Tori Amos ¦ Scarlet’s Walk

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Scarlet's Walk is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter and pianist Tori Amos. It was released on October 28, 2002 in the UK and October 29 in the US on Epic Records, making it her first release on the label after her split with Atlantic Records. Her first studio album of original material since To Venus and Back in 1999, the 18-track concept album (described by Amos as a "sonic novel about a road trip") details the cross-country travels of Scarlet, a character loosely based on Amos, and was greatly inspired by the changes in American society and politics post-September 11, 2001. Topics explored on the album include nationalism, personal relationships, and the death of a close friend. Amos also took inspiration from the stories of her grandfather, who she claims was Cherokee and told her of the abuses against Native Americans throughout the United States' history.[2]

Recorded at Amos's Martian Engineering in Cornwall, England, Scarlet's Walk solidified Amos's current backing band of Jon Evans on bass, Matt Chamberlain on drums, and Mac Aladdin on guitar. Additionally, string arrangements were provided by John Philip Shenale. The self-produced album diverts from the electronica and trip hop-influenced sounds of From the Choirgirl Hotel and To Venus and Back and marks a return to the stripped-back sound of her earlier work with a greater emphasis on live instrumentation and Amos's piano, while also incorporating new keyboard instruments into the arrangements, such as the prominent use of Wurlitzer and Fender Rhodes electric pianos. The packaging featured Polaroid-esque photography by Kurt Markus. Scarlet's Walk would also be released as limited-edition box set with bonus content.

The album was a commercial success, reaching number seven in the US and becoming Amos's fourth top 10 album.[3] It sold 107,000 copies in its first week and reached RIAA Gold status about a month after its release.[4] It spawned the singles "A Sorta Fairytale", "Taxi Ride", and "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas", the former reaching number two on the US adult alternative chart and becoming one of her most popular songs.[3] Considered one of her best and most conceptually elaborate works, it received positive reviews and was supported by the "On Scarlet's Walk" tour throughout 2002-03.


Scarlet's Walk was the follow-up to Amos' previous album Strange Little Girls, which was released in 2001 and fulfilled her contract with Atlantic Records.[5] A primary motivation for Amos' switch from Atlantic to Epic was the presence of Polly Anthony, the president of Epic, whom Amos felt would be committed to properly promoting her work as she had felt that Atlantic had not promoted her recent releases to the proper extent and had felt trapped in her contract due to the label's refusal to sell her to another label. Amos would later experience further frustrations as Anthony stepped down from her position after the release of Scarlet's Walk in 2003.[citation needed]

In addition to cementing her longest-running backing lineup, guitar contributions were also made by David Torn and Robbie McIntosh. It would become Amos' fourth consecutive release to be primarily recorded at her studio, Martian Engineering in Cornwall, England. Production was handled by Amos (as has been the case for all her albums since Boys for Pele), and the album was mixed by her husband Mark Hawley and Marcel van Limbeek.

Music and lyrics

Wurlitzer electric piano
In addition to Amos' trademark Bösendorfer piano, Scarlet's Walk featured extensive use of the Wurlitzer electric piano.

Scarlet's Walk follows the journey of the titular character across America after September 11, 2001, and the songs describe her encounters with various characters and facets of American life after the attacks. At the time, Amos' recent releases experimented heavily with electronic elements, with extensive use of synthesizers in place of her piano on many songs. Scarlet's Walk was a conscious return to a stripped-down sound, with Amos saying in an interview with Keyboard Magazine:

Scarlet came at a time when I had experimented with all forms of keyboards, from harpsichord to synthesizers to sampled things, and each album that I’ve done, I think has taught me something about a different facet of the keyboard world. With Scarlet’s Walk, it wasn’t about sampled sounds. I needed to capture the authenticity of the land, so I used instruments that weren’t a sample of themselves. And I was also trying to tap into that ‘great American road trip’. And the Wurly and the Rhodes lent themselves to that. But we were going for more of that classic songwriting, sonically nostalgic feeling.[6]

Additionally, she looked to 1970s-era albums as references for the songs' overall structures and sound, with Fleetwood Mac's Rumours and Neil Young's Harvest being listed as particularly significant influences.[7]

"Amber Waves", the album's opening track, describes Scarlet's encounter with a porn star of the same name. The name "Amber Waves" is both a reference to a character from the film Boogie Nights, as well as the lyric "amber waves of grain" from "America the Beautiful".[8] The song describes the toll the character's work has taken on her and how her dreams of becoming a successful actress have gone awry ("From ballet class to lap dance and straight to video").[9] On certain occasions, Amos has integrated portions of "America the Beautiful" into "Amber Waves" in live performances. "A Sorta Fairytale", the album's first single, tells the story of the melancholy of Scarlet's experience taking a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway with someone whom she is in a failing relationship with. As Amos described in the "Scarlet's Walk bio", a press release for the album, "They take the big trip in the classic car up the Pacific Coast highway and across the desert. But as they go on, the masks drop away and they discover the fantasy they have of each other isn't who they really are."[9] The Southern boogie-style "Wednesday" contains multiple short movements with varying instrumentation, including sections featuring a full band arrangement and wah-wah guitar, to solo piano-and-vocal sections. Amos described the song as depicting Scarlet's relationship with "a man who harbours secrets", extending the song's meaning to the peoples' trust in the ideals of America and how that trust is broken.[9]

"Strange" is the first of many songs on the album to tackle the unjust treatment of Native Americans in the United States. The Scarlet's Walk bio describes this part of the character's journey as "[taking] her to the sites of some of the last stands of the native American people, including Little Big Horn. From there she journeys on through the Bad Lands."[9] The song was later released as a promotional single. "Carbon" describes Scarlet's meeting with a character sharing the song's name who suffers from bipolar disorder.[10] Skiing imagery is heavily present throughout the lyrics, with references to ski runs such as "bear's claw", "free fall", and "gunner's view"; both carbon and skiing are used as metaphors for the character's desire to partake in self-destructive behaviors ("carbon made only wants to be unmade"). The song experiments with mixed meter, frequently shifting between 6
and 7

The CD's about America—it's a story that's also a journey, that begins in LA and crosses the country, slowly heading east. America's in there, and specific places and things, Native American history and pornography and a girl on a plane who'll never get to New York, and Oliver Stone and Andrew Jackson and madness and a lot more. Not to mention a girl called Scarlet who may be the land and may be a person and may be a trail of blood.[11]

Neil Gaiman, author and friend of Amos

The a cappella "Wampum Prayer" also tackles the subject of the atrocities committed against Native Americans, with Scarlet hearing the voice and song of an old Apache woman, a survivor of a massacre whose site Scarlet has recently visited.[9] The song was used to open each night of the "On Scarlet's Walk" tour. Featuring prominent fretless bass playing from Evans, "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" revolves around Scarlet struggling with a call from her niece who is being mistreated by a man she has committed to a relationship with. As Amos said in "Scarlet Stories", "it's one of those moments where, even if you have a resolve to not go to a place and do something, there's something that pulls at you, especially when you remember somebody as a little girl." The "Timo on Tori" remix of "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" would become a dance hit for Amos after being released (along with other remixes of the song) as the album's third single in 2003. In "Sweet Sangria", Scarlet meets a "revolutionary-type character" fighting American intervention in Central and South America. While Scarlet supports the cause of the revolutionaries, she struggles to commit to violence against either side: "although she believes in the cause, she can't load the gun... It's about what you believe in and how far you're prepared to go."[12][9] In "Your Cloud", Scarlet arrives at a monument mourning Cherokee Native Americans who were killed in the Trail of Tears.[12] The song revolves around the themes of separation:

It's about separating that which you cannot separate, not really. There will be strands, there will be molecules. And taking those people from their land, the land of the ancestors. Taking a child away from its mother. That doesn't mean that there aren't pieces of that child still in that mother just because it's been, you know, delivered from her womb. Because a couple separates doesn't mean that there aren't pieces of him still in her.[12]

"Pancake" criticizes those who use their power to rally people for certain causes without fighting for said causes themselves.[12] The song sees Scarlet encounter a "Messiah figure" who exploits his power and influence: "He doesn't uphold the values which he preaches. He's deaf to the real needs of the people and is becoming drunk on the kind of power which he once denounced."[9] Despite its apparent association with the September 11 attacks, "I Can't See New York" was written months earlier.[13] In the song, Scarlet witnesses a plane crash whilst on a plane herself, and experiences the fear and panic felt by a woman on the crashed plane before her death.[12] "Mrs. Jesus" depicts Scarlet's encounter with a character of the same name; the song tackles the subject of religious fanatisicm and the effects of Christianity on America's history.[12] "Taxi Ride" is a partial homage to the late make-up artist Kevyn Aucoin, a friend of Amos's who died in May 2002, and served as the second single from the album. An on-line contest was held asking fans to direct and submit a music video for the song. Amos said of the song and its connection to Aucoin:

I knew he was in a lot of pain, and he felt betrayed by people who weren't there when he was in need. Then everybody who shows up in his death can give a statement, but they weren't there in the trenches. His death brought up a lot of things in people -- some lovely and some despicable and disgusting. "Taxi" is for Kevyn.[14]

…when I think being around all these women who have all these different kind of… perceptions of each other and, you could say, some of them are intimidated by each other and some of them are envious and some of them... really kind of like the other one, but are afraid of being rejected, so they don't know how to approach them.[12]

–Tori Amos on "Another Girl's Paradise"

Scarlet makes her way into Florida in "Another Girl's Paradise", a song which relates to the different dimensions of relationships between women, and feelings of envy and intimidation. The title track took inspiration from stories told to Amos by her grandfather, who she claims was Cherokee.[9] The song depicts the climax of Scarlet's story, where after meeting other characters during her journey and seeing their path, she has decided on her own.[12] Amos has also stated that the song was written to expose the Indian Removal Act in 1830 and its stealing of Native American land.[15] "Virginia" tackles the hypocrisy of a nation built on notions of freedom denying it to the Native American population.[9] The song personifies America as a young girl, and explores the concept of being able to warn it about the troubles that will come in the future.[12] The song features McIntosh playing a Dobro resonator guitar. In the heavily orchestrated closing track, "Gold Dust", Scarlet has given birth to her daughter and has the experience of having another life depending on her.[9] Additionally, Amos has stated that the song is about "being other people and feeling how they feel", and how one's own personal experiences stick with themselves and create their story (Amos uses the metaphor of a "body map" in the Scarlet Stories commentary).[12] The song was later re-recorded on, and lent its name to, Amos' 2012 album Gold Dust, featuring orchestrated re-recordings of songs from her back catalogue.

Release and promotion

Scarlet's Walk saw release on October 28, 2002 in the UK and was released a day later in the US. Peaking at number seven on the Billboard 200, it became her fourth album to reach the top ten in the US.[3] The album would also reach the top 20 in six additional countries (including a top ten placement in Germany) and be certified Gold by the RIAA for sales in excess of 500,000 copies.[4] In addition to the standard release, a limited edition box set was released with slightly altered cover art, a bonus disc ("Scarlet's DVD", which included content for "Gold Dust", "A Sorta Fairytale", and "Taxi Ride"), and collectibles. Advance copies of the album sent to reviewers were sealed inside Sony Walkman players with glue to prevent Internet trading of the album.[16] Headphones were also glued to the players to prevent listeners from connecting recording devices to them. As another incentive to curb piracy, the physical CD release provided entry to "Scarlet's Web", a website that was the sole source for additional tracks, tour photos, and other content. All tracks included on "Scarlet's Web" (with the exception of "Mountain") would later be included on the Scarlet's Hidden Treasures EP, released as a companion to the 2004 live video Welcome to Sunny Florida. Scarlet Stories, a disc of commentary by Amos about each of the album's songs, was released as part of the "Get Tori as a Gift — Get a Gift From Tori" promotion, being given as a free bonus to those who bought two copies of Scarlet's Walk at indie retailers.

"A Sorta Fairytale" (backed with the non-album track "Operation Peter Pan") was released as the album's first single and reached number two on the US Triple A chart and 14 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 and became one of her biggest radio hits. A music video was made for the song, directed by Sanji. It depicts Amos as a head with a disembodied leg falling in love with a head with a disembodied arm (played by Adrien Brody). After kissing, the video ends with them growing the rest of their body parts, and becoming "whole" from their love. The music video later received its own DVD release, with extras including a "making of" for the video and an interview with Amos. The second single, "Taxi Ride", reached number 20 on the US Triple A chart and number 35 on the Adult Top 40. Remixes of "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" by Timo Maas served as the third and final single from the album. The single (Amos' last commercially available, physical single release to date) reached number six on the US Dance Club Songs chart and number 12 on the Dance Singles Sales chart in the summer of 2003. Finally, "Strange" would receive a promotional single release later that year.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Alternative Press[17]
The Austin Chronicle[19]
Entertainment WeeklyD−[21]
Rolling Stone[23]
Stylus MagazineC+[25]

Scarlet's Walk garnered a positive reception from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 76 based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally positive reviews".[17] PopMatters gave the album a score of 9 out of 10 and referred to it as "As ambitious as anything in recent pop music memory," going on to call it "one of the most invigorating and arresting works of her career." AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine rated the album 4.5 stars out of 5, stating the album "marks a return to the sound and feel of Under the Pink" and called Scarlet's Walk Amos's best album since that release.[18]

In Rolling Stone's "Tori Amos Album Guide", Scarlet's Walk received a rating of 3.5 out of 5, with the magazine calling it "her most carefully crafted and inviting album since Little Earthquakes".[23] Blender gave the album a perfect 5 out of 5 score, calling it "her most fully realized [album] yet" and highlighting the songs' arrangements and imagery.[20]

Track listing

All tracks are written by Tori Amos

1."Amber Waves"3:38
2."A Sorta Fairytale"5:30
7."Wampum Prayer"0:44
8."Don't Make Me Come to Vegas"4:51
9."Sweet Sangria"4:01
10."Your Cloud"4:30
12."I Can't See New York"7:14
13."Mrs. Jesus"3:05
14."Taxi Ride"4:00
15."Another Girl's Paradise"3:34
16."Scarlet's Walk"4:16
18."Gold Dust"5:54
Total length:74:09


  • Tori Amos – Bösendorfer piano, Rhodes electric piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, ARP synthesizer, vocals
  • David Torn – electric guitar (6, 16), acoustic guitar (6)
  • Mac Aladdin – electric guitar (2, 3, 11, 12, 15, 16), acoustic guitar (5)
  • Robbie McIntosh – electric guitar (1, 3, 6, 14), acoustic guitar (2, 3, 14), Dobro (17)
  • Jon Evans – bass guitar
  • Matt Chamberlain – drums, percussion
  • Sinfonia of London – strings
  • John Philip Shenale – string arrangements, chamberlain flutes (13)
  • David Firman – conductor
  • Peter Willison – director of strings (4, 13, 18)
  • Scott Smalley – orchestration


Weekly charts

Original release

Weekly chart performance for Scarlet's Walk
Chart (2002)Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[26]20
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[27]26
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[28]15
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[29]40
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[30]13
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[31]32
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[32]17
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[33]20
French Albums (SNEP)[34]32
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[35]9
Irish Albums (IRMA)[36]24
Italian Albums (FIMI)[37]26
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[38]45
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[39]30
Scottish Albums (OCC)[40]28
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[41]21
UK Albums (OCC)[42]26
US Billboard 200[43]7

Year-end charts

2002 year-end chart performance for Scarlet's Walk
Chart (2002)Position
Canadian Alternative Albums (Nielsen SoundScan)[44]96

2023 vinyl release

Weekly chart performance for 2023 vinyl release of Scarlet's Walk
Chart (2023)Peak
Scottish Albums (OCC)[45]42
US Vinyl Albums (Billboard)[46]10
US Top Album Sales (Billboard)[47]29
UK Vinyl Albums Chart (OCC)[48]21
UK Album Sales Chart (OCC)[49]38


Chart performance for singles from Scarlet's Walk
YearSongPeak positions


Triple A



2002"A Sorta Fairytale"141119*41698
2003"Taxi Ride"3517
"Don't Make Me Come to Vegas" (remix)612
  • Billboard Hot Single Sales chart/ 2003 *


Certifications for Scarlet's Walk
RegionCertificationCertified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[53]Gold618,000[52]

Release history

Release history for Scarlet's Walk
United KingdomOctober 28, 2002
United StatesOctober 29, 2002


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  2. ^ Tori Amos (14 October 2002). "Tori Amos" (Interview). Interviewed by Lynn Parsons. BBC Radio 2.
  3. ^ a b c "Tori Amos Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Tori Amos – Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 22 November 2022.
  5. ^ Amos, Tori; Powers, Ann (2005). Tori Amos: Piece by Piece. Broadway Books. pp. 314–15. ISBN 978-0-7679-1677-6.
  6. ^ Earp, Michael (1 November 2022). "Tori Amos' 'Scarlet's Walk' travels across land and time". PopMatters. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  7. ^ "Tori Amos' musical journey across America". CNN. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 26 November 2022.
  8. ^ Rolling Stone (Germany), Oct 2002
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Amos, Tori (2002). "'Scarlet's Walk' bio" (Press release). Epic Records.
  10. ^ D'Giff, Ian (11 March 2003). "The Journal News - Searching for 'Scarlet' Through Letters". The Dent. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  11. ^ Gardner, Elysa (2002-10-31). "Amos' 'Walk' goes in search of America's soul". USA Today.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Amos, Tori (2002). Scarlet Stories (commentary). Epic Records.
  13. ^ Clark, Rob (18 April 2003). "Travels with Tori". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  14. ^ "Scarlet Fever". Out Magazine. November 2002. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  15. ^ "8 Female Musicians Talk About the Power of Political Songs". Elle. 15 December 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  16. ^ Nelson, Chris (16 September 2002). "MediaTalk; Epic Records Takes Steps To Seal Its Newest Music". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Critic Reviews for Scarlet's Walk". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  18. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2002-10-29). "Scarlet's Walk - Tori Amos | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-10-07.
  19. ^ Melanie Haupt (2002-11-22). "Review: Tori Amos - Music". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  20. ^ a b "Tori Amos : Scarlet's Walk Review on Blender". Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  21. ^ Ken Tucker (2002-11-01). "Scarlet's Walk". Archived from the original on 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  22. ^ "Tori Amos: Scarlet's Walk". PopMatters. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  23. ^ a b "Tori Amos: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  24. ^ Laura Sinagra (2003-07-23). "Tori Amos, 'Scarlet's Walk' (Epic)". SPIN. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  25. ^ "Tori Amos - Scarlet's Walk - Review - Stylus Magazine". Archived from the original on 12 November 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  26. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  27. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  28. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  29. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  30. ^ "Tori Amos Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  31. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  32. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  33. ^ "Tori Amos: Scarlet's Walk" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  34. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  35. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  36. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 44, 2002". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  37. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  38. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  39. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  40. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  41. ^ " – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  42. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  43. ^ "Tori Amos Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  44. ^ "Canada's Top 200 Alternative albums of 2002". Jam!. Archived from the original on December 4, 2003. Retrieved March 26, 2022.
  45. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 17, 2023.
  46. ^ "Tori Amos Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 19, 2023.
  47. ^ "Tori Amos Chart History (Top Album Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
  48. ^ "Official Vinyl Album Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. 15 September 2023. Retrieved 17 September 2023.
  49. ^ "Official Album Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. 15 September 2023. Retrieved 17 September 2023.
  50. ^ a b c d e "Scarlet's Walk - Chart News for the album and singles". The Dent. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  51. ^ "Tori Amos chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
  52. ^ "Ask Billboard". Billboard.
  53. ^ "American album certifications – Tori Amos – Scarlet's Walk". Recording Industry Association of America.


Veröffentlichungen von Tori Amos die im OTRS erhältlich sind/waren:

Live At Montreux 1991 & 1992 ¦ Ocean To Ocean ¦ Scarlet's Walk

Tori Amos auf Wikipedia (oder andere Quellen):

Amos (2017)

Tori Amos [ˈtɔːɹi ˈeɪməs] (* 22. August 1963 in Newton, North Carolina als Myra Ellen Amos) ist eine US-amerikanische Musikerin. Als Singer-Songwriterin wurde sie in den frühen 1990er-Jahren vor allem durch ihre lyrischen und gefühlsbetonten, oft auch kritischen und feministischen Texte bekannt.



Tori Amos wuchs in einem evangelischen Pfarrhaus auf. Sie ist das dritte Kind von Mary Ellen und dem Methodisten-Pfarrer Edison Amos. Ihr Großvater mütterlicherseits ist Teil der indigenen Cherokee. Bereits mit gut zwei Jahren begann Tori Amos Klavier zu spielen. Mit fünf erhielt sie ein Stipendium für das Peabody-Konservatorium für Musik. Dort wurde sie in klassischem Gesang und Klavier ausgebildet und strebte eine Karriere als Konzertpianistin an. Mit elf Jahren brach sie ihre Ausbildung ab und widmete sich der Pop- und Rockmusik der Beatles, von Jimi Hendrix oder Led Zeppelin. Mit 13 Jahren bekam sie ihren ersten Job als Pianistin in einem Club in Georgetown. Die nächsten 13 Jahre spielte sie in verschiedenen Nachtclubs, wobei sie die ersten Jahre von ihrem Vater als Aufpasser begleitet wurde.

Erstes Album

Nach Jahren mit erfolglosen Demo-Bändern beschloss Amos im September 1984 nach Los Angeles zu ziehen, um ihre Karriere zu beschleunigen. 1985 gründete sie gemeinsam mit dem Schlagzeuger Matt Sorum die Gruppe Y Kant Tori Read, die bis 1987 bestand. 1986 erhielt sie einen Plattenvertrag bei Atlantic Records; 1988 erschien ihr erstes Album mit dem Titel Y Kant Tori Read. Die Marktstrategie machte aus ihr eine Rockmusikerin à la Joan Jett oder Pat Benatar, und Präsentation wie Musik hatten wenig mit der späteren Tori Amos gemeinsam. Y Kant Tori Read verkaufte sich 7000 Mal, und das Plattenlabel verlor trotz Vertrag vorerst das Interesse an ihr.

Erste Erfolge: die 1990er-Jahre

Tori Amos (1996)

Amos’ neue, sehr klavierlastige Lieder fanden bei den Labelmanagern zunächst keinen Anklang; man schickte sie nach England, um zu sehen, ob die neuen Lieder beim Publikum eine Chance hätten. Im Dezember 1990 wurde sie von Max Hole von Universal Music Group entdeckt.[1] Im Februar 1991 begann sie in England mit ihren für sie typischen, nur vom Klavier begleiteten Solo-Auftritten. Amos gewann nach und nach ein Publikum, und das East West Records Label begann daraufhin mit der Vermarktung der „authentischen“ Tori Amos. Der Song Me and a Gun, die musikalische Verarbeitung ihrer eigenen Vergewaltigung,[2] eine schlichte A-cappella-Aufnahme ohne jegliche Instrumentalbegleitung, war 1991 die erste Veröffentlichung unter dem Namen Tori Amos und wurde auch ihr erster Chart-Erfolg.

Im selben Jahr folgte die Veröffentlichung von Silent All These Years in Großbritannien. Der zweite Hitparaden-Erfolg brachte Amos in einer großangelegten Werbekampagne zurück in die USA, um 1992 ihr Album Little Earthquakes zu präsentieren. Dieses Album war ein großer Erfolg. Das folgende Album Under the Pink erschien 1994, konnte den kommerziellen Erfolg von Little Earthquakes übertreffen und brachte ihr mit der Auskopplung Cornflake Girl einen Top-Ten-Hit in Großbritannien ein. Dieses Album produzierte sie zusammen mit Eric Rosse in der Wüste von New Mexico, geschrieben wurde es jedoch größtenteils in London. Das Werk reflektierte das Leben der russischen Prinzessin Anastasia, der Schriftstellerin Alice Walker sowie der Künstlerin Georgia O’Keeffe. Zum ersten Mal kam hier der für sie charakteristische Bösendorfer-Flügel zum Einsatz, der ihre Karriere bis heute begleitet. Wie bei dem Vorgänger gab es auch bei diesem Album schwerwiegende Konflikte mit dem Plattenlabel; Amos drohte sogar damit, sämtliche Mastertapes zu vernichten. Grund dafür war, dass die minimalistischen Lieder nicht sonderlich massenkompatibel seien.

Mit dem 1996er-Album Boys for Pele brachte Amos auch Harmonium und Cembalo auf die Bühne. Amos und Rosse trennten sich nach einer siebenjährigen Beziehung; sie waren sowohl Lebenspartner als auch Arbeitskollegen, da Rosse als ihr Co-Produzent fungierte. Aufgenommen wurde das Album in einer Kirche in Delgany in Irland; es hat einen düsteren Klang und sehr kryptisch wirkende Texte.[3] Rechtzeitig für die MTV-Unplugged-Serie arbeitete sie wieder mit dem langjährigen Freund Steve Caton zusammen und trat erstmals als Tori Amos „Plugged“ auf. Der kommerzielle Erfolg von Boys for Pele hielt sich bis auf den House-Remix von Professional Widow in Grenzen. Eine zweite Fehlgeburt ließ Amos 1998 depressiv werden. Musikalisch machte sich das auf dem Album From the Choirgirl Hotel deutlich bemerkbar. Am 22. Februar 1998 heiratete sie ihren Toningenieur Mark Hawley, der seit 1994 für den Ton bei ihren Konzerten verantwortlich ist. Nun trat sie nicht nur mit Band auf (Steve Caton (Gitarre), Jon Evans (Bass), Matt Chamberlain (Schlagzeug)), sondern spielte auch noch Synthesizer und Klavier. Begleitet von aufwendigen Lichteffekten glichen ihre Konzerte nun eher konventionellen Rockkonzerten. Das 1999 erschienene Live-/Studio-Album To Venus and Back zeugt von dieser Zeit.

Seit einem Zerwürfnis 1998 war Amos bestrebt, ihre Plattenfirma Atlantic Records zu verlassen. Ihr erklärter Wille, bei Atlantic keine neuen Stücke zu veröffentlichen, mündete schließlich in dem Konzeptalbum Strange Little Girls. Mit diesem ausschließlich aus Coverversionen bestehenden Album erfüllte sie ihren Vertrag und wechselte zu Epic Records. In Strange Little Girls geht es um Lieder, die von Männern über Frauen geschrieben werden. Amos nimmt dabei die Position der jeweils besungenen Frau ein. Die einzige Single Strange Little Girl wurde aufgrund eines Urheberrechtstreits bezüglich der CD-Hülle wieder vom Markt genommen. Gitarrist Steve Caton wurde bei dieser Studioaufnahme durch den King-Crimson-Gitarristen Adrian Belew ersetzt.

Nach 2000

Amos (2007)

Unter dem Einfluss der Terroranschläge am 11. September 2001 entstand Amos’ Album Scarlet’s Walk. Thematisiert wird die fiktive Person „Scarlet“ und ihre Reise durch die Vereinigten Staaten. Scarlet’s Walk konnte mit A Sorta Fairytale wieder einen Radio-Hit in den Vereinigten Staaten vorweisen. Die Veränderung in Amos’ Leben durch die Geburt ihrer Tochter am 5. September 2000 spiegelt sich auch in ihrer Musik wider. Im Februar 2005 veröffentlichte sie sowohl ihr Album The Beekeeper wie auch ihr erstes Buch Piece by Piece. Am 27. April 2007 erschien mit American Doll Posse ein neues Studioalbum. Auf diesem Album schlüpft Amos in fünf verschiedene Frauenfiguren: Sie singt als „Tori“, als „Isabel“, als „Clyde“, als „Pip“ und als „Santa“. 2008 erschien ein von Tori Amos initiierter Comic-Band, Comic Book Tattoo, Vol. 1. In diesem Buch beschäftigen sich verschiedene Comic-Autoren mit Amos’ Songs. Das Buch besteht aus zahlreichen illustrierten Kurzgeschichten. Tori Amos steuerte ein Vorwort bei.

Im Mai 2009 erschien das Album Abnormally Attracted to Sin. Es behandelt die Definition von „Sünde“ und wie diese oft missbraucht wurde, um Menschen, besonders Frauen, zu unterdrücken. Begleitend zu dem Album erschienen 18 Musikvideos zu den Songs, welche dem Hörer näherbringen sollen, wovon das jeweilige Lied handelt. Am 27. November 2009 wurde Tori Amos’ Weihnachtsalbum mit dem Titel Midwinter Graces veröffentlicht. Dieses soll, so Amos, nicht als klassisches Weihnachtsalbum gesehen werden, da es nicht nur die christliche Mythologie behandelt, sondern versucht, alle religiösen Mythologien mit einzubeziehen.

Am 16. September 2011 erschien Amos’ Album Night of Hunters, diesmal beim Label Deutsche Grammophon. Das Album besteht aus 14 Stücken, deren Melodie sich jeweils an ein klassisches Werk anlehnt. In vier Songs singt Amos im Dialog mit ihrer Tochter, die zum Zeitpunkt der Aufnahmen zehn Jahre alt war. Die Tochter übernahm die Rolle der Göttin Anabelle, die das Album konzeptionell zusammenhält, und ist auch im Booklet sowie im Video zur ersten Auskopplung Nautical Twilight gemeinsam mit ihrer Mutter zu sehen. Amos erklärte, sie sei bei der Arbeit an diesem Album wie eine Architektin vorgegangen: „Manchmal gehe ich die Straße entlang und plötzlich formen sich in meinem Kopf geometrische Strukturen und ich beginne sie zu hören – es hat etwas von akustischer Architektur.“[4] Für dieses Album erhielt sie 2012 den Echo Klassik in der Kategorie Klassik-ohne-Grenzen-Preis.[5]

Zu dem Song Speaking with trees, der sich auf dem Album Ocean to Ocean von 2021 befindet, inspirierte Amos die Lektüre des Sachbuchs Das geheime Leben der Bäume des deutschen Försters und Publizisten Peter Wohlleben, das 2015 ein internationaler Bestseller war.[6] Außerdem reflektierte Amos beim Komponieren des Liedes den Tod ihrer zwei Jahre zuvor verstorbenen Mutter.[7] Auf den Song Metal Water Wood des gleichen Albums brachten sie dagegen die Lebensweisheiten der Kampfsportlegende Bruce Lee.


Amos war 1994 Mitbegründerin von RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), der bis heute einzigen US-weiten kostenlosen Notrufhotline für Vergewaltigungsopfer, insbesondere für Frauen und Kinder.

Sie spielt seit 1993 einen Bösendorfer-Flügel.[8]



JahrTitelHöchstplatzierung, Gesamtwochen, AuszeichnungChartplatzierungenChartplatzierungen[9]
(Jahr, Titel, Plat­zie­rungen, Wo­chen, Aus­zeich­nungen, Anmer­kungen)
1988Y Kant Tori Read
Erstveröffentlichung: Juni 1988
Verkäufe: + 7.000;[10] als Y Kant Tori Read
1992Little EarthquakesDE65
(10 Wo.)DE

(29 Wo.)UK

(38 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 13. Januar 1992
Verkäufe: + 2.250.000
1994Under the PinkDE15
(22 Wo.)DE
(21 Wo.)AT
(20 Wo.)CH

(18 Wo.)UK

(35 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 31. Januar 1994
Verkäufe: + 2.390.000
1996Boys for PeleDE9
(14 Wo.)DE
(13 Wo.)AT
(8 Wo.)CH

(7 Wo.)UK

(29 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 23. Januar 1996
Verkäufe: + 1.185.000
1998From the Choirgirl HotelDE13
(11 Wo.)DE
(8 Wo.)AT
(5 Wo.)CH

(6 Wo.)UK

(20 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 4. Mai 1998
Verkäufe: + 1.150.000
1999To Venus and BackDE11
(5 Wo.)DE
(5 Wo.)AT
(3 Wo.)CH
(3 Wo.)UK

(11 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 21. September 1999
Verkäufe: + 1.000.000
2001Strange Little GirlsDE11
(8 Wo.)DE
(8 Wo.)AT
(6 Wo.)CH
(3 Wo.)UK
(9 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 17. September 2001
2002Scarlet’s WalkDE9
(11 Wo.)DE
(6 Wo.)AT
(14 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK

(22 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 28. Oktober 2002
Verkäufe: + 500.000
2005The BeekeeperDE8
(7 Wo.)DE
(6 Wo.)AT
(5 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
(10 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 20. Februar 2005
2007American Doll PosseDE10
(7 Wo.)DE
(8 Wo.)AT
(5 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
(6 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 1. Mai 2007
2009Abnormally Attracted to SinDE16
(5 Wo.)DE
(4 Wo.)AT
(4 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
(9 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 18. Mai 2009
Verkäufe: + 10.000
Midwinter GracesUK97
(1 Wo.)UK
(2 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 10. November 2009
2011Night of HuntersDE12
(6 Wo.)DE
(6 Wo.)AT
(5 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK
(4 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 16. September 2011
2012Gold DustDE48
(1 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)AT
(1 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 1. Oktober 2012
2014Unrepentant GeraldinesDE15
(3 Wo.)DE
(4 Wo.)AT
(2 Wo.)CH
(2 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 9. Mai 2014
2017Native InvaderDE18
(3 Wo.)DE
(3 Wo.)AT
(2 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 8. September 2017
2021Ocean to OceanDE26
(3 Wo.)DE
(1 Wo.)AT
(2 Wo.)CH
(1 Wo.)UK
(1 Wo.)US
Erstveröffentlichung: 29. Oktober 2021

Soundtracks und Filmmusik

In dem Film Toys wird The Happy Worker von Tori Amos gespielt. Das Stück findet sich auch auf dem Soundtrack wieder.
Für den Film haben Peter Gabriel, George Acogny und Tori Amos den Song This is Party Man geschrieben. Dieser wurde von Peter Gabriel gesungen und abgesehen vom Film-Soundtrack erst im Jahr 2019 auf dem Kompilations-Album Rated PG veröffentlicht.
Neben einer Cover-Version des im Original von R.E.M. stammenden Losing My Religion steuert Amos auch das Stück Butterfly bei.
Der Soundtrack des Katastrophenfilms enthält ihren Song Talula. Das Lied wurde dafür extra neu abgemischt und war nun als Tornado Mix auf den Singles und dem Re-Release von Boys for Pele enthalten.
Der Song Siren von Tori Amos findet sich auf dem Soundtrack des Films Große Erwartungen mit Gwyneth Paltrow und Ethan Hawke.
Der Song Carnival von Tori Amos findet sich auf dem Soundtrack des Films Mission Impossible II.
1.000 Oceans
Dort hat Amos einen Kurzauftritt als Sängerin einer 50er-Jahre-Big Band bei einer Hochzeitsfeier und singt Murder He Says von Jimmy McHugh und Frank Loesser. Für den Soundtrack nahm sie dieses Lied sowie You Belong to Me von Jo Stafford neu auf.
Der Song Northern Lad aus ihrem Album From the Choirgirl Hotel wurde während einer romantischen Szene gespielt. Einen Soundtrack zu diesem Film gab es jedoch nie. Im Abspann wurde sie nicht als Tori Amos, sondern bei ihrem bürgerlichen Namen Myra Ellen Amos genannt.


  • Tori Amos, Ann Powers: Piece by Piece. Broadway Books, New York 2005, ISBN 0-7679-1676-X.
  • Tori Amos, Rantz A. Hoseley: Comic Book Tattoo. Image Comics, Berkeley 2008, ISBN 978-1582409658.
  • Tori Amos, Samuel Adamson: The Light Princess. Faber & Faber, London 2013, ISBN 978-0571309887.
  • Tori Amos: Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage. Atria Book, New York 2020, ISBN 978-1982104153.


Commons: Tori Amos – Sammlung von Bildern


  1. Sören Kittel: Tori Amos: „Die NSA kennt keines meiner Kuchenrezepte“. In: 16. Mai 2014, abgerufen am 7. Oktober 2018.
  2. Tori Amos' Rape Survivor Story | HealthyPlace. Abgerufen am 23. Februar 2023.
  3. Tori Amos - Boys For Pele EPK. Abgerufen am 23. Februar 2023 (deutsch).
  4. R. T. L. Online: Tori Amos im Interview, Teil 2. Abgerufen am 23. Februar 2023.
  5. Homepage Echo Klassik (Memento vom 15. Juli 2012 im Internet Archive)
  6. Album "Ocean To Ocean" von Tori Amos - Herausgeschrieben aus der Krise. Abgerufen am 23. Februar 2023.
  7. Tori Amos im Interview - 3sat-Mediathek. 7. November 2021, abgerufen am 23. Februar 2023.
  8. Tori talks about Bosendorfer. Abgerufen am 16. Mai 2023.
  9. Chartquellen: DE AT CH UK US
  10. Y Kant Tori Read FAQ. 22. April 2009, archiviert vom Original (nicht mehr online verfügbar) am 22. April 2009; abgerufen am 26. März 2022.