Strange Little Girls is a concept album released by singer-songwriter Tori Amos in 2001. The album's 12 tracks are covers of songs written and originally performed by men, reinterpreted by Amos from a female's point of view. Amos created female personae for each track (one song featured twins) and was photographed as each, with makeup done by Kevyn Aucoin. In the United States the album was issued with four alternative covers depicting Amos as the characters singing "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" (pictured), "Strange Little Girl", "Time" and "Raining Blood". A fifth cover of the "I Don't Like Mondays" character was also issued in the UK and other territories. Text accompanying the photos and songs was written by novelist Neil Gaiman. The complete short stories in which this text appears can be found in Gaiman's 2006 collection Fragile Things.
As with Amos' previous two studio albums, the cover album was recorded at her Cornwall studio. The album received mixed reviews upon its release in September 2001 with critics largely seeing the album as a mixed bag, praising the unlikely re-workings of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" and Slayer's "Raining Blood", while panning the versions of The Beatles' "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". Amos also tackled songs by artists such as Tom Waits, The Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode, and The Stranglers.
The album's greatest attention was garnered from Amos' cover of Eminem's "'97 Bonnie and Clyde", a rap song. The album's cover of "Happiness is a Warm Gun" was translated into a discussion on the right to bear arms, and included sound bites from both George W. Bush and George H. W. Bush, as well as from Amos' own minister father. The album entered the charts at US #4, selling 111,000 copies, making it her third album to debut in the US Top 10, her second-highest debut in terms of sales, and her best position in the US for almost six years.
A planned commercial single, "Strange Little Girl" (The Stranglers), including "After All" (David Bowie) and "Only Women Bleed" (originally by Alice Cooper), was pulled from shelves soon after being shipped to stores in Europe. Despite being recalled from the shelves, limited copies of the single were sold and a promotional video was made.
Additionally, Tori later acknowledged that she had attempted to reinterpret four other songs that she "couldn't find her way into." They were "Fear of a Black Planet" by Public Enemy, "Hoover Factory" by Elvis Costello, "I'm Sick Of You" by Iggy Pop and "Marlene Dietrich's Favorite Poem" by Peter Murphy. These tracks have not been released.
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