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LITTLE EARTHQUAKES

Tori Amos

Crossover Prog


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Tori Amos Little Earthquakes album cover
3.72 | 57 ratings | 9 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing


1 Crucify 4:58
2 Girl 4:06
3 Silent All These Years 4:10
4 Precious Things 4:26
5 Winter 5:40
6 Happy Phantom 3:12
7 China 4:58
8 Leather 3:12
9 Mother 6:59
10 Tear in Your Hand 4:38
11 Me and a Gun 3:44
12 Little Earthquakes 6:51

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Tori Amos Piano, Strings, Keyboards, Piano (Electric), Programming, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Producer, Sampled Strings
Steve Caton Guitar (Acoustic), Bass, Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Vocals (bckgr)
John Chamberlain Mandolin
John Chamberlin Mandolin
Paul Corkett Engineer
Ross Cullum Mixing
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Nick DeCaro Arranger, Conductor
Jake Freeze Saw, Pedals
John Freeze
Stuart Gordon Violin
Ed Greene Drums
William Gregory Oboe
Will Gregory Oboe
Tina Gullickson Vocals (bckgr)
Chris Hughes Drums
John Beverly Jones Engineer, Mixing
Leslie Ann Jones Assistant Engineer
Jon Kelly Mixing
David Lord Arranger, String Arrangements
Will McGregor Bass
Paul McKenna Mixing
Dan Nebenzal Engineer
Carlo Nuccio Bass, Drums
Cindy Palmano Art Direction, Photography
Alan Reinl Design
David Rhodes Guitar
Eric Rosse Percussion, Drums, Keyboards, Programming, Vocals (bckgr), Producer, Engineer, Drum Programming, Keyboard Programming
Jef Scott Bass, Guitar
Matthew Seligman Bass
Nancy Shanks Vocals (bckgr)
John Philip Shenale Programming
Davitt Sigerson Producer
Ian Stanley Producer
Will Wentworth Lettering
Eric Williams Dulcimer, Ukulele
Steve Williams Engineer

Releases information

CD Atlantic 82358-2

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Buy TORI AMOS Little Earthquakes Music


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TORI AMOS Little Earthquakes ratings distribution


3.72
(57 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
28%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (28%)
28%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

TORI AMOS Little Earthquakes reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Queen of the Nerds

"boy you best pray that I bleed real soon, how's that thought for ya?"

Self-proclaimed "Queen of the Nerds" Myra Ellen Amos was born in 1963 in the great state of North Carolina, daughter of a Methodist minister. A big believer in reincarnation, Tori claims it was she who chose to be born to the Amos family. This little girl was an incredible talent from earliest childhood, beginning to play piano before she could string sentences together. By the age of 5 she had passed an audition and won full scholarship at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory where she would study for years. But it was not long before Tori's mischievous free spirit began to butt heads with the conservative instructors at the school, who were less than amused by her "interpretations" of classical legends. In the 5th grade she smoked her first joint, found Robert Plant, and Playgirl magazine. Soon after she experienced the traumatic loss of her maternal grandfather to whom she was incredibly close, her Mother claimed she would go to his grave three times a week to sing to him for years. She claims Tori "never got over his death....he was the only person she ever completely respected." When her older siblings moved out soon after, Tori felt even more alone and began to sink into depression.

Her parents continued to encourage her music even though she had parted ways with the Peabody. In a brave but truly loving move her father took the unusual step of helping Tori become a piano bar performer, to give her an outlet for her passion, and perhaps a way forward in music. She was still underage, and her father would often come along and agree to chaperone so the bars would not be charged for employing someone underage. It was a move than changed her life, as she became an amazing pianist and a seasoned performer from this experience. In 1984 she took off for LA to follow her dream. The 80s were hard on Tori as she was raped early on, then spent years spinning her wheels in the infamous "Y Kant Tori Read" band. (Few realize this was a reference to her inability to read sheet music and not simply making light of inability to read). The band released an album which was supposedly not as bad as you'd expect, though cheesy, but it failed miserably. The end came when she walked into a restaurant and a record company executive laughed at her. She realized she was seen as a joke in this band and nearly gave up the dream. Her friend Cindy Marble convinced her otherwise, and Tori rented a piano and started over. The rest is history.

Tori believes none of us are truly honest, that we show different sides to different people, as convenient for us:

"You can compartmentalize different sides of yourself. You put them onto different shelves, and then you bring them out as you need them. Everybody has a barroom personality and a Sunday lunch personality; one personality for their husband and another for their tennis instructor."

And so this quote perfectly sums up the emerging Ms. Amos, who was beginning the process of dealing with the different boxes of her personality through song. Finding a bridge from the strict Christian upbringing she had to the essence of her own adult self. Atlantic Records gave her six months and one more chance, and thus she began the work that would become "Little Earthquakes." When some initial efforts failed to impress the Atlantic guys, Tori again grew depressed until Cindy once more pulled her through. She then created a "faerie ring" in her living room, a magic ring for writing inspiration. Before you laugh, Tori credits her "faerie sh*t" with opening her up to the creation of 11 tracks that changed her life. The execs still didn't know what to think of the new material so they shipped her off to London to deal with the team in place there. Tori took to London "like a duck to water." The album was released in early '92 and the comparisons to Kate Bush by the rock press were immediate. The actual comparisons to Kate are largely superficial and to their credit many of these journalists would later recant. Tori's ascent from this point was rapid, long fought for, and richly deserved. She and her "children" (as she calls her songs) would be among the most important of the crowded female songwriter field of the 1990s.

"Little Earthquakes" is a turbulent debut; spirited, sassy, occasionally disturbing, and often just flat out beautiful. My God, the strength in the middle of the album is formidable. A run of some of Amos' strongest tracks begins with "Girl" as Amos proclaims her(?) independence with "she's been everybody else's girl, maybe one day she'll be her own." "Silent All These Years" is where she forges her famous style with one number: heartfelt, passionate vocals and orgasmic piano melodies. "Precious Things" turns a bit darker and more dramatic as those Christian boys are cut down to size once and for all with a zinger of a line. "Winter" is perhaps the most beautiful lullaby-vibed melody Tori ever wrote; stark and searching are the notes of her piano. The song is one of my very favorites as she talks about love and change. "Happy Phantom" sees her move another direction, perhaps creating the most light-hearted and upbeat song you'll ever hear....about death! "Phantastic" piano and lyric! "China" is like getting an encore of "Winter," another sweet-sung and mellow piano ballad. "Leather" finds Tori getting saucy and playful with her flirtatious vocals and sensual rhythm. The last four tracks are not quite as perfect in my book, but decent. "Me and a Gun" is a painful account of the sexual assault Tori endured in LA, and is very difficult to listen to. But I can only assume it was therapeutic for her and that I do respect very much, as well as her creation of RAINN, a network for victims of sexual assault and incest.

"Little Earthquakes" is a very solid debut album from a woman who should make Americans proud, a truly unique and inspirational artist from North Carolina. She put together an impressive body of work and boasts one of the most devoted fanbases you will ever see in music. In that sense, she is just like Kate Bush. 3 stars.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#296023) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review by jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Intense, intimate and strong debut. Worth the listen.

Tori Amos is a talented piano player and songwriter, with enough oddities in her style to be accepted in PA. With her first album, she brought all what is need to make an impressive breakthrough and became mainstream appealing to what I understand to be the GOOD reasons to be famous: creative, original, different and pure talent. So, this is what I found in this Little Earthquakes.

First, the compositions are quite tricky, with many oddities surrounding a somewhat "regular" formula that can appeal both pop and experimental fans. Another thing that jumps out of this album is the great concepts of composition and arrangements. Sometimes is enough to have a single piano and her vocals, while sometimes we hear a big orchestra, drums, guitars and a choir backing up her music. The right amount of arrangements helps the ear to go in the right way: the wonderful and original vocals of Amos. For pop fans, here's a jewel of interpretation and wonderful melodic lines, but also for prog fans, the vocals have enough twists and turns to keep it interesting in every song and never fall plain or boring.

Second, she is a talented piano player and is shown quite well in this album. The versatility to have intense and somewhat sad pianos in songs like CRUCIFY or GIRL, to more strong and aggressive harmonies in songs like PRECIOUS THINGS or LITTLE EARTHQUAKES (This two maybe the more interesting songs for prog fans in general) and the get more fun in the song HAPPY PHANTOM.

The album is intense (maybe the most intense I have heard of her) and there's truly her soul and heart in this album. Intimate, intense and strong it is. Original and powerful. I understand that is not for everyone, but as prog fans I think we should take all a try in this particular album, and I'm sure many will find some hidden jewels here and there because the album really is complete in composition and versatility. I think it deserves a 3 or 3.5 stars because is really a good addition to any prog collection.

Tori Amos is a great songwriter and the intensity in this album make sometimes hard to "enjoy" it enough. You have to have the mood, but that's not a bad thing. Sure I've enjoy it many times. Especially in this cold windy days. It's a total win.

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Send comments to jampa17 (BETA) | Report this review (#323641) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars After spending years as a bar-room piano player and a largely unsuccessful pop star in the group Y Kant Tori Read, Tori Amos exploded onto the music scene with her breathtaking solo debut, Little Earthquakes. A gut-wrenchingly beautiful observation from beginning to end, Tori clearly dumped her entire heart and soul into the recording of this masterful work of art. Little Earthquakes consists of twelve extremely personal, often narrative, songs that are shining examples of quirky and intelligent lyricism put to melancholic and seemingly simplistic compositions. Although this is clearly a singer-songwriter pop album, Tori Amos has much more to offer than your average musician in this crowded style - the songs are deceivingly complex, the structure of the compositions is slightly experimental, and of course the lyrics are absolutely top of the line. Little Earthquakes is a quirky, intelligent, and simply beautiful pop album from the early nineties' - an essential landmark in the history of rock and pop music without a doubt.

Little Earthquakes is a pretty eclectic album, but many of the songs are based on Tori's gentle vocals over soulful piano playing. In softer songs like "Winter", "Mother", and "Silent All These Years", the entire track consists only of piano, vocals, and sometimes strings - the fact that these songs are dynamic masterpieces simply shows that Tori Amos is a genius songwriter, in addition to being a fantastic singer and pianist. Songs like "Crucify", the bleak "Precious Things", the heavily experimental "Little Earthquakes", and the lovely "China" prove that she is one of the most gifted composers in pop music. The lyrics are exceptionally well-written and personal - just one listen to the a cappela 'Me and a Gun' proves that the lyrics here are every bit as serious as they are quirky. This song deals with her near-deadly rape occurrence by knife-point when she was 21. As one may imagine, this can be a difficult song to listen to; and I think that's exactly what Tori aimed at creating. While the rest of the album may not be quite as 'heavy' in terms of lyrical content, it's every bit as personal and captivating. I'm not the sort of person who typically pays much attention to lyrics, but Little Earthquakes is the sort of album where they're so perfect that it's hard to ignore.

While Tori's voice is often frail and gentle, it's shown multiple times throughout Little Earthquakes that she's a powerful and truly gifted vocalist. Her rather unique singing style could be described as an acquired taste, but I think the dynamics and raw beauty of her voice suits the music perfectly. It's tough to imagine a song like "Winter" or "Silent All These Years" sounding even nearly as good with any other singer. The production is actually surprisingly raw for a pop/rock album, but I think the earthy production does the piano playing and lush arrangements plenty of justice. Tori's vocals are perfectly placed in the mix, and I think the organic production gives the music an authentic and 'real' feeling.

Little Earthquakes contains a few weaker cuts like "Happy Phantom" and "Leather", but that's hardly enough to affect my enthusiasm for this fantastic album. Tori Amos established on her debut that she's a gifted and unique talent, and there are enough excellent tunes here for me to label it an essential masterpiece. It's definitely rare to come across a pop album this well-composed, intelligent, and experimental - Little Earthquakes is the sort of release that has the timeless and genre-transcending power to satisfy nearly everyone who enjoys 'good music'. While the two weaker tracks do stop me from awarding a completely perfect score, Little Earthquakes is still deserving of a 4.5 - 5 star rating. An absolutely essential example of sophisticated and beautiful pop/rock music.

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Send comments to J-Man (BETA) | Report this review (#582966) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 05, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I've got to say, though her career would later take a different tangent, Tori Amos' debut solo album Little Earthquakes shows a great deal of influence from Kate Bush, from the instrumental backing to Tori's vocal delivery. That isn't necessarily such a bad thing - Bush fans will find this very listen able - but aside from Me and a Gun, which is far more sparse and stripped-down a song than any Kate had attempted up to this point, there isn't much to distinguish Tori from Kate aside from a difference in presentation; Kate is classic rock with a touch of prog, concept albums and cultural references, Tori is indie rock, coffee shops and agonising rape survivor stories. In other words, Little Earthquakes takes the Kate Bush approach and recontextualises it, which I guess is innovative enough not to be a rip-off.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#606699) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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3 stars Tori Amos may not be readily accepted as a prog artist (at least partly because of her popularity as a pop artist!) by many including this reviewer but that is not a consideration for me when it comes to reviewing the album. I am more interested in the merits of what is essentially a "piano-cum- ... (read more)

Report this review (#974488) | Posted by rogerthat | Sunday, June 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Just for something a little different, it's a Tori Amos review! I'm delving into this one as it's an album I love, even if the prog credentials are a little shaky. There is an exquisite atmosphere on this album, crafted by Tori's haunting lyrics and the accompanying melodies. I've never been ... (read more)

Report this review (#963506) | Posted by bonestorm | Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Little Earthquakes was such an excellent debut album for Tori Amos. It's quite an emotionally intense album. She delivers such distinctive, sensual, haunting, dark music and melodies. She can often be cheerful, humourous and uplifting too. As a whole this album is quite a ride. This artist rea ... (read more)

Report this review (#765763) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Wednesday, June 06, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars An early album from 1982 by Tori AMos and a pretty good effort. Not my favorite of hers but still good. A little more mainstream than some she has done and a little more prog than her later work of the last 10 years or so. Contains "Me and a Gun", "Crucify", and "Silent all these Years", all well-k ... (read more)

Report this review (#733586) | Posted by mohaveman | Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5/5 - Basically perfect I can not think of a stronger, more emotionally draining, beautiful, well-written, "mission statement" debut album. In all of rock music. Chew on that opinion. I'm not one--anymore--to think that my opinion, especially when written in words on the internet, would really ... (read more)

Report this review (#393184) | Posted by stonebeard | Thursday, February 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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