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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Tori Amos - Video Collection: Fade to Red
Tori Amos - Video Collection: Fade to Red
Rhino // Unrated // February 14, 2006
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Louis Howard | posted February 18, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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A remarkable singer/songwriter with legions of devoted fans, Tori Amos has established herself over the years as a very unique artist. When she came into wide public fame in 1990 with her Little Earthquakes album she immediately seemed to find a following among music lovers who were fans of artists in the vein of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell- and because of her seemingly endless level of creativity as well as a penchant for higher productivity and accessibility than many of her peers she has long since gained critical renown all her own. Singing and writing songs diverse, confessional and opaque, she paints a new tapestry with every release to her credit while still having a sound that stands out as inimitably Tori- many confessional singer songwriters have come and gone with a standout release here and there, but Amos seems to be able to produce the goods over and over again, keeping the fans happy and building a catalog of great material that any artist would be proud of. That she is more than just a 'girl and a piano' act the music industry feared she was has been proven over and over throughout her career to date.

Even so, while Tori has made several intricate, intense videos over the years, they have not been collected for a comprehensive DVD release until now. What I considered a landmark release many years ago was a "Little Earthquakes" video album on which many of her best songs and videos from that early period appeared, but they have not been available on DVD until their inclusion here. A separate compilation, "Tori Amos: Complete Videos 1991-1998" is also only available on VHS. A check of local mom and pop music stores and ebay would almost certainly yield a number of questionable imports and outright bootlegs of Tori video compilations as well as many bootleg concert performances; Tori fans are aware that she has a penchant for occasionally changing things up a bit and adding snippets or even entire covers of many, many classic rock songs by any number of diverse artists, making her shows fresh and different.

Happily the recent release of her Welcome To Sunny Florida DVD gave fans the opportunity to have a quality live performance on film, and this 2-disc compilation will do the same for fans of her music videos as well. The Bootleggers may not be happy, but Toriphiles like me will be glad to see this set finally come to light.

Here is a listing of the videos included in the 2 disc set-

Past The Mission
Crucify
Jackie's Strength
A Sorta Fairytale
Winter
Spark
Sleeps With Butterflies
Cornflake Girl (U.S. Version)
Hey Jupiter
Silent All These Years
Caught A Little Sneeze
1000 Oceans
God
Bliss
China
Raspberry Swirl
Talula
Sweet The Sting
Pretty Good Year
Professional Widow (Remix)
Cornflake Girl (U.K. Version)


Of Note: One reader has e-mailed me about three videos not included here in the set, "Glory Of The 80's", "Strange Little Girls", and "Mary". I have read this elsewhere in Tori fan pages, and from what I am being led to believe their omission is due to rights issues. Apparently some music tracks here are not the same tracks used in the original videos. While I understand Toriphiles want this compilation to be as complete as possible, in my opinion this set is still a goldmine for her fans.

There is a blend of varying styles and visuals throughout this video compilation, which is understandable considering the span of time over which they were filmed. Many are simple sittings that mainly consist of Tori at piano, about as telling a portrait of her career as one could put to film. Others involve Tori blended into abstract, breathtaking visuals; on the whole they are all fun to drink in.



Video-

Overall the videos are rendered very well. While everything I have read leads the viewer to believe this is 1:33.1 format, many of the videos I've watched appear to be 1:85.1. Video quality varies but I attribute that to the fact that they were filmed over a period of 15 years with any number of film crews. Nothing here is less than good, and many are splendid. Colors for the most part are deep and vibrant, and sharpness varies from a little soft to excellent.

Audio-

This is an area that needed to excel given the subject, and Rhino has tried not to disappoint. Audio tracks offered here are 2.0 PCM stereo and DTS surround. I found some of the audio tracks to sound a bit thin, even on the DTS track, while others were full and rich. Overall the sound here is very good, if not always excellent.

Extras-

Audio Commentary With Tori Amos- Tori involves the viewer in several aspects of the videos- what the visuals mean and why they were incorporated into each song. Relaxed and introspective with tons of little details given by Tori. In many ways this is the true gem of the set and quite enlightening for both longtime Tori fans as well as those unfamiliar with her views, influences and personality.

Final Thoughts

The "Ears With Feet" crowd should not be disappointed in this production, giving the fan almost every video she's released throughout her career as well as the Tori commentary. The very fact that Rhino managed to compile this set is impressive in itself, and adding Tori's thoughts make it even more attractive. Highly recommended.
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