Scarlet's Walk

Last updated
Scarlet's Walk
Scarlets Walk cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 28, 2002
Recorded2001–2002 (Cornwall, England)
Label Epic
Producer Tori Amos
Tori Amos chronology
Strange Little Girls
Scarlet's Walk
Tales of a Librarian
Singles from Scarlet's Walk
  1. "A Sorta Fairytale"
    Released: October 2002
  2. "Taxi Ride"
    Released: January 2003
  3. "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas"
    Released: May 27, 2003
  4. "Strange"
    Released: 2003

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, [1] selling 107,000 copies in its first week, [2] and reaching RIAA Gold status about a month after its release. [3]


Theme description

According to author Neil Gaiman, "The CD's about America — it's a story that's also a journey, that begins in LA and crosses the country, slowly heading east. America's in there, and specific places and things, Native American history and pornography and a girl on a plane who'll never get to New York, and Oliver Stone and Andrew Jackson and madness and a lot more. Not to mention a girl called Scarlet who may be the land and may be a person and may be a trail of blood." The song "Amber Waves" is named after Julianne Moore's character in Boogie Nights . [4]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic (76/100) [5]
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [6]
Alternative Press Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]
The Austin Chronicle Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Blender Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [8]
Entertainment Weekly D− [9]
PopMatters Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5] [10]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [11]
Spin (9/10) [12]
Stylus Magazine C+ [13]
Uncut Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]

Kludge magazine included Scarlet's Walk on their list of best albums of 2002. [14]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Tori Amos.

1."Amber Waves"3:38
2."A Sorta Fairytale"5:30
7."Wampum Prayer"0:44
8."Don't Make Me Come to Vegas"4:51
9."Sweet Sangria"4:01
10."Your Cloud"4:30
12."I Can't See New York"7:14
13."Mrs. Jesus"3:05
14."Taxi Ride"4:00
15."Another Girl's Paradise"3:34
16."Scarlet's Walk"4:16
18."Gold Dust"5:54
Bonus DVD
1."Gold Dust" (video version)5:44
2."A Sorta Fairytale" (single edit) (video version)3:59
3."Taxi Ride" (overlay with Polaroid feature)4:00

Singles and B-sides


The first single from the album was the track "A Sorta Fairytale" (released September 2002), which proved to be one of Amos's more successful singles, landing her in the US Top 10 Adult Contemporary chart. A commercial single was also released in the UK with a B-side entitled "Operation Peter Pan", based on the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. This served as the last commercial CD single of Amos's career to date.

"Taxi Ride", a partial homage to the late make-up artist Kevyn Aucoin, a friend of Amos's who died in May 2002, served as the second single from the album. An on-line contest was held asking fans to direct and submit a music video for the song. The song reached the Top 40 Adult Contemporary chart in the US. The third single, "Strange", was released to radio in a redone version that was given a Country and Western feel with twangy guitars and additional vocals. A Timo Maas dance remix of "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" served as the fourth single continued Amos's fortunes on the dance charts. Of the last three singles, only the latter was released commercially, exclusively on a 12" vinyl single in the US.


The album, as with most of Amos's albums, is also known for its collection of original B-sides. Amos recorded a host of songs that did not make the album, but were released as B-sides to various singles or performed live in concerts.

"Operation Peter Pan""A Sorta Fairytale" (2002)
"Mountain""Scarlet's Web" download (2002)
"Tombigbee" Scarlet's Hidden Treasures (2004)
"Bug a Martini"
"Ruby Through the Looking Glass"
"Apollo's Frock"
"Indian Summer"


Release history

In addition to the standard CD release, a limited edition of Scarlet’s Walk was released in a special box set containing the album, a bonus DVD, a map detailing Scarlet's journey, stickers, a bracelet-charm and mock Polaroid postcards. The album also provided entry to "Scarlet's Web" a web site that was the sole source for special concert ticket offers, photos, merchandise, and unreleased B-side tracks. The elaborate packaging of the limited edition version of the album garnered Amos a Grammy nomination. The UK limited edition did not include a charm bracelet as The Official Charts Company declared it would have been an unfair incentive to purchase the album, otherwise sales of the record would not have been chart eligible.

In an attempt to prevent Internet trading of the album, Amos, in conjunction with her husband and crew, used glue to bind closed portable CD players containing the album. These were then distributed to the press on the understanding that they would be returned within forty-eight hours. If an attempt was made to open the player, both it and the disc inside would shatter. The success of this attempt was so great that the record industry began to follow suit. As an additional incentive to buy the album rather than download its contents illicitly, the CD also served as a key to access "Scarlet's Web", a website which featured several songs ("Tombigbee", "Seaside", "Mountain") as well as various photographs and journal entries that were not available elsewhere.

UK October 28, 2002
United StatesOctober 29, 2002


Weekly charts

Chart (2002)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA) [15] 20
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) [16] 26
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) [17] 15
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) [18] 40
Canadian Albums (Billboard) [19] 13
Danish Albums (Hitlisten) [20] 32
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) [21] 17
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) [22] 20
French Albums (SNEP) [23] 32
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) [24] 9
Irish Albums (IRMA) [25] 24
Italian Albums (FIMI) [26] 26
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) [27] 45
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) [28] 30
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [29] 21
UK Albums (OCC) [30] 26
US Billboard 200 [31] 7


YearSongPeak positions
Hot 100


Triple A



2002"A Sorta Fairytale"114∞1119*41698
2003"Taxi Ride"3517
"Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" (remix)612

∞ - Denotes position on Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles


RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA) [34] Gold618,000 [35] ^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

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