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4.7 out of 5 stars79
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 April 2015
Long overdue, Tori Amos finally reintroduces her first albums, presenting 2 of the most spectacular reissues in recent years, curated by herself. As an artist who cannot be fully experienced only by her A-Side songs, and boasting a back catalogue of superb B-Sides, and unreleased material which often surpasses the value of album tracks, this new deluxe edition of her "Little earthquakes" debut collects the album's original 12 songs, plus an extra disc of 12 B-Side gems, 5 live performances, and her legendary cover of Nirvana's "Smells like teen spirit". A most splendid content, considering the extraordinary quality of the material, most of which previously featured on individual CD singles.

Every track on here is remastered for the first time, enhancing the beautiful arrangements, and allowing the instrumentation to truly shine (the mesmerising "Girl", and the electrifying "Precious things" are 2 tracks greatly benefited from the remastering). Presented with extensive artwork, liner notes, and housed in a beautifully designed gatefold digipack, everything - from the arresting cover images of Tori and her miniature piano, and the phallic mushrooms, on the front/back cover images, to the actual songs - is assembled with detail and care, making this classic album this year's most essential reissue. New listeners should buy this in complete confidence, Toriphiles I am sure have already done so.

"Little earthquakes", is the debut solo record that introduced to a wider audience the fiery, red-blooded redhead, who brought the piano back to the forefront of cutting-edge rock, and went on to become one of the most influential artists of her generation. Ripping her heart open, and bearing her soul for all to see, TA addresses through her unique storytelling an array of issues, such as relationships, femininity, religion, empowerment, sexuality, and family; each song tells a personal story, every story is more intruiging than the other. There is such disarming honesty, and astounding intensity in these songs that is apparent that "Earthquakes" was destined to define an era, and inspire a whole generation of female singer/songwriters.

From the glorious pulsating opener, "Crucify", to the magnificent climactic closing title-track, there is not a single track not dripping with emotion, does not evoke striking images, or fails to engage in some way (a mention is due for the shockingly bruising "Me and a gun", a stark account of Amos' own experience of being raped, performed acapella). Although on subsequent releases TA, admittedly, developed a tendency to over-indulge, her songrwriting genius and emotional clarity are best showcased on this album, which remains among her most accomplished and enduring works. Complexly structured, finely executed, utterly emotional, and deeply confessional, brave, bold, blazing, brutal, these "Little earthquakes" are simply shattering.
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on 11 May 2005
Tori Amos's wonderful debut solo album sounds as fresh today as when it was first released in the early 1990s.
The album is essentially Tori Amos and her piano, it has a raw, emotional appeal - at times lush and beautiful, at others spare and stark Highlights include the haunting 'Me and My Gun', an autobiographical song about a sexual assault sung without accompaniment; her first hit single, 'Silent all these years' which is possibly the best track on the album, along with the other singles: China, Winter and Crucify.
A wonderful, accessible album - even if you do not particularly like girl and her piano music there is much to admire here.
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on 8 April 2006
I'm a huge Tori Amos fan and this was the first album I bought from her and the one I turn back to regularly. Every track has a moment to take your breath away, to lift you up and suit almost every emotion you feel. With beautiful singing, great lyrics and one of the strongest collection of songs put together on an album this is an CD to own, cherish and become part of your life. Regardless of whether you enjoy female singer songwriters in general if you love music you'll love this.
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on 27 August 2007
Tori Amos' 1992 album 'Little Earthquakes' is arguably the greatest female singer songwriter debut since Patti Smith's 'Horses'. True it is highly derivative; the influences of Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro and especially Kate Bush are highly evident in Tori's style and sound. A trained pianist, Tori has considerable skill in both playing and writing memorable tunes. She is also blessed with a truly wonderful voice, capable of soaring heights and sensual whispers. As if that isn't enough, Tori is also an accomplished lyricist, describing personal issues with accuracy and honesty - employing ringing phrases that remain with you.
Tori clearly had a great many personal issues and `Little Earthquakes' was her attempt to purge them through her music. The songs deal with self hate, rape, dysfunctional relationships and death. The subjects are described and performed in highly emotive and dramatic terms, these are songs that WILL make you cry.
Stand out tracks are `Crucify', `Silent All These Years', `Winter' and the title track `Little Earthquakes'. `Me And A Gun' is an acapella track that describes a horrible rape, this track I personally find a little too harrowing and frequently skip but its power is undeniable. There are also funny moments; `Happy Phantom' is a ghost watching her boy friend and `Leather' describes a sexual encounter with an air of resignation.
`Little Earthquakes' launched Tori on a long career that has produced many wonderful albums, however none have quite the power and impact of her debut. Tori herself inspired a whole generation of female singer song writers like Liz Phair, Alanis Morisette etc and 15 years later she is still capable of greatness. Thanks for the music Tori!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 January 2016
key tracks..
crucify
silent all these years
china
winter

it seems like a lifetime ago that tori amos was being hailed as the new kate bush, and looking back you wonder why she ever was. this album tells a story...the 12 songs packing in tori's life into 12 vignetes.

for once the 4 singles on here..(crucify, silent all these years, winter and china) were the right tracks released from an album. all are stunningly frank, honest and beautiful songs. she is one of the most remarkable female songwriters of all time, and although you wont always understand the meaning to all the lyrics...you can feel what shes trying to say. like all great singers, these songs will have different meaning to different people..and that's the beauty of it.

tori isn't afraid to face her demons either. the penultimate track 'me and gun' sees tori sing acapella, about being attacked. instead of being self obsessed, she tackles the song with fire and grit, and almost an acceptance of "this is what happened, this is how i feel, move on" which makes the song all the more heartbreaking.

a fantastic debut album from a fantastic singer. if you are are looking to buy your first tori album, then this is the place to start!!!
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on 11 February 2004
First, I must say that I only accidently stumbled upon Tori Amos music by seeing the ~Strange Little Girl~ video. After Strange Little Girls and |To Venus And Back, my friend from France finally sent me Little Earthquakes which was graded as her best album ever. Were the critics wrong? Well, which album is her best I really can't say, but this one is apart being a very personal diary of the singer, a master piece.
Let's start from the top:
~Crucify~-brilliant song, that everyone can feel close to since it speaks about giving yourself in a relationship and yet getting nothing out of it. Very nice drums sections, and the lyrics are poetry.
~Girl~ I didn't quite learn how to appreciate this song until I have heard it live. It's melodic, nothing special but has a very strong bridge that you can't not scream out with when it starts.
~Silent All These Years~I can relate to this song very much. Being silent all these years and yet having a lot to say is a characteristic of a lot of us. A work of art if not her best. Lyrics are very inspiring.
~Precious Things~ Fantastic piano playing, a melody that never leaves your head and a song that has lyrics which will talk you into playing it whenever you feel angry, disappointed or frustrated. It's very healing. A good therapy.
~Winter~ Now, this song should never be changed. Not a single beat. Perfection. You'll understand what i'm saying the moment you hear it.
~Happy Phantom~ Hillarious. A quirky song, good for imrpoving your mood.
~China~ This could be a single mistake on the album. Maybe this song will grow on some people, but I can't feel it.
~Leather~ This is from the same basket as Happy Phantom. Hillarious and the bridge is awsome.
~Mother~ A very moving song with fantastic piano playing about her mother. A verywarm song.
~Tear In Your Hand~ Thsi single song is worth the money of the whole album. Probably her best work. Fantastic piano arrangements, and the lyrics are very optimistic. Have you ever felt that you haven't appreciated yourself that much and you finally decided to respect yourself a bit more, because after all you deserve much better. Than this is your theme song.
~Me And A Gun~ sung acappella. Disturbing. it's about Tori's rape. I always skip it. It's simply too painful. You only need to hear it once and understand the pain. The message is powerful.
~Little Earthquakes~ A fantastic ending for a fantastic record. It has three bridges which sweep you of your feet. This is my favourite Tori song. Simply beautiful. How did she come up with this?
So, all in all, you won't make a mistake by bying this record. It#s a sort of an album that you always run back to when you're feeling down. It's not something that will collect dust on your shelf. It became apparent after this album that Tori Amos is one of the greatest artist of our time and has a brilliant future ahead of her. I wonder what she will come up with next.
It just might be that in 50 years time we will be reading Tori Amos's poetry in our English classes, and learning her arrangements in music schools all over the planet. Perhaps a little farfetched but very much possible.
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Fragile and shocking are two words that come to my mind with this CD. Tori Amos was recommended to me by my singing teacher, and it deserves his recommendation.
Every song shows you some hidden side of her persona, one that makes you feel almost ashamed to listen to it. This is not a CD to listen to every day, and not one to listen to while in company or as background music. This is a CD to blow your mind. One for gloomy Sundays when it rains outside. One to savour.
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on 5 June 2015
I started with the U.S. repressing of this great album, which comes from RTI. Unfortunately there was some kind of a pressing issue with side 2. Pity, because side 1 was great. This version from the EU does not disappoint, however. It is quiet, dynamic, and embodies a three dimensional sense of space that the cd version can't come close to. There was also some distortion in the cd version that is absent on this version.

The album material itself is truly iconic. This marks Tori's first real album (excepting the out of print "Why Kant Tori Read" album that almost seemed like a publicity stunt). The depth and honesty of the material struck a chord with countless young people, and she quickly became a musical cult figure with a following that eagerly snapped up every album and single that she produced. Although her later material is great as well, this album remains a solid song cycle, with every note seeming to form a piece of a puzzle. A wonderful, shockingly introspective album by Tori Amos.

Highly recommended, and on vinyl.
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on 30 March 2004
Why is it that some artists get followers who are devoted on the verge of being obsessed? Two examples are Morrissey and David Bowie, another Tori Amos. There seems to be something hypnotic about the redheaded & red-blooded Amos. Though she's outwardly a traditionally bohemian singer-songwriter, she somehow comes across as more edgy than Joni Mitchell, more passionate than Suzanne Vega.
All the songs on this CD are piano-driven, with strong melodies and some startling but still accessible lyrics. On later albums, her songs have become increasingly dense - here, she indulges the listener with great one-lines like "got enough guilt to start my own religion" and asking God if he "needs a woman to look after you".
This is the first of her albums I bought, and it's still my favourite one - and, a bit sadly, miles better than her latest material on "Scarlets Walk". Strongly recommended if you like Rickie Lee Jones, Suzanne Vega, Nike Drake or Rufus Wainwright.
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Although Little Earthquakes is Tori Amos' first CD, it is also her best. As much talent and innovation as she has shown in the years since this album was released, she has yet to re-achieve the well-nigh perfection of her initial offering. These songs utilize beautiful music, raw emotion, and lyrical poetry to address a wide array of issues, ranging from rape to relationships to religion. Tori's style is uniquely her own, and the contrasts between soft piano-playing and abrupt emotional outbursts of strident notes, instruments, and words are incredible. No one bares her soul through music as forcefully as Tori. This is best exemplified by the a cappella performance of "Me and a Gun," which deals with Amos' own experience of being raped. These songs are all about empowerment, courageously finding one's voice and taking control of one's life.
"Crucify" is probably the most recognizable song on the album. Its message is one of freedom; too often people restrict themselves out of the fear of being laughed at or judged unfavorably; and Tori preaches that you don't have to wallow in your self-guilt and suffering in order to achieve happiness. "Silent All These Years" suggests a life spent with an abusive or insensitive partner and the self-imposed exile and voicelessness such a relationship can lead to. "Winter" deals with standing on one's own two feet, believing in oneself, and bravely striking out in a world without your father's constant protection. "Mother" strikes a similar theme, evoking images of a caring mother pushing her child out of the nest and helping it begin a new life of its own. "Tear In Your Hand" is an anthem of self-discovery in which Tori tells the man who is leaving her for another woman that she is more fascinating and powerful than he has ever taken the time to realize. In "Little Earthquakes," Tori cries out for both life and pain, realizing that a full life by necessity includes both the good and the bad. "Girl" carries the message that you must be true to yourself, that if you live your whole life trying to please others and ignoring your own desires, you will go crazy. "China" explains how two people can gradually grow apart over time. "Happy Phantom" is a fun little jaunt in which Tori looks forward to forgetting her earthly troubles and becoming a ghost, but it ends on a more serious note about the limited lifespan of memory. The real prize of this CD is "Precious Things," an intensely emotional song hearkening back to days of unrequited crushes, cruel individuals, and adolescent pain; the message is that you must forget the painful memories of your past in order to become your true and ultimate self.
These songs may mean different things to other people, and it is almost impossible not to discover new hidden insights each time you listen to them. Tori Amos truly bears her soul for all to see on this CD, and we can all benefit ourselves as a result of her efforts. Tori Amos is a unique musician, and her music will not appeal to everyone, but this album is much more accessible, particularly lyrics-wise, than her later releases. As far as I am concerned, this is the greatest CD ever produced by any musician.
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