Strange Little Girls

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Strange Little Girls
Studio album of cover songs by
ReleasedSeptember 18, 2001 (2001-09-18)
RecordedFebruary–July 2001
  • Martian Studios, Cornwall
  • The Nut Ranch, Los Angeles
Label Atlantic
Producer Tori Amos
Tori Amos chronology
To Venus and Back
Strange Little Girls
Scarlet's Walk
Singles from Strange Little Girls
  1. "Strange Little Girl"
    Released: October 9, 2001
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 65/100 [1]
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [2]
Alternative Press 7/10 [3]
The Austin Chronicle Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Blender Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]
Entertainment Weekly B [6]
The Guardian Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [8]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [9]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [10]
Slant Magazine Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [11]

Strange Little Girls is a concept album released by singer-songwriter Tori Amos in 2001. The album's 12 tracks are covers of songs written and originally performed by men, reinterpreted by Amos from a female point of view. Amos created female personae for each track (one song featured twins) and was photographed as each, with makeup done by Kevyn Aucoin. In the United States the album was issued with four alternative covers depicting Amos as the characters singing "Happiness Is a Warm Gun", "Strange Little Girl", "Time", and "Raining Blood". A fifth cover of the "I Don't Like Mondays" character was also issued in the UK and other territories. Text accompanying the photos and songs was written by novelist Neil Gaiman. The complete short stories in which this text appears can be found in Gaiman's 2006 collection Fragile Things .


As with Amos's previous two studio albums, the cover album was recorded at her Cornwall studio. The album received mixed reviews upon its release in September 2001 with critics largely seeing the album as a mixed bag, praising the unlikely re-workings of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" and Slayer's "Raining Blood", while panning the versions of the Beatles' "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". Amos also tackled songs by artists such as Tom Waits, the Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode, and the Stranglers.

The album's greatest attention was garnered from Amos's cover of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie & Clyde", a rap song. The album's cover of "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" was translated into a discussion on the right to bear arms, and included sound bites from both George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush, as well as from Amos's own minister father. The album entered the charts at US No. 4, selling 111,000 copies, making it her third album to debut in the US Top 10, her second-highest debut in terms of sales, [12] and her best position in the US for almost six years.

A planned commercial EP "Strange Little Girl" (originally by the Stranglers), including "After All" (originally by David Bowie) and "Only Women Bleed" (originally by Alice Cooper), was pulled from shelves soon after being shipped to stores in Europe. Despite being recalled from the shelves, limited copies of the single were sold and a promotional video was made. [ citation needed ]

Additionally, Amos later acknowledged that she had attempted to reinterpret four other songs that she "couldn't find her way into." They were "Fear of a Black Planet" by Public Enemy, "Hoover Factory" by Elvis Costello, "I'm Sick of You" by Iggy Pop and "Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem" by Peter Murphy. These tracks have not been released. [13]

Amos received two 2002 Grammy nominations: Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Strange Little Girl", and Alternative Music Performance for the album.

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Original artistLength
1."New Age" Lou Reed The Velvet Underground 4:37
2."'97 Bonnie & Clyde" Marshall Mathers, Jeff Bass, Mark Bass Eminem 5:46
3."Strange Little Girl" Brian Duffy, Dave Greenfield, Hans Wärmling, Hugh Cornwell, Jean-Jacques Burnel The Stranglers 3:50
4."Enjoy the Silence" Martin Gore Depeche Mode 4:10
5."I'm Not in Love" Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman 10cc 5:39
6."Rattlesnakes" Lloyd Cole, Neil Clark Lloyd Cole and the Commotions 3:59
7."Time" Tom Waits Tom Waits5:23
8."Heart of Gold" Neil Young Neil Young4:00
9."I Don't Like Mondays" Bob Geldof The Boomtown Rats 4:21
10."Happiness Is a Warm Gun" John Lennon, Paul McCartney The Beatles 9:55
11."Raining Blood" Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King Slayer 6:22
12."Real Men" Joe Jackson Joe Jackson4:07
Total length:62:09


Like most of Amos' albums, this one also features B-sides on its singles, but this time only two were released.

TitleWriter(s)Original artistSingle
"After All" David Bowie David Bowie"Strange Little Girl" (2001)
"Only Women Bleed" Alice Cooper, Dick Wagner Alice Cooper"Strange Little Girl" (2001)



Chart (2001)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA) [14] 7
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) [15] 18
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) [16] 6
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) [17] 24
Canadian Albums (Billboard) [18] 8
Danish Albums (Hitlisten) [19] 16
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) [20] 27
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) [21] 16
French Albums (SNEP) [22] 26
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) [23] 11
Irish Albums (IRMA) [24] 21
Italian Albums (FIMI) [25] 11
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) [26] 13
Scottish Albums (OCC) [27] 17
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) [28] 32
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [29] 34
UK Albums (OCC) [30] 16
US Billboard 200 [31] 4


RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United States395,000 [32]

See also

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