TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 April 2015
Never one to follow rules or trends, Tori Amos finally decides to jump on the reissues wagon at her own time. Long overdue, she reintroduces her first couple of albums, presenting 2 of the most important reissues in recent years, both 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 selection and content, considering the extraordinary quality of the material, most of which previously featured only on individual CD singles.
Every track on here is remastered for the first time, enhancing the beautiful arrangements, allowing the instrumentation to truly shine (the mesmerising "Girl", and the electrifying "Precious things" are just some of the tracks which are greatly benefited from the remastering), with Tori's voice sounding crystal clear. Presented with extensive artwork (which, strangely enough, omits the original back cover photo of the pallic mushrooms), liner notes, and housed in a beautifully designed 8-panel gatefold digipack, everything - from the arresting cover images of Tori and her miniature piano, to the actual songs - is assembled with detail and care, honouring this classic album with one of this year's most essential reissues. New listeners should buy this in complete confidence, Toriphiles I am sure have already done so.
Following the Y Kant Tori Read album, "Little earthquakes" is the 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, Tori addresses her audience through her unique storytelling an array of issues, such as relationships, femininity, religion, empowerment, sexuality, and family. Each song tells a story, every story is more intruiging than the other. There is such disarming honesty and astounding intensity in these songs that it becomes apparent upon first listen that "Earthquakes" was destined to define an era, and inspire a whole generation of female singer/songwriters.
From the glorious pulsating opener, "Crucify" (the unedited single version of which is still to be found only on "A piano: The collection" box set), to the magnificent climactic closing title-track, there is not a single track not dripping with emotion, evoking striking and unforgettable images, or failing to engage its listeneners in so many ways (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 she, admittedly, developed a tendency to over-indulge, Tori's 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.
***** for the album
***** for this edition