“Under the Pink” and “Little Earthquakes” Remastered Deluxe Albums

Date Thu, June 11 2015

In 2015, you might not expect to see Tori Amos’ name, image or albums. Her unique, piano-driven music doesn’t exactly sound like something you’d hear on top 40 radio, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. Whether you’re looking for something different or you’re a long-time fan who wants to renew their interest in this songstress, you’ve got plenty of options. Might I suggest you start with the reissues of Tori’s first two albums, Under the Pink and Little Earthquakes?

Both of these albums have had some remastering treatment, and each has an extra disc of goodies to go with it. I was able to review them for ya!

Under the Pink

tori amos under the pink deluxe reissue

Honestly, I am not a connoisseur of all things Tori Amos, so I knew few of the tracks from “Under the Pink.” I’d heard of “Cornflake Girl” because a friend liked it, so a lot of these songs were new to me. I rather enjoy “The Waitress,” “The Wrong Band” and “God.”

As a whole, Tori’s sound is a bit more polished on this album, which came out two years after “Little Earthquakes.” Her voice and piano are still crisp and clear, but she’s grown up a bit, and you can hear it. “Under the Pink” did well originally, making its way up the charts and receiving several commendations, including a nod from Rolling Stone as one of the greatest albums of the 90s. Reviewers generally like “Under the Pink,” and there’s a lot more to experience with the new second disc.

In this deluxe version, you get to experience live versions from the tour of the same name in addition to some B-sides that you may have heard if you bought her singles. I like the live version of “Winter” There’s also a new remix of “God,” but it’s not as strong a contender as some of the other tracks on the second disc. I do think this reissue isn’t quite as strong as “Little Earthquakes.”

Little Earthquakes

tori amos little earthquakes deluxe

Before this review opportunity, this album was the one I was most familiar with. It contains songs such as “Winter,” “Happy Phantom” and “Crucify,” all of which I like. Originally released in 1992, this is one of Tori’s most famous albums, and the tracks on it are rather well-known, including the powerful a capella “Me and a Gun,” which she wrote after a sexual assault.

All of the songs have been remastered. To be honest, I wasn’t familiar enough with the tracks as they were on the original to tell you much of a difference but they sound good enough as is, and it would be a good introduction to Tori Amos if you’re not very familiar. The use of Tori’s voice and variety in sound will make this album stand out, especially from modern music. After all, who else could make a song about death sound as perky as Tori Amos did with “Happy Phantom?” And “Me and a Gun?” It’s haunting and emotional but beautiful and makes you want to sing a long, all the while breaking your heart.

The second disc included on the remastered version of Little Earthquakes contains a number of remastered live versions of some of Tori’s most famous songs from a 1992 performance at Cambridge Corn Exchange in addition to some more unique gems. For example, there’s a cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Tori’s “Ode to the Banana King (Part One)”. I rather like “Take to the Sky,” but those 18 additional songs offer something for most anybody.

If you want the dirt from someone who is more familiar with the original album, some of Tori’s covers and other versions of the songs, there’s an excellent review over at Pop Matters, where Alex Ramon discusses the reissue of “Little Earthquake” and “Under the Pink.” Ramon mentions a few coves and a different version of “Take to the Sky” that may be more worthy of these releases, and Alex also talks about the 2006 box set, “The Piano,” which may seem redundant when compared to these remastered releases. But you do get all of the B-sides in the same package, which makes it a really convenient way to understand what Ms. Amos was going through at the moment.

One thing I really did like about the deluxe reissue of “Little Earthquakes” was the liner notes, where you get a bit more of a glimpse into Tori’s inspiration and thoughts about her songs, some of which are pretty iconic in 2015. So a die-hard fan might love having these in their collection in their physical form, and they’d also make a great introduction to someone who isn’t familiar with Tori. If you were once a fan but haven’t listened in a while, these albums would certainly bring back all sorts of memory and meaning, so you wouldn’t be wrong to check them out!

 

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