The not-quite-complete Tracey Ullman

One of the many sections hiding in the text-based archives of Gusworld is Gusworld Records. The idea of this “fantasy reissues record label” was to come up with theoretical CD reissues for material I thought needed to come out in a digital format. It seems a quaint idea in this download-driven age, and my usual over-reaching means that there’s only two artists featured on that section (though I did prep work for at least three or four more, which I really should upload one day).

Anyway, the most developed compilation on the site was They Don’t Know, a complete archive of everything Tracey Ullman released during her relatively brief musical career. Oddly enough, in early September there’ll be an actual compilation, Move Over Darling: The Complete Stiff Recordings, which aims to fulfil exactly the same charter. It even includes a previously unreleased track, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, which is the kind of detail I wasn’t likely to know about.

But is it complete? It took me a while to work this out. I heard about the reissue through Remember The Eighties, but that didn’t offer a track listing. Neither did the Amazon entry. Eventually, a pointer on Popjustice led me to a listing that revealed all 36 tracks.

The compilation does indeed include every single number Tracey released (even the spoken-word ‘The B-Side’, which is often ignored), and the aforementioned newbie. However, it doesn’t cover all the extended mixes, particularly from her first album. There’s no 12″ versions of ‘Breakaway’, ‘They Don’t Know’, ‘Bobby’s Girl’ or ‘My Guy’, though such tracks exist. When I was “compiling” my version, I spread it across three discs to make sure there was space; that may have been a factor here, but I still think the compilation could squeeze in a couple more long versions. Of course, I’ll still have to buy it, if only for the remastering.

3 thoughts on “The not-quite-complete Tracey Ullman

  1. It’s a great song. I know Kirsty MacColl sang backup on Tracy Ullman’s version, but I’ve never heard, and would like to, Kirsty’s version. What do you think, who wins in this song’s Version War?

  2. Oh, Kirsty — I love Tracey’s version (and it was almost my first exposure to Kirsty), but it’s basically Kirsty’s track with Tracey’s vocal over the top. And indeed Tracey couldn’t sing the high ‘Baby’ that precedes the final verse, so even on her recording that’s just Kirsty!

    FWIW, my historical first exposure to Kirsty was on Jona Lewie’s ‘You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties’.

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