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New Musical Express (UK)
November 15, 2003

Burn It
Tori Amos


The Piano-straddling, piglet-suckling AOR kookstress picks her favourites:

Marvin Gaye - After The Dance

"It's crazy but it's one of those songs that I hear once a year and everytime I hear it I just have to stop everything and think 'What a beautiful piece of music and what a gorgeous song.' It's a sexy record but without being demeaning"

Joni Mitchell - River

"She really shaped me as a songwriter, and this is one of those songs that was central to me. Sometimes you feel trapped even though you're in the free world, and it really captures that."

Led Zeppelin - Going to California

"I want to give you the picture, I'm seeing these fires on the television and watching the devastation of it and I'm hearing "Going to California". And seeing that was kind of a paradox, but beautiful, tragic art. It's tragic, friends of mine are having to leave their homes, I'm not taking the piss. I realised how great the song was on one level but how poignant it was on another level, because people are fleeing California."

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York

"I think hearing Kirsty's voice again is really moving. Such a magical song, and I think that they captured something - of New York and of that time of year. It's becoming a standard, and you don't know when you're making something that it'll be a standard. You're up there with Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, some of the greats. It's dark but still magical, and it's tricky to walk that line."

The Pretenders - Back on the Chain Gang

"'Chain Gang' came out with the tragedy again, but what they did with the tragedy is what I'm interested in, the beauty that they created out of their loss and the pain. Chrissie's lived her life at the centre of a maelstrom, yet she's still standing, and yet some of the other artists we've talked about aren't with us anymore."

Jeff Buckley - Grace

"I was hearing this and... to know that he was able to tap into this, and yet wasn't able to stay on the planet for whatever reason. But he could touch this level of grace."

Chaka Khan - Tell Me Something Good

"Just how sexy is that? Similar to Chrissie; this woman has seen a lot, yet she's somehow able to sustain. She's delicious. Talk about booty call! I think that song sums her up."

The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby

"I remember hearing this when I was three or four, and them saying 'This is not going to hold up, this is of the moment', and almost 40 years later it's still holding up, and music students are starting to analyse it now at music school. It just goes to show you until time progresses you don't know what songs are going to become foundational."

Queen - Killer Queen

"So many people try and write songs like this and fail. It's tricky to be tongue in cheek. Look at the arrangementm it's airtight."

U2 - New Year's Day (Live at Red Rocks)

"Hearing it from that show made me realise the power of live performance. It's got an electricity. You tap into something sometimes; you can't explain what it is. Maybe it's all the people that are there too, or what was going on in the world that week, and you sing that song and it sort of transcends itself."


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