The Beekeeper

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The Beekeeper
The Beekeeper cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 20, 2005
RecordedJune–November 2004
Label Epic
Producer Tori Amos
Tori Amos chronology
Scarlet's Walk
The Beekeeper
A Piano: The Collection
Singles from The Beekeeper
  1. "Sleeps with Butterflies"
    Released: 2005
  2. "Sweet the Sting"
    Released: 2005
  3. "Cars and Guitars"
    Released: 2005
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic 65/100 [1]
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [2]
Entertainment Weekly B [3]
The Guardian Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [1]
Mojo Magazine Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [1]
Playlouder Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]
PopMatters (6/10) [6]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Spin (5/10) [1]
Uncut Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [1]

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.


The Beekeeper debuted within the top 10 on the Billboard 200, [8] her fifth album to do so. [9] This placed Amos in an elite group of women, including Madonna and Barbra Streisand, to have secured five or more U.S. Top 10 album debuts. [10]


After the release of her Epic label debut Scarlet's Walk, Amos received unsettling news when Polly Anthony resigned as president of Epic Records in 2003. Anthony had been one of the primary reasons Amos signed with the label and as a result of her resignation, Amos formed the Bridge Entertainment Group, a company devoted to helping musicians in various ways during a time when the music industry is changing. [11] The following year saw the merger of major labels Epic/Sony Music Entertainment and BMG Entertainment. [12] Amos would later hint in interviews that those in charge at the label (implying the Epic/Sony merger with BMG) during the creation of The Beekeeper were interested "only in making money", the effects of which have not been disclosed.[ citation needed ]


Three singles were lifted from the album for radio release, the first of which, "Sleeps with Butterflies", was shipped to radio in early January 2005, and became an adult alternative radio staple in the U.S. for the first half of 2005. "Sleeps with Butterflies" reached number two on the U.S. Triple A Radio chart. The follow-up singles, "Sweet the Sting" and "Cars and Guitars," were less successful but sustained steady sales for the album. All three singles released from The Beekeeper were promo-only singles; no commercial singles were produced.

Commercial performance

The Beekeeper debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 83,000 copies in its first week. The album's debut within the top 10 is Amos's fifth album to achieve that status. [9] However, the album's debut was not as impressive in the UK. Similar to the debut of Scarlet's Walk (2002), The Beekeeper had a weaker debut at number 24 on the UK Top 40. [13]

The Beekeeper remained on the Billboard 200 for 10 weeks before falling off the chart in late May. [14] As of May 2008, the album has sold 295,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. [15]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Tori Amos.

2."Sweet the Sting"4:16
3."The Power of Orange Knickers" (featuring Damien Rice)3:36
4."Jamaica Inn"4:03
5."Barons of Suburbia"5:21
6."Sleeps with Butterflies"3:35
7."General Joy"4:13
8."Mother Revolution"3:58
9."Ribbons Undone"4:30
10."Cars and Guitars"3:45
12."Original Sinsuality"2:02
14."The Beekeeper"6:50
15."Martha's Foolish Ginger"4:22
16."Hoochie Woman"2:34
17."Goodbye Pisces"3:36
18."Marys of the Sea"5:11
Bonus track

With the changing shape of the music industry and the disappearance of traditional B-sides, The Beekeeper is Amos's second album not to feature any B-sides, her first being To Venus and Back . One non-LP track, "Garlands", is available only on the DVD included in the limited edition version of the album as a video track. "Not David Bowie", recorded during sessions for The Beekeeper, was not released until its inclusion in Amos's compilation box set A Piano: The Collection (2006).



The "Original Sinsuality Tour" was a solo tour with Amos playing on piano and organ. The tour received mixed reviews, but continued into the late summer of 2005 through Europe, including appearances in June 2005 at the Glastonbury Festival and at Patti Smith's Meltdown festival in London. The tour also encompassed Australia, which was Amos's first trip there to perform since 1994. The tour finished in the U.S. as the "Summer of Sin Tour", which received better reviews than the earlier leg. A major feature of the tour was that fans could nominate cover songs on Amos's website which she would then choose from to play in a special section of the tour. One of the songs chosen was the Kylie Minogue hit "Can't Get You Out of My Head", which Amos dedicated to her the day after Minogue's breast cancer was announced to the public. Other songs performed by Amos include The Doors' "People are Strange", Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game", Björk's "Hyperballad", Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks", Kate Bush's "And Dream of Sheep" and Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over", dedicating it to drummer Paul Hester who had died a week before. Amos's general disconcern with the commercial side of the music industry was showcased when she did not bother performing the first single from the album in many cities; it is usually expected by record companies of a modern musician that they perform their singles or hits regularly.

Release history

As with Amos's prior Epic Records album, a Limited Edition version of the album was released with heavily conceptual packaging. Songs are divided into "gardens", an accompanying DVD includes the album's only released B-side, and a seed package of a "special blend" made specifically for the album is also included.

The chart below lists the release dates for The Beekeeper in major markets around the globe.

AustraliaFebruary 20, 2005
Finland February 21, 2005
United Kingdom
CanadaFebruary 22, 2005
United States


Chart (2005)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA) [16] 20
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) [17] 8
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) [18] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) [19] 37
Danish Albums (Hitlisten) [20] 21
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) [21] 13
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) [22] 15
French Albums (SNEP) [23] 44
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) [24] 8
Irish Albums (IRMA) [25] 27
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) [26] 27
Polish Albums (ZPAV) [27] 8
Scottish Albums (OCC) [28] 28
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) [29] 26
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) [30] 13
UK Albums (OCC) [31] 21
US Billboard 200 [32] 5


RegionCertification Certified units/sales
United States295,000 [33]

See also

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