Retro Spins: Tracey Ullman - You Broke My Heart In 17 Pieces

Long before The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons and being retro was considered cool, twenty-four year old Ullman recorded and released her first studio album, You Broke My Heart In 17 Pieces. It was a love letter to the 60's and 70's, featuring a variety of cover songs with an upbeat early 80's musical style.

Though I never would have put two and two together as a child, in terms of who the singer was versus her popular comedy sketch show of the mid eighties, I was very familiar with Ullman's top ten hit, They Don't Know About Us. It was something my sister played frequently, boosted by a steady rotation on MTV. As I watched it as an adult, it was actually quite interesting to have an understanding of what the video was portraying - A happy girl in the thralls of dating, shifting midway to a housewife not so taken in by the sweetheart who swept her off her feet.

You Broke My Heart In 17 Pieces is okay overall. You really have to appreciate the original source material in order to enjoy it. As someone who's always been a fan of jukebox diner style music of the 60's and 70's, I can certainly get behind it. Mind you, it's not something that necessarily has a whole lot of replay value. I don't like it that much. However, for an occasional listen, it's good.

Due to its overall price and lack of replay-ability, I wouldn't necessarily recommend rushing out and grabbing this one. Original pressings of the CD can run as high as seventy dollars, with low points being around forty. That's quite a bit of scratch. Most readily available versions, which are few, are usually the Stiff Records versions from the UK, or other foreign countries, such as Russia and the Netherlands. I don't think I've ever seen an MCA labeled USA release - If a CD version even exists.

If you want something unique in your collection, then this album is definitely that. However, if you're looking for something that's going to have a lasting impression, with songs that can be replayed over and over, you probably won't find that here.

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Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.


  1. Tracy Ullman had a top ten hit. Who knew? Pretty cool though. Multi-talented lady.