Taking their name from a local furniture shop, Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn first performed together at Hull University where they were students. They went their separate ways after college—Tracey Thorn as a member of the band Marine Girls and Ben Watt as a solo artist—but in 1982 the duo made their recording debut together under the Everything but the Girl moniker on a cover of Cole Porter's "Night and Day." They eventually gave up their individual projects to form Everything but the Girl (EBTG) and released debut album Eden in 1984. The duo demonstrated versatility across music genres with studio albums Love Not Money in 1985, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright in 1986, 1988's Idlewild—featuring the UK Number 3 single "I Don't Want to Talk About It," The Language of Life in 1990 and Worldwide in 1991. However, in 1992 Ben Watt contracted Churg-Strauss syndrome—which nearly killed him—and the duo put their work on hold until 1994 when they returned with seventh album Amplified Heart. A year later, US DJ Todd Terry's remix of album track "Missing" became a global hit, altering the duo's musical direction. The band released their most successful album to date, the dance and electronic-oriented Walking Wounded, in 1996—going to number four in the UK and number 37 in the US—and 1999's Temperamental played further on the dance theme. In 2000, Tracey Thorn took a step back from the music scene, while Ben Watt developed his career as a DJ/producer. The duo made their grand return to music making in 2023, releasing their critically acclaimed eleventh studio album Fuse nearly 24 years after Temperamental, and splitting the difference between electronic and acoustic numbers.