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
A Sorta Fairytale
Sleeps With Butterflies
Cornflake Girl (U.S. Version)
Silent All These Years
Caught A Little Sneeze
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.