Saturday, January 23, 2010

Worth Another Listen - Tracey Ullman

Maybe known best for being an actress and a comedian, but my first memory of her is as a singer, with a video on MTV. In the early 80s, Tracey was signed with Stiff Records, best known for punk and new wave acts like Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello. Tracey, on the other hand, specialized in songs with a retro 50s/60s feel, with a comedic touch that was unmistakably Tracey. Her first single to chart was Breakaway, which sent to #4 on the UK charts, and #70 in the US. Viewers loved the start, with the schoolgirls and their hairbrushes.

But it was her next single, They Don't Know, that brought her the most attention from the American audiences. The song, written by Kirsty MacColl of the Pogues, went to #2 on the UK charts, and #8 in the US. Sadly, it was her last trip to the US singles chart.

The following year, Tracey released, My Guy, a remake of the Madness song My Girl, complete with new lyrics and without the ska beat. My Guy hit #23 on the UK charts in 1984.

For more about Tracey, who became a US citizen in 2006, check out her blog here.


  1. I love Tracey.
    I remember hearing "They Don't Know" and then seeing the video. People didn't know what to make of her.
    I love her for that.

  2. I actually had that album... on vinyl!!! haven't thought about it in years! I should dig it out.. there are some GREAT drag opportunities on there! Thanks for the remembery!

  3. Granted, I was pretty young for most, well all, of the 80s, but I had no idea she recorded anything.

  4. I love Tracey also... & I had the album on vinyl too... I also had the good fortune to work with Ms Ullman, how cool was that:

  5. Tracy is awesome whatever she does. I do love "They Don't Know". She's wonderful at whatever she does.
    "Now, go home!"

  6. "They Don't Know" is such a great, fun song. I bought a CD just for that song.

  7. Bob, It was amazing, I thought she was a singer to the longest time!

    Miss G, definitely dig it out!

    Emcog, Some of us were in our prime. LOL

    Stephen, I adored the movie Love You To Death!

    Stan, So very, very talented!

    Michael, so worth owning!

  8. I always liked her whether she was singing or being zany! I ;oved "They Don't Know" - it felt sad for some reason. Didn't she also do a re-make of "It's My Party (And I'd Cry If I Want To).
    Now she is such a great comedian.

  9. SteveA, I don't remember 'It's My Party' I will have to check that out!

  10. Howard, I'm not sure anyone's stay on the planet Earth would be complete without hearing Tracey sing. Her voice is magical and her comedy is outrageous and dead on.



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