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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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 17 August 2015
Although I bought and loved this album on its first release, a subsequent slew of shrill-voiced, angst-ridden pretenders "wearing [their] naughties like a jewel" wore me down as I slouched lugubriously into mystified middle-age, feeling guilty for a million sins against womankind that, as a gay male, it would never even have occurred to me to commit. All this emotional befuddlement threatened to deafen me to what a truly great album this is, which listening to the deluxe re-issue has gloriously confirmed. Apart from being a superb (solo) debut, this is one of the most direct yet beautiful windows on a young woman's world - part confessional, part call-to-arms for all strong but vulnerable women (and, as it happens, many men). Amos exhibits an extraordinary honesty here in tackling subjects such as religion ('Crucify'), marital subjugation ('Silent All These Years'), the dilemma of love and lust ('Leather'), even her own rape ('Me And A Gun'); yet I never feel bullied into empathy by her as I do by some other artists I could mention (and, to be fair, by some of her later work). Perhaps this is down to the exquisite musicianship of all involved, especially the classically-trained Amos herself, who never sacrifices the music to the message, which might have been a salutary lesson for a certain late ex-Beatle covering some of the same tormented territory from a man's point of view. (She references a John Lennon song in 'Happy Phantom'; what an interesting musical marriage THAT would have made! Arguably more so than the one he actually made. . .) I'm delighted with the repackaging and bonus disc - with one cavil: I wish the booklet had printed the lyrics. It means I'll have to keep hold of my original, which does. Still, I suppose you can never get enough Tori - as long as it's spelt with an 'i'.
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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 9 July 2015
A refreshing remaster of a classic album, with many extras that are a must - Tori's B sides are never to be ignored, as many are just as good or better than album tracks.
I can't help feeling this release could have benefited from the super-deluxe treatment. A bonus DVD with the LE VHS content would have completed this nicely, however for what it is, it's a nice job done.
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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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on 21 May 2014
OK, so I write this review whilst burdened with a large amount of guilt; as the title suggests, I have only recently listened to this album for the first time, and am now very annoyed with myself, for leaving it so long after it's initial release to do so.

A truly inspiring and captivating set of tracks, this has shot right into the group of albums that I would class as my all-time favourites and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

For me, 'Winter', is a real highlight - a fantastically beautiful and emotion-ridden track, which cuts very deep upon each listen. That said, all of the songs on Little Earthquakes are highlights in their own right, and I would be very hard pushed to rank one above another.

If like me, you're only just getting around to trying this album out, I strongly urge you to do so (finally!). You won't regret it.
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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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on 21 February 2016
Tori's second superb album as a solo artist in her own right if you don't include the I Cant Tori Read band album from the 1980's.
Worth getting this re-mastered double CD version for the second disc of B Sides, demos and live rarities.
An unreserved, highly recommended masterpiece from a musical genius.
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Comparisons remain odious, but they make life so much easier-it's Kate Bush and Laura Nyro. Tori sings and plays like Kate, displays Laura's gift for striking sexual imagery and creates a classic album in the process. Little Earthquakes is quite an intense album, dealing with extreme situations an emotions set to exquisite tunes. Her delivery and the unique arrangements turn the tracks into poems in a splendid mix of the humorous, the erotic and the unsettling. The two highlights on an album of great songs are Silent All These Years and China, a haunting, majestic lament describing two people drifting apart by using the image of the great wall as a symbol of separation.
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