|American Doll Posse|
|Studio album by|
|Released||May 1, 2007|
|Recorded||June 2006 – February 2007, Martian Engineering, Cornwall, UK|
|Tori Amos chronology|
|Singles from American Doll Posse|
American Doll Posse is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Tori Amos, released in 2007 by Epic records. A concept album, American Doll Posse sees Amos assuming the identity of five different female personalities inspired by Greek mythology in order to narrate stories of life in modern America. Themes include opposition to the Iraq War, recording industry misogyny, disillusion, sexuality, personal loss and female empowerment in general. Musically, the album is more rock-oriented than other studio albums by Amos, notably featuring more guitar and drums than previous albums The Beekeeper (2005) and Scarlet's Walk (2002).
The album peaked at no. 5 on the Billboard 200,marking Amos's sixth Top 10 album. The album's lead single in the US, "Big Wheel", was a hit on Triple-A radio. In Europe, "Bouncing Off Clouds" was released as the lead single.
Following songwriting during and after Amos's 2005 solo tour, recording sessions for American Doll Posse began in June 2006, with longtime collaborators Matt Chamberlain on percussion, Jon Evans on bass, and Mac Aladdin on guitars in Amos' home studio Martian Engineering in Cornwall,like all of Amos' albums since From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998). As the album's musical direction was more focused around a full band than previous Amos recordings, all principal musicians were present in the studio from the very beginning of the recording sessions. After a month of tracking work, Amos continued editing and recording for the remainder of the year, at the same time working on the promotion for her career-spanning box set A Piano: The Collection . Mixing work was completed by February 2007, and the album title was announced through a press release on February 20.
Prior to its release, Amos revealed that the nature of the album's lyrics are political and confrontational:
The main message of my new album is: the political is personal. This as opposed to the feminist statement from years ago that the personal is political. I know it has been said that it goes both ways, but we have to turn it around. We have to think like that. I’m now taking on subjects that I could not have been able to take on in my twenties. With Little Earthquakes I took on more personal things. But if you are going to be an American woman in 2007, with a real view on what is going on, you need to be brave, and you need to know that some people won’t want to look at it.
While early press indicated that Amos may bring back both the harpsichord (last used on Boys for Pele ) and the Wurlitzer (used on Strange Little Girls and Scarlet's Walk ),only the latter appeared on the album, on the track "Dark Side of the Sun". Before the album's release, Amos made several comments about bringing a "warrior woman" out, as well as stating that the record would be a very different chapter from what had come before.
As with Amos's previous releases under the Epic Records label, American Doll Posse was offered in a limited deluxe edition as well as the standard edition. The deluxe edition includes two videos (a behind-the-scenes of her photo shoot and a slide show-style bonus track titled "My Posse Can Do"), an expanded booklet, and five postcards, one of each "doll". In addition, bonus tracks were available on the editions sold by certain retailers such as iTunes and Target.
American Doll Posse serves as Amos's third and final album under her contract with Epic records. After completing promotion of the album, Amos announced that she would from now on be operating independently of major record labels, expressing increased frustration in the industry putting boundaries and limitations on artists.
The album title American Doll Posse refers to five different female characters developed by Amos, each inspired by deities in Greek mythology, interpreted and used on the record to represent different aspects of Amos' own personality, including the aforementioned "warrior woman".
What I'm trying to tell other women is they have their own version of the compartmentalised feminine which may have been repressed in each one of them. For many years I have been an image; that isn’t necessarily who I am completely. I have made certain choices and that doesn’t mean that those choices are the whole story. I think these women are showing me that I have not explored honest extensions of the self who are now as real as the redhead.
As part of the marketing campaign for the album, a series of blogs written from the point of view of each "doll" could be found online, with Amos inviting fans to "hunt" for the blogs, as their locations were originally secret.The blogs were updated intermittently during the American Doll Posse World Tour through the end of 2007, after which they were discontinued.
Amos offered detailed descriptions on the five personalities, explaining the attributes that each represented, which Greek goddess was the inspiration, and what songs on the album each "doll" provided the narrative for. In concerts during her 2007 world tour, Amos would start the set list performing as one of the characters, and would include that particular character's rendition of songs from her back catalogue. The fifth "doll" is Amos herself, narrating the most personal songs on the album and featuring as the main character in each concert.
|Attributes||Album songs||Covers in|
|Isabel (HisTORIcal)||Greek goddess of the hunt Artemis||Is a photographer, a chronicler, an observer. Is the most outwardly political in the Posse.||"Yo George", "Mr. Bad Man", "Devils and Gods", "Almost Rosey", "Dark Side of the Sun",||"Sweet Dreams", "In the Springtime of His Voodoo", "Tombigbee", "Virginia", "Scarlet's Walk", "Sweet Sangria", "Mountain", The Exorcist theme "Part One", the Velvet Underground song "New Age", which Amos had previously covered under her own name in 2001|
|Clyde (CliTORIdes)||Greek goddess of the underworld Persephone||"Wears her emotional wounds on her sleeve, but remains idealistic. She is looking at the effects of not being a whole person. She is trying to figure out what she believes in and she is dealing with having been disappointed in her life".||"Bouncing Off Clouds", "Girl Disappearing", "Roosterspur Bridge", "Beauty of Speed", "Miracle" (with Tori)||"Little Amsterdam", "Black-Dove (January)", "Juarez", "Little Earthquakes", "Upside Down", "Mary" and the Lloyd Cole track "Rattlesnakes," which Amos had previously covered under her own name in 2001|
|Pip (ExpiraTORIal)||Greek goddess of war, wisdom and strategy Athena||Confrontational "warrior woman", unafraid and aggressive.||"Teenage Hustling", "Fat Slut", "Body and Soul" (with Santa), "Velvet Revolution", "Smokey Joe"||"Bliss", "Cruel", "The Waitress", "Blood Roses", "Me and a Gun," "Professional Widow", "Suede", the Neil Young song "Heart of Gold," which Amos had previously covered in 2001|
|Santa (SanaTORIum)||Greek goddess Aphrodite||Sensual and passionate, seductive and embracing sexuality.||"You Can Bring Your Dog", "Secret Spell", "Body and Soul" (with Pip), "Programmable Soda", "Dragon", "My Posse Can Do", "Drive All Night"||"Cruel", "God", "Sugar", "She's Your Cocaine", "Hoochie Woman", "Raspberry Swirl", "Bug A Martini", "Sweet the Sting", the Brazilian traditional song "Carnival"|
|Tori (TerraTORIes)||Greek goddess Demeter and god Dionysus||Stylised version of the artist herself. Promotional images released depicts Tori holding sage and with a Bible in one hand and the word 'shame' scrawled across the other||"Big Wheel", "Digital Ghost", "Father's Son", "Code Red", "Posse Bonus", "Miracle" (with Clyde)||—|
The first live performance of the new material took place on April 10, 2007 for Radio Eins in Berlin, Germany, where Amos performed six songs solo on piano—"Silent All These Years" and "Leather" from 1992's Little Earthquakes as well as four songs from this album—"Velvet Revolution", "Father's Son", "Beauty of Speed", and "Almost Rosey".
The American Doll Posse World Tour, with Amos backed by a full band as opposed to her previous solo piano tour, commenced on May 28, 2007 in Rome, Italy. The European leg of the tour ended with a show in Ra'anana, Israel, on July 21, 2007. The Australian leg of the tour, which commenced on September 10 and lasted the rest of the month, was followed by the North American leg which began October 9. The tour ended on December 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. Amos, using a Bosendorfer piano, Yamaha synth, and Hammond organ, was backed by Matt Chamberlain (drums), Jon Evans (bass), and Dan Phelps (guitar).
Amos brought the "Doll Posse" concept from the album into the concerts as well, channeling the different personalities in live performances. As hinted before the tour began,one of the four alter-egos, complete in her own unique wardrobe, opened each show, performing as many as up to seven songs, followed by a musical interlude and a costume change with Amos taking over as herself and playing without gimmick for the remaining two-thirds of the show. Three exceptions were the San Diego and Los Angeles shows, where two dolls opened, and the Anaheim show, where two dolls opened and one of them returned for the encore.
"Big Wheel" was released as the album's first radio single in the United States prior to the album's release. Multiple radio stations refused to give the song any air time because the acronym "MILF" is repeated in the bridge of the song.Despite the acronym, the single was successful on Triple A radio. The record label re-issued the single with the "MILF" bridge replaced with Amos singing "MI-MI". "Big Wheel" charted at no. 12 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart, as well as reaching no. 12 on the Triple-A charts.
"Bouncing off Clouds" served as the first single in Europeand as the second single in the United States. "Almost Rosey" was released as the third single as an internet-only release through MySpace. Neither of the two singles charted in the US. Following the trend set by her previous releases with Epic records, all three singles released from American Doll Posse were promo-only singles, no commercial singles were produced.
For the first time in Amos's career, no official music videos were produced by the artist for any of the singles from the album, although a clip featuring still images from the album's promotional shoot was released as an accompaniment to "Big Wheel". For "Bouncing Off Clouds", clips of Amos singing and playing the piano against a neutral background was released and encouraged fans to edit their own music videos as a competition. The winning contribution featured animation, but did not qualify for release as the contestant was not from the US.The single release of "Almost Rosey" was accompanied by studio footage of Amos performing the song live on solo piano.
|Los Angeles Times|
American Doll Posse was met with generally favourable reviews, with most criticism being directed not at the musical content, but towards the extensive concept as a potential turn-off for casual listeners. Another point of critique for some reviewers was the album's 23 tracks and long running time. Most reviewers were pleased that both the lyrics and the musical production was noticeably more edgy and confrontational than previous album The Beekeeper (2005). Most reviewers found American Doll Posse to contain some of Amos' best material since the mid-90s.
Rolling Stone's reviewer gave the album 3 of 5 stars, and found that the album was best without the extensive concept surrounding much of the music, stating that "there's way too much conceptual malarkey surrounding the songs, but if you can ignore her fake posse, you'll find this is Amos' best album in many years".Sputnik Music gave a 3 star review, calling it a "return to form - sort of". The review for PopMatters was very positive, giving it an 8/10 score, praising Amos' assured vocals as "top form" and finding "moments of jaw-dropping virtuosity", but also criticising the length of the album and lack of editing. SPIN gave a glowing review, giving the record a 9/10 score, calling it "arguably the singer/pianist's greatest, and undeniably sexiest, album" and "instantly memorable". Entertainment Weekly gave the album a C+ review, calling it a "conceptual wreck", but appreciating the freshness of Amos engaging in glam-rock territory. Mojo, Billboard and NOW Magazine likewise advised Amos to avoid heavy-handed concepts, giving the album average reviews. Slant magazine gave American Doll Posse 3.5 of 5 stars, criticising the structure as alienating, but finding the music itself to be Amos' best since From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998), especially favouring the lead single "Big Wheel" as a straightforward and lively song. Music OHM gave a 4 star review, calling it a coherent and intriguing record, albeit a bit inaccessible conceptually. The Boston Globe was very positive, hailing the record as "a lush sprawl of an album that works with or without the feminist playbook". In general, critical consensus for the album found it to be a return-to-form musically, but questioned Amos' penchant for potentially overwrought concepts and calling for tighter editing.
Upon its US release, the album entered the Billboard 200 at no. 5, selling 54.000 copies, making it Amos' sixth album to debut in the US Top 10 Albums chart, a feat shared by very few other female artistsTwenty-five percent of the first week's sales were digital sales, an increasing figure as per general market trends. In 2008, the album was reported to have sold 152,000 copies in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The album's debut at no. 5 is the same debut position as The Beekeeper (2005), although American Doll Posse sold fewer units its week of release. This decrease in sales is partially explained by the overall decline of sales in the music industry. At the time of the album's release, overall music sales for 2007 were down over 16% from the previous year's sales.
In the United Kingdom, limited edition copies of the album were ruled to be ineligible for the UK Top 40 chart due to the inclusion of free art cards depicting each of the Posse members. Such promotional items were seen as giving "too much" of an additional sales incentive compared to normal releases, and thus giving unfair advantage. Faced with this, Amos deliberately chose not to issue a reduced packaging version of the special edition (as had been done with Scarlet's Walk ), opting to keep the artwork intact.As a result, the album performed weakly on the UK charts.
|1.||"Yo George" (Isabel)||1:25|
|2.||"Big Wheel" (Tori)||3:15|
|3.||"Bouncing off Clouds" (Clyde, with Santa on background vocals)||4:06|
|4.||"Teenage Hustling" (Pip)||4:02|
|5.||"Digital Ghost" (Tori, with Clyde on background vocals)||3:50|
|6.||"You Can Bring Your Dog" (Santa)||4:04|
|7.||"Mr. Bad Man" (Isabel)||3:18|
|8.||"Fat Slut" (Pip)||0:41|
|9.||"Girl Disappearing" (Clyde)||4:00|
|10.||"Secret Spell" (Santa)||4:04|
|11.||"Devils and Gods" (Isabel)||0:53|
|12.||"Body and Soul" (Pip and Santa)||3:56|
|13.||"Father's Son" (Tori)||3:59|
|14.||"Programmable Soda" (Santa)||1:25|
|15.||"Code Red" (Tori, with Pip on background vocals)||5:27|
|16.||"Roosterspur Bridge" (Clyde)||4:01|
|17.||"Beauty of Speed" (Clyde)||4:06|
|18.||"Almost Rosey" (Isabel)||5:26|
|19.||"Velvet Revolution" (Pip)||1:19|
|20.||"Dark Side of the Sun" (Isabel, with Tori on background vocals)||4:16|
|21.||"Posse Bonus" (Tori)||1:45|
|22.||"Smokey Joe" (Pip)||4:19|
|1.||"My Posse Can Do" (Santa)||3:37|
|2.||"Miracle" (Clyde and Tori)||4:34|
|3.||"Drive All Night" (Santa, with Isabel on background vocals)||4:06|
"Posse Bonus", "Smokey Joe", and "Dragon" were originally to be featured as bonus tracks on the limited edition version only, but were added to the full track listing of both versions prior to the album's release. "My Posse Can Do" is included on the DVD accompanying limited edition versions of the album, while the tracks "Miracle" and "Drive All Night" were available exclusively through different retailers, iTunes and Borders, respectively, as digital downloads for a limited time. "Drive All Night" was also released as a digital b-side of "Big Wheel".In 2010, part of a demo disc for 1998's From the Choirgirl Hotel leaked online, including a previously unreleased track entitled "Violet's Eyes". The chorus of "Miracle" comes directly from this never completed demo. Elements of the song are also used in "Almost Rosey;" Violet is also mentioned in the lyrics of the song. During her virtual book tour on May 7, 2020, Tori revealed that additional songs written for the album, some of which were demoed, include: Christmas In July [Santa], Inhale, The Lucy (part of which became the bridge in Edge of The Moon on 2011's Night of Hunters), Femme Fatale, Shoot That Arrow (which dated back 15 years then), Shame About Kate (previously known as Inside Job), Crystalline (which later became Reindeer King on 2017's Native Invader), Hi Ho Silver, and Mermaids.
Adapted from the album's liner notes.
|Billboard Top 200 Albums (US)||5|
|Billboard Top Digital Albums (US)||2|
|Billboard Top Internet Albums (US)||3|
|European Top 100 Albums||7|
|Australian Albums Chart||20|
|Austrian Albums Chart||14|
|Canadian Albums Chart||15|
|Dutch Albums Chart||5|
|Finnish Albums Chart||7|
|German Top-100 Albums Chart||10|
|Italian Top-100 Albums||18|
|Irish Top-50 Albums Chart||28|
|Norway Albums Chart||11|
|Polish Top-50 Albums Chart||26|
|Swiss Albums Chart||15|
|Taiwan Albums Chart||13|
|Top Rock Albums||2|
|United Kingdom album chart||50|
Myra Ellen "Tori" Amos is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. She is a classically trained musician with a mezzo-soprano vocal range. Having already begun composing instrumental pieces on piano, Amos won a full scholarship to the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University at the age of five, the youngest person ever to have been admitted. She had to leave at the age of 11 when her scholarship was discontinued for what Rolling Stone described as "musical insubordination". Amos was the lead singer of the short-lived 1980s pop group Y Kant Tori Read before achieving her breakthrough as a solo artist in the early 1990s. Her songs focus on a broad range of topics, including sexuality, feminism, politics, and religion.
From the Choirgirl Hotel is the fourth studio album by American singer and songwriter Tori Amos, released on May 5, 1998. A departure from her previous albums, it was more a heavily produced project featuring elements of electronic music and a full rock band sound. The album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and number 6 in the UK. While falling short of the number 2 debut for her previous album, Boys for Pele (1996), From the Choirgirl Hotel is Amos's strongest debut to date in US sales, selling 153,000 copies in the first week. As of 2008 it has sold 778,000 copies in US. In 1999, Amos received two Grammy nominations: Alternative Music Performance, and Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Raspberry Swirl".
Boys for Pele is the third studio album by American singer and songwriter Tori Amos. Preceded by the first single, "Caught a Lite Sneeze", by three weeks, the album was released on January 22, 1996, in the United Kingdom, on January 23 in the United States, and on January 29 in Australia. Despite the album being Amos's least accessible radio material to date, Boys for Pele debuted at number two on both the US Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart, making it her biggest simultaneous transatlantic debut, her first Billboard top 10 debut, and the highest-charting US debut of her career to date.
Scarlet's Walk is the seventh studio album released by Tori Amos. The 18-track concept album details the cross-country travels of Scarlet, a character loosely based on Amos, as well as the concept of America post–September 11, 2001. The album was the first released by Amos on Epic Records after her split with former label Atlantic Records. After a period of trouble with her last label, Amos proved her fan base was still with her when the album debuted at number 7 in the US, selling 107,000 copies in its first week, and reaching RIAA Gold status about a month after its release.
Under the Pink is the second studio album by singer-songwriter Tori Amos. Upon its release in January 1994, the album debuted atop the UK Albums Chart on the back of the hit single "Cornflake Girl", and peaked at number 12 in the US.
The Beekeeper is the eighth studio album by singer-songwriter Tori Amos. It deals with the topics of death, adultery and romantic conflict, and makes brief reference to ancient Gnostic mysticism from the Apocryphon of John. Sonically, it incorporates Celtic choirs, African drums, and Amos's B-3 Hammond organ.
Tori Amos is an American pianist and singer-songwriter whose musical career began in 1980, at the age of seventeen, when she and her brother co-wrote the song "Baltimore". The song was selected as the winning song in a contest for the Baltimore Orioles and was recorded and pressed locally as a 7" single. From 1984 to 1989, Amos fronted the synth-pop band Y Kant Tori Read, which released one self-titled album with Atlantic Records in 1988 before breaking up. Shortly thereafter, Amos began writing and recording material that would serve as the debut of her solo career. Still signed with Atlantic, and its UK counterpart East West, Amos' initial solo material was rejected by the label in 1990. Under the guidance of co-producers Eric Rosse, Davitt Sigerson and Ian Stanley, a second version of the album was created and accepted by the label the following year.
"Bouncing Off Clouds" is a song written and recorded by Tori Amos. It was the first European and second American single from her album American Doll Posse. The song was released in the US to Triple A Radio in early August.
"Hey Jupiter" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Tori Amos. It was the fourth single from her album Boys for Pele and was her first EP since Crucify in 1992. Hey Jupiter features a remixed version of "Hey Jupiter" followed by four live tracks recorded during her Dew Drop Inn Tour of 1996. The song is also featured on the double-A CD singles released in the UK and Australia.
Legs and Boots is a series of Tori Amos live albums recorded during the North American leg of the American Doll Posse Tour. Amos announced the launch of the series on October 16, 2007, stating that each show in the series would be available via digital download in MP3 format within a few hours after each show, and in CD-quality FLAC format within a week. Some sets contained photos from backstage or onstage from the concert, some also contained soundcheck recordings as extras. A total of 27 shows were recorded from October 13 to December 12, 2007. All 27 shows were made available on iTunes USA on July 22, 2008, and on iTunes international, Rhapsody, Napster, and other online vendors on August 5.
The Original Bootlegs is a series of six Tori Amos live albums, recorded during the Original Sinsuality and Summer of Sin tours, both of which were in support of her 2005 album, The Beekeeper. Double-disc sets were released for each complete show, which were initially released in pairs and sold individually or as a pair. On December 6, 2005 a cardboard-housed compilation of all six concerts was released, titled The Original Bootlegs. Amos later released a similar series, titled Legs and Boots via digital download. Packaging is minimal with artwork featuring animal silhouettes, following the theme of The Beekeeper, which places songs into different metaphorical gardens.
Abnormally Attracted to Sin is the tenth solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Tori Amos, released 19 May 2009, in standard and limited CD/DVD edition. The album debuted on Billboard 200 at no. 9, giving Amos her seventh Top 10 album in the US. Unlike Amos' previous releases since 2000, which drew upon various external sources such as feminism, religion and politics, the album is considered a mainly personal album.
"Welcome to England" is a song by American singer and songwriter Tori Amos, appearing on the album Abnormally Attracted to Sin (2009). It was released as the lead digital single from the studio album on April 14, 2009 by Universal Motown Republic Group, which also marks as her first single released from the label. Written and produced by Amos herself, just like the rest of the album, the song was recorded at her husband's studio in England, Martian Studios.
Midwinter Graces is the eleventh solo studio album by singer-songwriter Tori Amos released on November 10, 2009, through Universal Republic Records. It is the first seasonal album by Amos, and is also notable for marking her return to a more classical, stripped-down, baroque sound with various synths, string-instruments, the harpsichord and Amos's own signature Bösendorfer piano at center stage, once more. The album, like previous releases from Amos, is available in a single form CD or a Deluxe edition which includes 3 bonus tracks, a 20-page photo book, and a DVD containing an interview with Amos. The standard edition was not released in the US or Canada. Midwinter Graces became Amos's lowest-charting album on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 66.
Little Earthquakes is the debut solo album by American singer-songwriter Tori Amos, featuring the singles "Silent All These Years", "China", "Winter" and "Crucify". After Atlantic Records rejected the first version of the album, Amos began working on a second version with then-boyfriend Eric Rosse. The album was first released in the UK on January 6, 1992, where it peaked at number 14 in the charts.
To Venus and Back, the fifth album released by singer and songwriter Tori Amos, is a two-disc album set including a studio album and a live album. The first disc, titled Venus: Orbiting, features eleven original songs that find Amos experimenting heavily in electronica. It spawned the singles "Bliss", "1000 Oceans", "Glory of the 80's", and "Concertina". The second disc, Venus Live, Still Orbiting, is a thirteen-track album compiling live tracks recorded from her Plugged '98 tour. This is the first official live release of Amos's career.
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Night of Hunters is the twelfth solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Tori Amos, released on September 20, 2011, in the United States through Deutsche Grammophon. It is a concept album that Amos has described as "a 21st century song cycle inspired by classical music themes spanning over 400 years." She pays tribute to classical composers such as Alkan, Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Granados, Satie and Schubert, taking inspiration from their original compositions to create new, independent songs. Regarding the album's concept, she has described it as the exploration of "the hunter and the hunted and how both exist within us" through the story of "a woman who finds herself in the dying embers of a relationship."
Unrepentant Geraldines is the fourteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter and pianist Tori Amos. The album, available on standard CD/digital download, a limited edition CD+DVD, and two disc vinyl LP, was released in Germany on May 9, 2014 by Mercury Classics and May 13, 2014 in the United States by Mercury Classics/Universal Mercury Classics. Unrepentant Geraldines is Amos' eighth studio album to debut in the top 10 of the Billboard 200.
"Maybe California" is a song by American singer and songwriter Tori Amos from her tenth studio album Abnormally Attracted to Sin (2009). It was released as a promotional single May 19, 2009 by Universal Republic as a digital download only.