Little Earthquakes

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Little Earthquakes (1992) is the solo debut album of singer/songwriter Tori Amos, featuring the singles "Winter", "China", "Silent All These Years" and "Crucify".



After leaving her home in Baltimore for Los Angeles in 1984, Amos spent three years as a struggling bar-room pianist and lounge act, performing a mix of covers and her own songs.

In 1986, she co-founded the synthpop band Y Kant Tori Read, and was signed to Atlantic Records. The band released an eponymous album in 1988 but it sank without a trace, and the band dissolved. In 1990, Tori came back to Atlantic Records with a 10-track demo tape. The track listing consisted of "Russia" (later to become "Take To The Sky") / "Mary" / "Crucify" / "Happy Phantom" / "Leather" / "Winter" / "Sweet Dreams" / "Song For Eric" / "Learn To Fly"" / Flying Dutchman".[1]

The album was then recorded in three phases. The first batch of tracks ("Crucify", "Silent All These Years", "Winter", "Happy Phantom", "Leather", "Mother", "Sweet Dreams", "Russia/Take To The Sky", "Upside Down" and "Flying Dutchman") were cut at Capitol Records in Los Angeles with Davitt Sigerson producing. After hearing the first group of songs, the record company was unhappy. Tori and her then boyfriend, Eric Rosse, recorded the second group of songs ("Girl", "Precious Things", "Tear In Your Hand" and "Little Earthquakes", plus "Take Me With You", which would not be completed until 2006 and finally released on "A Piano: The Collection"). This phase was recorded on a limited budget, using Eric's old 3M 24-track analog machine and a Yamaha CP-80 piano. They also went outside to Stag Studios to use a Yamaha grand.[2] During these sessions, Tori noted "Girl was being recorded and I couldn't get a take. I was freaking out. Eric was in the booth playing air ball encouraging me to take a ten minute. Glued on the bench, I started this thing coming from nowhere singing nonsense into the mic. When I finished, Eric said, 'It's a take.' I said, 'What?' - he had left the machine running.". This resulting track became the B-side "Thoughts".[3]

These two phases resulted in the original 'final' 13-track version of the album, submitted in January 1991, as revealed in the liner notes for the "A Piano: A Collection" box set. The tracklist is very similar to the released version: "Crucify" / "Girl" / "Silent All These Years" / "Precious Things" / "Winter" / "Sweet Dreams" / "Little Earthquakes" / "Leather" / "Russia" / "Mother" / "Tear In Your Hand" / "Upside Down" / "Flying Dutchman". Of all fourteen tracks recorded, only "Happy Phantom" was omitted at this point but would later appear on the released tracklist.

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