|To Venus and Back|
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 20, 1999|
|Length||Disc one: 47:49|
Disc two: 75:33
|Label||Atlantic (US), East West (Europe)|
|Tori Amos chronology|
|Tori Amos live chronology|
|Singles from To Venus and Back|
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" (Australia, the United Kingdom, and Europe only), and "Concertina" (US only). 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.
To Venus and Back, which began life as a proposed B-sides album, is sparser both in production and arrangement than From the Choirgirl Hotel, but is similar to its predecessor in that it features overt electronica influences and a relatively subdued piano sound. The album finds Amos's voice and piano subverted in a sonic maze of electronic washes and effects, and some songs, notably "Juárez" and the epic "Dātura" are largely built around these effects. Topics covered on the album include unsolved murdered female maquiladora workers in Ciudad Juárez on the US–Mexico border, hallucinogenic plants, and Napoleon Bonaparte.
In November 1999, Tori Amos was quoted by Pulse Magazine as saying that this record says a lot about the shadows and the shadow world.
|The A.V. Club||(favourable)|
|Nude as the News||(favourable)|
The studio disc of To Venus and Back is recognized as one of Amos's most experimental yet melodic, and received mixed reviews. Some critics praised its originality, innovation and unpredictable song structures,with one reviewer describing the album as having "some of the best vocals of her career, embedded in modern, special-effects-laden soundscapes that move from electronica-spiced piano pop and hip-hop to ambient space music", while others begrudged the album because of its overuse of electronic instruments and lack of Amos's trademark simplistic sound, most present on albums such as Little Earthquakes (1992) and Under the Pink (1994).
The album received two 2000 Grammy Award nominations: Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Bliss" and Best Alternative Music Album.
To Venus and Back, priced higher than Amos's previous releases because of its two-disc format, sold 112,000 copies in the US in its first week and debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, number 18 on the Top Canadian Albums, and number 22 on the UK Top 40 ,breaking her run of three consecutive UK Top 10 albums.
Two months after its release in November 1999, the album achieved RIAA Certification, reaching Gold and Platinum sales status simultaneously,due to the release being a double CD set. To Venus and Back remained on the Billboard 200 for 11 weeks, with its final position at # 189 for the week of January 8, 2000, before falling off the chart. As of May 2008, the album has sold 458,000 copies in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
All tracks are written by Tori Amos.
|4.||"Glory of the 80's"||4:03|
|4.||"Bells for Her"||5:42|
|8.||"Cloud on My Tongue"||4:58|
Given the conditions under which the album was created, To Venus and Back is unique in that it does not have any studio tracks that serve as B-sides. Instead the album's singles are backed by live tracks recorded from the previous year's tour.
|"Hey Jupiter" (live)||4:32||"Bliss" (1999)|
|"Upside Down" (live)||5:47|
|"Baker, Baker" (live)||3:54||"1000 Oceans" (1999)|
|"Famous Blue Raincoat" (live)||5:25||"Glory of the 80's" (UK) (1999) / |
"Concertina" (US) (2000)
Following the theme of the album's second disc, which is composed of live tracks arranged similarly to an actual concert, the B-sides that appear on the album's singles are live songs performed solo with Amos on the piano. The chart above lists only the songs that were released as B-sides on singles from To Venus and Back.
The sole track recorded during the To Venus and Back recording sessions that does not appear on the album, nor as a B-side, is the nine-minute "Zero Point". Of the song's exclusion from the album, Amos has said that the song wasn't intentionally left off the album, rather an over-sensitivity about a certain gardening issue led "Dātura" to being included instead.The liner notes of To Venus and Back state, "Zero Point - your time is coming". The song was released seven years later on A Piano: The Collection (2006).
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
The album was supported by a short tour in 1999, the "Five and a Half Weeks Tour", which Amos co-headlined with Alanis Morissette beginning a month prior to the release of To Venus and Back. Many referred to Amos as the "opening act" for Morissette because she always performed first; however, this was due only to the logistics of setting up a grand piano for performance. An Amos-only stint, the "To Dallas and Back" tour, also took place, but promotional plans were cut when Amos suffered her third miscarriage in November 1999.
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".
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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.
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"Dātura" or "Datura" is a song written and recorded by American singer Tori Amos. It is the ninth song of Amos's fifth record To Venus and Back, which was released in September 1999. It is included in the first disc of the double album subtitled "Orbiting" that contains eleven original studio recordings. The song lists the names of the plants found in Amos's garden and was created during the recording sessions of To Venus and Back. The song's title refers to datura, a plant known for its toxic and hallucinogenic properties. Amos has never performed the song live due to its complex structure and time signatures which makes it hard to reproduce with a live band. However, in 2011 Amos incorporated the "room in my heart" bridge when performing "Take to the Sky" during her concert in Brussels on October 29, 2011 Video on YouTube. She also performed the song in a similar fashion throughout the Unrepentant Geraldines Tour and again on the Native Invader Tour.
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A two-CD set, one half is a live album and like all such self-indulgences it's mainly unremarkable. It does, however, with the addition of a full band, act as a compass for her new direction. Which mainly means trip-hop