From the Choirgirl Hotel

Last updated

from the choirgirl hotel
FromTheChoirgirl.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 5, 1998
RecordedSeptember 1997 – February 1998
StudioMartian Engineering, Cornwall, England
Length54:11
Label Atlantic
Producer Tori Amos
Tori Amos chronology
Boys for Pele
(1996)
from the choirgirl hotel
(1998)
To Venus and Back
(1999)
Singles from From the Choirgirl Hotel
  1. "Spark"
    Released: April 20, 1998
  2. "Jackie's Strength"
    Released: September 15, 1998
  3. "Cruel"/"Raspberry Swirl"
    Released: November 24, 1998

From the Choirgirl Hotel (stylized in lowercase) 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 (instead of Amos's usual minimalist piano 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. [1] As of 2008 it has sold 778,000 copies in US. [2] [ failed verification ] In 1999, Amos received two Grammy nominations: Alternative Music Performance, and Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Raspberry Swirl".

Contents

The lead single "Spark" became a hit after its release in June 1998 (becoming her last UK Top 40 hit to date, as well as her highest charting US single, reaching number 49), and was followed by "Jackie's Strength" (September 1998) and "Cruel"/"Raspberry Swirl" (November 1998).

The accompanying tour, Amos's first with a full band (using the album's personnel of Matt Chamberlain on drums, Jon Evans on bass, and long-time collaborator Steve Caton on guitar), was known as the "Plugged '98 Tour" and took Amos through most of 1998.

Album description

The album began recording in September 1997, with mastering complete by early February 1998. [3] Following the trend set by 1996's Boys for Pele , Amos allowed several songs from the album to be remixed. Remixes of both "Raspberry Swirl" and "Jackie's Strength" were club hits. The album's theme dealt very closely with the first two in Amos's series of three miscarriages between 1996 and 1999. [4]

Thematically and conceptually, the "choirgirl hotel" of the title refers to the fictional, imaginary place where the songs "live". Amos pointed out that although the songs are recorded, they are also alive themselves – they can be re-modeled and reshaped in concert. Amos imagined the songs as living their own lives, all checking into the "choirgirl hotel" (i.e. the album) but living separate lives. In the artwork, Amos included a hand-drawn map detailing the stomping ground of these songs. [5]

The album artwork was created by the UK-based photographer, Katerina Jebb. The artwork features full-body color photocopies of Amos (in various couture outfits) as scanned by a human-sized photocopier. [6]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Chicago Sun-Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [8]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [9]
The Guardian Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [10]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [11]
NME 6/10 [12]
Pitchfork 6.7/10 [13]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [14]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [15]
Spin 8/10 [16]

"The kookiness isn't dominant, she's stopped the attention-seeking lyrics almost completely and, yes, her pianos don't try to be guitars too often," enthused John Aizlewood in Q . [14] "At last, she's putting the songs first and the band-led From the Choirgirl Hotel is, by any reasonable yardstick, a glorious coming of age." [14]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Tori Amos.

No.TitleLength
1."Spark"4:13
2."Cruel"4:07
3."Black-Dove (January)"4:38
4."Raspberry Swirl"3:58
5."Jackie's Strength"4:26
6."i i e e e"4:07
7."Liquid Diamonds"6:21
8."She's Your Cocaine"3:42
9."Northern Lad"4:19
10."Hotel"5:19
11."Playboy Mommy"4:08
12."Pandora's Aquarium"4:45
13."Purple People" (Japanese edition bonus track)4:12

Notes

B-sides

Like Amos's previous Atlantic albums, several songs recorded during the From the Choirgirl Hotel sessions were released as b-sides, and introduced into Amos's live performance repertoire. "Cooling," "Never Seen Blue," and "Beulah Land" were originally written and recorded for 1996's Boys for Pele album. Several tracks from a demo CD for the album leaked online in 2010, including "Violet's Eyes". [17] Parts of this song evolved into "Almost Rosey" and "Miracle" from 2007's American Doll Posse .

B-side titleSingle
"Purple People""Spark" (1998)
"Bachelorette"
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas""Spark" (UK CD1) (1998)
"Do It Again""Spark" (UK CD2) (1998)
"Cooling""Spark" (UK CD2) (1998) (Recorded during Boys for Pele sessions)
"Never Seen Blue""Jackie's Strength" (US) (1998) (Recorded during Boys for Pele sessions)
"Beulah Land"
"Merman" No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees (1998)
"Violet's Eyes"unreleased, leaked in 2010

Personnel

with:

Charts

Certifications

RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada) [33] Gold50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) [34] Gold100,000^
United States (RIAA) [35] Platinum1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

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