockstar – additional programming on "Flipside"
  • Jeremy Shaw – additional programming on "Flipside"
  • Matthius H. – engineering on "Wrong" (Todd Terry remix)
  • Todd Terry – additional production and remixing on "Wrong" (Todd Terry remix)
  • Rob Haigh – engineering, additional production, and remixing on "Walking Wounded" (Omni Trio remix)

Design

  • Everything but the Girl – design
  • Jim Friedman – inner sleeve photography
  • Form – design
  • Marcelo Krasilcic – cover photography

Charts

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Weekly charts

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Weekly chart performance for Walking Wounded
Chart (1996–1997) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[29] 11
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[30] 50
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[31] 43
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[32] 19
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[33] 52
French Albums (SNEP)[34] 48
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[35] 59
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[36] 18
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[37] 40
Scottish Albums (OCC)[38] 18
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[39] 6
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[40] 33
UK Albums (OCC)[41] 4
US Billboard 200[10] 37

Year-end charts

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1996 year-end chart performance for Walking Wounded
Chart (1996) Position
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[42] 92

Certifications

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Certifications for Walking Wounded
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[43] Gold 35,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[44] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Platinum 300,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References

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  1. ^ Press release for 'Single' , September 1996
  2. ^ a b c Saxelby, Ruth (3 March 2019). "Everything But the Girl: Walking Wounded". Pitchfork. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Walking Wounded – Everything But the Girl". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  4. ^ Terich, Jeff; Blyweiss, Adam; Bossenger, A. T.; Prickett, Sam (24 April 2014). "10 Essential Sophisti-pop albums". Treble. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Wilson, Lois (May 2018). "Small Town Girl". Record Collector. No. 479. pp. 64–66. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  6. ^ a b Walking Wounded (liner notes). Everything but the Girl. Virgin Records. 1996. 7243 8 41698 2 4 / CDV2803.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  7. ^ "New Releases: Albums". Music Week. 4 May 1996. pp. 34–35.
  8. ^ Flick, Larry (4 May 1996). "Everything but the Girl Does No 'Wrong' Remixes". Billboard. Vol. 108, no. 18. pp. 28–29. Retrieved 11 July 2024.
  9. ^ "Everything But The Girl". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 July 2024.
  10. ^ a b "Everything but the Girl Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  11. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. 6 April 1996. p. 47.
  12. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. 15 June 1996. p. 31.
  13. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. 21 September 1996. p. 43.
  14. ^ "New Releases: Singles". Music Week. 15 February 1997. p. 31.
  15. ^ "Who's Selling Where". Billboard. Vol. 109, no. 8. 22 February 1997. p. 46. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  16. ^ "About". ebtg.com. Archived from the original on 17 March 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Deluxe Re-Issues of Walking Wounded and Temperamental out Sep 4". ebtg.com. 2 September 2015. Archived from the original on 1 December 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Everything But The Girl – Walking Wounded (Vinyl Reissue)". Unmade Road. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  19. ^ Kot, Greg (30 May 1996). "Everything But the Girl: Walking Wounded (Atlantic)". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b Farber, Jim (24 May 1996). "Walking Wounded". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  21. ^ a b Garratt, Sheryl (10 May 1996). "CD of the week: Everything but the Girl". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Segal, Victoria (February 2020). "Everything but the Girl: Walking Wounded". Mojo. No. 315. p. 105.
  23. ^ a b Crysell, Andy (4 May 1996). "Missing Inaction". NME. p. 56.
  24. ^ Schreiber, Ryan. "Everything But The Girl: Walking Wounded". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 21 February 2006. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  25. ^ Cooper, Mark (June 1996). "Everything but the Girl: Walking Wounded". Q. No. 117.
  26. ^ Hardy, Ernest (13 June 1996). "Everything But the Girl: Walking Wounded". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 24 April 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  27. ^ a b Huston, Johnny (July 1996). "Everything but the Girl: Walking Wounded". Spin. Vol. 12, no. 4. p. 88. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  28. ^ Cartwright, Garth (2006). "Everything but the Girl: Walking Wounded". In Dimery, Robert (ed.). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Universe Publishing. p. 787. ISBN 978-0-7893-1371-3.
  29. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  32. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 2988". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  34. ^ "Lescharts.com – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  35. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  36. ^ "Charts.nz – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  37. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  38. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  39. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  40. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  41. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  42. ^ "Årslista Album (inkl samlingar), 1996" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 11 July 2024.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1996 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 11 July 2024.
  44. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  45. ^ "British album certifications – Everything but the Girl – Walking Wounded". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
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