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Music Week (UK)
November 4, 2006

PREMIUM PACKAGING: Tori Amos release hits right notes

Last month saw the release of a massive career retrospective from acclaimed singer-songwriter Tori Amos. The five-disc compilation, packaged in a mini Bösendorfer-style piano box, entailed Amos painstakingly tracking down and re-mastering her entire back catalogue. Here she talks exclusively to Music Week about the project.

How did the boxed set come about?

I was inspired by the Led Zeppelin re-masters of 1992, and so I really wanted to offer something of that quality. Rhino approached us to make the set and I had been told by other artists that if I ever got the opportunity to do a boxed set, I really needed to drop everything and get involved or I would regret it, so I put the time aside.

Was it a long process?

Pulling the catalogue together was pretty time consuming, because it wasn't as if we just said, 'OK, let's do a direct transfer from the records.' This was really done by hand and, in a lot of cases, just because of how the masters were kept, they had deteriorated over the years.

Boxed sets are usually the preserve of deceased artists or disbanded groups. Did it feel weird making a boxed set in that respect?

It is a strange paradox to still be alive, and not have a hearing aid, and be making a current album for Sony while I'm having this love affair with Rhino. I must say that, although I usually tend to romanticise the idea of monogamy, I did enjoy this flirtation. I see it as the end of an era and the start of another one, which is great, because I'm not in a Zimmer frame saying this to you [laughs].

How did you decide what to include and what not to?

I wanted Little Earthquakes to be there in its original inception, which Atlantic had rejected at the time. For the other discs, we listened to everything to give everything a chance. There were hundreds for us to go through to cut it down to 86.

You've approached the set as an audiophile, but do you think people still care about getting the best sound quality in the digital age?

I realise that some people live through their iPods, and that's it, that's how they receive and experience their music, but it's not the only way. And I do think over the next five years people will want to expand their digital experience. Like with TVs; people like their big flat screen TVs and for a lot of people it's just not acceptable to watch on a computer. Digital music is still in its infancy right now, but I think as people start to get used to it, it will start to expand.

t o r i p h o r i a
tori amos digital archive