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Rolling Stone (US)
September 5, 2003
Tori Amos Bears New Fruit
New compilation to include two new songs
Tori Amos will encapsulate her decade-long career with the release of a
best-of collection on Atlantic Records on November 18th. Amos, who
first surfaced with 1992's Little Earthquakes, conceived the set --
which contains two new tracks, ("Snow Cherries From France" and
"Angels") -- as a librarian would, in an attempt to remember and
restore some of her early work, presenting it in a cohesive package.
"I'm referring to it more as a 'best-of' because I think to have a
'Greatest Hits' you need like ten Top Ten hits," Amos says from a
Columbia, Maryland, tour stop. "This is more of a chronicle of what we know of Tori from 1990 to 2003 . . . So it's from her perspective of
the last many years, having traveled around the world and going through
her own personal stuff. And the songs do that. Maybe it's the closest
thing to an autobiography of this woman's life that there's ever been."
The album's track list is informed by Amos' narrative approach as much
as her commercial successes. "It includes things like 'Precious Things' and of course 'Silent All These Years,' 'Cornflake Girl,' 'Spark,'
songs that people might be familiar with on one level," she says. "And
then there are quite a lot of songs that I felt gave you more story and
a bit of sizzle with variations musically. It had to represent a whole
musical spectrum because that's very much a part of the story. It's not
just the ballads. It's not just what you heard on the radio."
Two songs -- "Mary" and "Sweet Dreams" -- were originally slated for
release on Little Earthquakes, but were cut from the final album. Amos
re-tracked the songs with her current bassist Jon Evans and drummer
Matt Chamberlain. "I don't think they were brought to their zenith," she says. "And I thought the songs were still valid."
As for the new songs, Amos says she recently finished writing "Snow
Cherries From France," after years of failed attempts. And she
describes "Angels" as being more situated in the present, the
culmination of having played in piano bars for "that whole Washington set" since she was a teenager. "It's a commentary on now," she says. "The world after what we've been through the last two years and the state of play."
According to Amos, the hardest part was not selecting which songs from
her oeuvre would make the cut, but rather finding the original mixes.
"Tracking down some of these tapes was an awesome task," Amos says. "I think they might have been in somebody's dorm room somewhere [laughs] . . . I'm serious, the libraries that were supposed to be taking care of
the masters were not in tact. So we had people chasing down masters all
over the world. We found some in -- you'd be amazed -- in like the
playroom of their house. It's like, 'What's "Winter" doing there?'"
Amos wraps her Lottapianos tour with fellow piano pal Ben Folds tonight
in West Palm Beach.
t o r i p h o r i a
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