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Tori Amos

Tori Amos (born Myra Ellen Amos) was one of several female singer/songwriters who combined the stark, lyrical attack of alternative rock with a distinctly '70s musical approach, creating music that fell between the orchestrated meditations of Kate Bush and the stripped-down poetics of Joni Mitchell. In addition, she revived the singer/songwriter traditions of the '70s while re-establishing the piano as a rock & roll instrument. With her 1992 album Little Earthquakes, Amos built a dedicated following that expanded with her second album, Under the Pink, before giving way to a decade-spanning legacy.

The daughter of a Methodist preacher, Amos was born in North Carolina but raised in Maryland. She began singing and playing piano in the church choir at the age of four, and songwriting followed shortly afterward. Amos proved to be a quick learner, and her instrumental prowess earned her a scholarship to the preparatory school at Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory. While studying at Peabody, she became infatuated with rock & roll, particularly the music of Led Zeppelin. She lost her scholarship at the age of 11 -- quite possibly due to her interest in popular music -- but continued writing songs nevertheless, eventually moving to Los Angeles in her late teens to become a pop singer. Atlantic Records signed her in 1987, and Amos recorded an uninspired pop-metal album called Y Kant Tori Read the following year. The record was a complete failure, attracting no attention from radio or press and selling very few copies; nevertheless, she didn't lose her record contract. By 1990, Amos had adopted a new approach, singing spare, haunting, semi-confessional piano ballads that were arranged like Kate Bush but had the melodies and lyrical approach of Joni Mitchell. Atlantic sponsored a trip to England in 1991, where she played a series of concerts in support of an EP, Me and a Gun.

The harrowing "Me and a Gun" was an autobiographical song, telling the tale of Amos' own experience with rape. It gained positive reviews throughout the media, and both the EP and the supporting concerts sold well. Little Earthquakes, Amos' first album as a singer/songwriter, was released in 1992 and fared well in both the U.S. and the U.K. The same year, she released the Crucify EP, which featured cover songs like Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Led Zeppelin's "Thank You." Delivered in early 1994, Under the Pink, the proper follow-up to Little Earthquakes, was an even bigger hit, selling over a million copies and launching the minor hit singles "God" and "Cornflake Girl." Two years later, Amos delivered her third album, Boys for Pele, her most ambitious and difficult record to date. The album debuted at number two and quickly went platinum.

Amos spent much of 1997 dealing with personal matters, including a miscarriage and a marriage. She also worked on her fourth album, From the Choirgirl Hotel, which was released in the spring of 1998. The two-disc To Venus and Back followed in 1999 to coincide with a tour with Alanis Morissette. In 2001, Amos returned with the covers album Strange Little Girls, which also marked her last release for Atlantic.

The next year, she found a new label home with Epic and followed with Scarlet's Walk in October. Her eighth studio album, an autobiographical record titled The Beekeeper, was released in 2005. The massive five-disc Piano collection arrived in 2006, boasting a cornucopia of album cuts, B-sides, unedited and alternate versions, demos, and seven previously unissued tracks, followed by the typically eclectic and hard-rocking American Doll Posse in 2007, an all-new collection of songs that found the artist assuming five archetypal personalities, all of whom were based on feminine gods in Greek and Roman mythology.

As she toured in support of the album, Amos released live digital recordings of each concert as part of the Legs and Boots concert series, which grew to encompass 27 albums. Although each release was made available, Amos also released a "best-of" Legs and Boots compilation in March 2009, having created its track list from various recordings during the tour. Meanwhile, she also focused on new material that had been written during the tour, which she soon compiled into her tenth studio album. Entitled Abnormally Attracted to Sin, the album was released in May 2009 by Universal Republic, Amos' new record label. A holiday album, Midwinter Graces, followed closely behind, appearing before the end of 2009 and garnering warm reviews.

In the summer of 2011, Amos began touring in advance of her next album, the classically based song cycle Night of Hunters. A conceptual work based on familiar motifs by composers Satie, Chopin, Schubert, and Bach, Amos' recording centered on a couple torn apart by life's difficulties and monotonies, and the female protagonist's journey to find wholeness within herself. Amos collaborated on the recording with the string quartet Apollon Musagete, arranger John Philip Shenale, and clarinetist Ernst Ottensamer. Night of Hunters was released by the classical label Deutsche Grammophon in September of 2011; it peaked at 24 on the Billboard 200. Amos' next move was to re-record some of her songs, newly arranged by John Philip Shenale with the Metropole Orchestra. The resulting set, called Gold Dust, appeared almost exactly a year after Night of Hunters; it debuted at 63 on the Billboard 200. In 2013, after several years in gestation, the musical The Light Princess, based on the fairy tale by Scottish seminal fantasy writer George MacDonald and with music and lyrics by Amos, premiered at the National Theatre in London to wild critical acclaim and was nominated for best musical in the prestigious Evening Standard Theatre Awards. The following year, Amos announced her return to pop with her 14th studio album, Unrepentant Geraldines. Heavily inspired by her love of fine art, the album appeared in early May 2014. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: A Piano: The Collection

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5
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Track List: Selkie (Single)

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Track List: Welcome To England (Radio Single)

Comments

shllshel
Say I phone five times
Pick a color
Post this on five other songs
Look under your pillow
thanks
Seconded.
dave mustaine for president 2020
tarabryan6
The lyrics printed here for Winter have a lot of errors. Anyone know how to fix that?
Master songwriter
Used this version as my wedding song!
Love
Tori Amos is sexy
She has such a beautiful voice
richards.hea t h e r 3 3
This Friday, Tori in St. Louis!!!
6 days till TORI in Dallas EEEEEEEEEKKK K K K K
I can't wait to see her in Seattle... I've loved her since I was a kid. Always stunning, always original
Xoxo
Neil Gaiman is a close friend and based his character Delirium on her as they both have mismatched eyes
Tori Amos is one of the most inspiring artists around! A rare gem that has stayed true to herself after all these years in the music industry! Definitely my fave :-)
Lyrics..... Please are missing ON MOST of ToRi
How is your salvation, I am hot and cold.
Why canq some just enjou true artist I have been in love with Tori for 20 year's and she never gets old. I just dontt understand why people complain about things they control over. Don't listen of u don't like.
Since when did Hawaiians have the floor for being racially profiled? ... Whatever the gent said below is just ridiculous ... Get over yourself and stop taking yourself so seriously ...
tori rules.
hey bobonnit..yo u obivously took the time to make a comment on how annoying tori is..so it would appear your intelligence is quite dim...find something to do with yourself . loser.
@bobonnit tori is not annoying, you silly twat
Love me some Tori!
I had forgotten how annoying she was until somehow she ended up on my Pandora. I'll fix that....
Tori ...can't thank cris skinner enough for you
I have been in love with Tori for 20 years now...so excited to hear that she is touring again!
elizabethlhu b b a r d 6
Regarding Hawaiians, she wanted to honor Pele and she wanted to channel her power. It's her honoring pele not dishonoring Hawaiian culture
alohakghi
Taking artistic license with Hawaiian culture is a slippery-slo p e . Pele is sacred to those of us who lived next to the volcano and watched our homes get covered with lava in the late 80s. Ms. Amos might have unintentiona l l y insulted many Hawaiians by referring to Pele as a man-eater; touchy subject for a conquered people who were accused of being savages and cannibals. It was illegal to speak Hawaiian in public until 1978. Time to support the indigenous people the US continues to exploit, Tori.
suni.perez
Tori is my favorite artist and always will be. I think it's because she gets me. Sometimes I think she's readings mind. Love you Tori. Thanks for never selling out
I highly recommend her comic book tattoo.
Taxi Ride -- yes, this song does it for me! Tori, I love your sound so much! :)
So true Steven !!!! :)
I will forever Love Tori. Kept me grounded growing up and is still on my playlist always. I guess you go to far when pianos try to be guitars
Dream Reaver UCI &ICU china illinois
Over clothes lines...my feet are slipping. Amazing and remarkably relevant 20 years later. Obscure, dense, challenging. As art should be.
I'm not sure if I ever wanted your sex(probably ) but I do want to be inside you.
All my kittens lost their mittens...Wa s I a saddist when I lifted up her dress???
I took my mustard seed and bet it all on red(Tori). Winner!?!
She changed my life
This woman is out of her mind.
What is this? Makes no sense at all.
I just kissed you for the first time in my dreams since 1994. It was awkward.
Pretty Good Year"Tears on the sleeve of a manDon't wanna be a boy todayHeard the eternal footmanBough t himself a bike to raceAnd Greg he writes lettersAnd burns his CDsThey say you were something in those formative yearsHold onto nothingAs fast as you canWell still pretty good yearMaybe a bright sandy beachIs going to bring you backMay not so now you're offYou're gonna see AmericaWell let me tell you something about americaPrett y good yearSome things are melting nowWell what's it gonna takeTill
more tori and maybe mazzy star please thank you your site is awsome
Tori, her drummer and bass player-absol u t e l y one of the best live shows I've ever seen- this was in maybe 2003-Missoul a , Montana-
Love uuuuuuu tori ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
The rain has come...I could use wisely some of your cash. I love your beautiful M.I.L.F mind,, body and soul.
arachnidlove 2 1 3
One of my top 3 favorite Tori Songs. I've read her explanation of the lyrics and nothing makes sense. But I still love it's wonderful nonsensical lyrics.
271998418
Musically, lyrically, vocally and emotionally one of the most amazing musicians and amazing souls I have ever had the honor of hearing. Personally I think she is the greatest female musician I have ever heard but I'm trying to be a bit diplomatic.
Gotta LOVE Tori, she's amazing!!!
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