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Tori Amos 

A Piano: The Collection


Tori Amos
A Piano: The Collection
(Rhino)
Three of Tori Amos’s last four releases have been repackages: 2003’s Tales of a Librarian, a collection of her best-known songs (“hits” is inaccurate); last year’s Bootlegs, a web-only 12-disc series of six live shows from the Original Sinsuality tour; and the mother lode, this five-disc, 80-song retrospective. But none of it feels repetitive, even as it makes your wallet feel lighter. A Piano, stored in a gorgeous baby Bosë topped with real piano keys, contains a 16-track version of Little Earthquakes and selected songs, remixes—added strings, usually—demos and rejects from the rest of Amos’s catalogue (each record is represented by about a half-dozen tracks). Its disc of 22 B-sides contains many songs from the ’90s maxi-singles—“Daisy Dead Petals,” “Home on the Range,” “Sister Janet”—but also includes the Matthew Shepard tribute “Merman,” a studio version of live staple “Cooling,” a demo of “A Sorta Fairytale” with considerably different lyrics and the ethereal “The Pool,” which sounds like a companion to “Siren.” The 56-page book is part lame label bio but the rewarding second half is Amos explaining how she filled the box and as well as details of her miscarriages, which inspired From the Choirgirl Hotel, and how writing Boys for Pele, her masterwork, kept her in music. “Fans only” has never been a more appropriate caveat, but few artists have rewarded devotion so incredibly.
—Tara Thorne
categories: Coast pick

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