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The Guardian (UK)
June 3, 2008

Tori Amos leaves major label

The singer has left Epic Records to follow the "path of independence". But where does such a path lead? To musicals about princesses, apparently

by Sean Michaels

In the continuing battle between major labels and independents, a new artist seems to switch sides every day. The latest of these is angst-ridden songwriter Tori Amos, who has left Epic Records to follow "the path of independence", her manager told Billboard yesterday.

Aware that this is becoming a frequent story in today's climate, Amos felt the need to spice things up a little, incorporating sci-fi musings into her explanation: "There will be many ways in the present and in the future for artists to cross what has become the new unchartered Music Frontier. Ways that may seem impossible today but in a month's time will seem probable ... It is time for us as artists to stop being dependent, dependent on any system that has become undependable. Only then can we help to create a new system that propagates and secures independence for each creator."

All of which sounds like something the White House press office might announce before invading a small Middle Eastern country (ie it's all a bit confusing and mentions frontiers, new systems and creators). In fact, here at Guardian Music we quite like to imagine the current state of the music industry in terms of an epic war. The major labels are an alliance of powerful warlords, each of them bolstered by a team of evil wizards: like Coldplay, REM and Mariah Carey. They conquer countries with campaigns of shock and awe, ruling the charts for good or ill. And then there are bandits, independent acts like Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails, stealing No 1 spots, radio play and the generals' gold records. Erm ... anyway, back to the story.

Amos had been signed to Sony BMG affiliate Epic Records since 2001, and before that she recorded for Warner's Atlantic label. Her most recent album was 2007's American Doll Posse. Amos's next LP, "a project of new music and visuals", is set for release next spring, according to her manager. As previously reported, this summer will also see the release of Comic Book Tattoo, a mammoth anthology of comics inspired by Amos's work.

On top of this, Amos is writing a musical adaptation of George MacDonald's The Light Princess for the British National Theatre. It's the story of a princess who has "lost her gravity", and while the original fairytale lacks any evil warlords or righteous bandits, we're sure Amos can squeeze some in.


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