10 Times Tori Amos Knew Exactly How We Felt

Hello world! Efrain here from Drive All Night: The Songs of Tori Amos Podcast. It’s Tori’s birthday Thursday so we must celebrate all week long by playing her music and searching for her pictures on Instagram (like any good legion of fans would do)! And of course also by eating some birthday cake (go ahead, smirk to yourself as you tell the bakery lady it’s for a close friend).

To help you celebrate, we have painstakingly curated a playlist of 10 defining selections from over 400 of Tori’s originals, covers, and live improvs! We believe it’s a true blueprint of an artist who continues to create, lead and inspire–not only her fans but the generations of musicians who have followed in her footsteps.

Remember, this playlist was meant to be listened to, so click a link below and start celebrating! Also, while you’re at it, check out our Tori Amos Podcast and please consider making a contribution to support the work we do!

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(Spotify) 10 Times Tori Amos Knew Exactly How We Felt
(YouTube) 10 Times Tori Amos Knew Exactly How We Felt
Birthday Cake Goals

Pretty Good Year
They say you were something in those formative years…
We begin this playlist the way one must begin every playlist: with this heartbreaking Under the Pink album opener. Inspired by a fan who sent her a drawing of himself, this track sees Tori casting her wisdom on the idea of time passing and not living up to your potential–a sentiment surely everyone can identify with.

Blood Roses
Sometimes you’re nothing but meat
In what is perhaps the most raw track from her 1996 self-produced opus Boys For Pele, Tori comes to terms with a relationship that left her feeling used and broken. But in the way that is uniquely her own, by the time she starts thrashing her way to the show-stopping climax you understand she’s screaming out years of her pain, and yours too.

She’s been everybody else’s girl, maybe one day she’ll be her own
Like a cherished high school confidante, Tori gave it to us straight from the beginning. And honestly we needed to hear it. If the refrain of this song from Tori’s solo debut Little Earthquakes isn’t enough to make you realize your own self worth and do a complete overhaul of your life, it’s tough to say if anything will.

You’re just a pussy, my sweet boy
In this To Venus and Back arrangement of a Little Earthquakes era bee-side, we see Tori using her strength and power to bring to task a man who has slighted her. We’ve all wanted to say exactly what was on our minds when we’ve been devalued or dishonored. Here Tori has the courage to say it for us: Oh, you’ve been serving me tea for nine months and you can’t remember how many sugars I take? I don’t think it’s going to work out…

Beauty of Speed
Afraid we’ve been changing in a way I wasn’t loving
In this standout track from American Doll Posse, Tori addresses the changes in a relationship that are just out of our control. With one of the greatest bass lines in her catalog, this song so beautifully captures the malaise and uncertainty that can creep its way into any relationship at any time. At times when we are uncertain, remember that Tori has crafted a mantra to help us realize there is strength in letting go of control and allowing the colors to change around you.

Barons of Suburbia
I am piecing a potion to combat your poison
In a startling moment from 2005’s The Beekeeper, Tori sings to everyone in her life trying to take a piece of her good graces. The Music Industry, Friends, Loved Ones. With the relentless piano driving the beat, by the time Tori makes her way to the powerful ending she has exalted herself–and us right along with her.

Only when you’re whole can you forgive
This selection comes from Tori’s most recent offering Native Invader and speaks to something very personal. We all have skeletons in our closet, and this poignant reverie teaches us that our past is never dead. With the wisdom of someone who knows you very well, Tori reminds us that although it may be a struggle to overcome your demons, she’ll be there to hold your hand the whole time.

Not every girl is a pearl
Throughout her 2014 Album Unrepentant Geraldines, Tori explores the fact that she is getting older and what that actually means. This is a topic of particular interest to those aging right alongside her (you beauties who seem to be aging backwards, move on!). On this track, Tori takes a touching look at what was in context of what is now. With her, we acknowledge that time never stops and that we must continue to understand and make right with ourselves always. Not every girl is a pearl, Tori sings. Some girls are diamonds, some rubies–some girls are solid quartz. What are you?

NEW YORK – MARCH 7: Tori Amos performs during sound check before her sold-out concert at Radio City Music Hall March 7, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Spring Haze
Why does it always end up like this 
From the Orbiting disc of 1999’s double disc To Venus and Back, Tori lets her vulnerabilities out into the light. Yes, the light is gray and there’s a haze shielding them, but nonetheless she’s open. As she slowly builds, circling her way to the bridge, drowning is all we crave; and we understand that if we can just make it to Sunday with her, maybe everything will be alright.

Fast Horse
You got you a fast horse darling but all you do is complain it ain’t a Maserati
From the very line of this almost alt-country rocker from 2009’s Abnormally Attracted to Sin, you understand that you’re talking with a different Tori now. Your old friend has grown stronger and she sees the world clearly now. Maybe it’s the shaman who smoked out her bad medicine, or (more likely) maybe it’s her years of self exploration that led her here. Whatever it is though, she’s ready to drop the truth bombs that you need to hear — be happy with what you have and who you are, and never be afraid to share yourself with others.

My heart is sick of being in chains
For the last track of this playlist, we go back to the first track from Tori’s solo debut Little Earthquakes. Listening to the self-assured way she expresses her darkness, it’s easy to believe she always had it figured out. The truth is though, that strength came from years of stumbling and learning. This track proves that from the very beginning, Tori was always willing to share her journey with us so that we too could learn.

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