Wednesday, January 29, 2014

under the pink

Tori Amos explored her inner world and experimented with new sounds for this expansive emotional exposition.  Her debut 'Little Earthquakes' established her as a powerful new voice; but the tour that followed had left her feeling drained.  Amos remembers:   "This album is a self-healing experience to me...Around Christmas 1992 my tour ended and I went to New Mexico to rest. We were there in a 150 year old hacienda, a sacred place for the pueblo, and that had its effect on all of us...I was gonna take a year off, but the songs just demanded that I tell their story, and their story was about life under the pink. That's why the album is called 'Under the Pink'. These are just some of the different lives that happen in that world. If you ripped everybody's skin off, we're all pink, the way I see it. And this is about what's going on inside of that. That's what I'm really interested in, not the outer world but the inner world. There are many other songs that live under the pink. These are just a few of them, these are just the girls who decided to come to the party ... 'Under the Pink' is a place. It's an internal place. It's the inner world, the inner life. You have to listen from your stomach. To me, it's all there. But you've got to be willing to put your moccasins on and walk down the road." 

'Under the Pink' was recorded at The Fishhouse in Taos, New Mexico and Westlake Studios in Los Angeles with Amos co-producing with  Eric Rosse.  The sessions included Michael Allen Harrison on violin; Tori Amos on piano and vocals; John Acevedo on viola; Steve Caton on guitar; Paulinho Da Costa on percussion; John Philip Shenale on strings and Hammond organ; Francine Walsh, John Wittenberg, Nancy Roth, Ezra Killinger, and Chris Reutinger on violin; Melissa "Missy" Hasin, Dane Little, and Nancy Stein-Ross  on cello; Cynthia Morrow and Jimbo Ross on viola; Carlo Nuccio on drums, George Porter, Jr. on bass, and Trent Reznor on backing vocals.  

The working title for the album was 'God With A Big G'.  Amos reflected:    "My beliefs are different from institutional religion. But I talk about the institution a lot. Organized...My grandfather always taught me that spirit was in all things. He saw things like a medicine man. So there were complete opposite beliefs growing up, and the more restrictive one won out as far as what was practiced in the home, and that was my father's side of things. My father was a lot more domineering than he is now. He's really grown a lot. My father is an incredible success story on how you can be hip at 65. He's like the hippest 65-year-old. He's really getting cool. But he wasn't (laughs). He was a dictator. He couldn't help it -- he was totally caught up in all these belief systems that were handed down to him, and I think that the work and the world that I've exposed him to over the years has really opened him up a lot. So we've grown from that. But I was exposed so much to how the church worked and their belief systems and how controlling it is so I was really seeing it from the inside. Yes, I do feel it's part of my responsibility to expose that. I think that when you know certain information that's keeping a lot of people divided in themselves, you have a choice to share or not share it but why wouldn't you want to share it so that those people can find freedom within their selves? This is the core of my work, I think, is going in there and seeing what am I really made up of. By exposing it to you, I'm just showing you a little blueprint of how I've had to dive in there, and look at the things I'm hiding, and the places where I'm lying, and the games that I'm doing. It's so easy to go, 'This person is just really manipulative,' and now I'm going, 'What is my part in this also? Maybe this person is manipulative, but what am I trying to get from them? What game am I playing?' That's when you really start gaining power, because you're taking responsibility for what you're doing at all times. I'm going, 'Okay, yeah, I want him, so yeah! Maybe I am putting this out.' And then you have to decide if you want him on those terms, or if you want him on terms that are based on honor, and truth, and compassion, and then you go well, if you want that, then maybe I need to look at the way I'm going about this... I think there's so much emphasis on pushing things away, instead of pulling them out of the closet. A lot of times I just notice that people try to hide their dirt for as long as possible. Monsters, dirt, whatever you want to call it, the stuff that you censor and that you don't really want to share with people. I think you can only do that for so long before you start losing your mind. I'm finding a lot of freedom right now in just looking at things that I really feel. We're not encouraged to do that, and I think that that's what makes people sick inside of themselves. You kind of want everybody else to think that you're okay. Well, you're okay if you have monsters! That's what people don't understand -- everybody has many many voices going on inside of themselves. Now there is one voice, though, that is more of the ringleader, more of the innermost voice that isn't trying to beat you up, or trying to make you feel like you can go slaughter 67 people and it's okay. You know, the voice in there that goes: 'Hang on a minute, Tori, we're really feeling lonely right now.' That inner inner voice is, to me, the most important because it can start being a bridge between all these other voices in your head. Everybody has them. After the shows, everybody talks to me about how they're pulled in different directions. A lot of times there doesn't have to be conflict, it's just we're not giving attention to different sides of ourselves. You see, you've got a masochist side that has to be met in some way. You need to look at why you need to be hurt, and why you get some kind of pleasure out of it. Then you need to go and give equal time to the part of you that's a sea captain, you see what I mean? The one that sail the ship, and can bring it home, and isn't needy. We have all these different sides, and they just go out of balance!"

'Under the Pink' went to number fifteen in Sweden and New Zealand, twelve in the US, eleven in Switzerland, ten in the Netherlands, six in Austria, five in Australia, and number one in the UK.  It has sold more than two million copies worldwide. 

"Cornflake Girl"

'Under the Pink' 
full album:

1. Pretty Good Year 00:00
2. God 03:23
3. Bells for Her 07:20
4. Past the Misión 12:38
5. Baker Baker 16:42
6. The Wrong Band 19:58
7. The waitress 23:01
8. Cornflake Girl 26:12
9. Icicle 31:18
10. Cloud on my tongue 37:01
11. Space Dog 41:42
12. Yes, Anastasia 46:53

b sides:

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