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Friday, Oct 5, 2012
The three performances featured below serve as striking evidence that Amos nurtures rather than neglects her songs as they age, each successive performance expanding on the mythology and narrative of the world she’s created.

PopMatters: “Precious Things” has been re-worked so many times over the years and yet it is still so potent. How do you approach that song, so indigenous to Little Earthquakes, some 20 years later?

Tori Amos: It seemed to me that we had to retain the energy that we had in 1992, but we had to infuse this energy in a different way. What orchestras can do with their dynamics is unbelievable, and they can get very powerful, and make you feel as if Russians are coming over the ice in the distance—millions of them. Philly and I were talking and we said, “This has to be Prokovief, no question, and that’s where were we have to take it.” During this process, Philly and I talk every day, and then he goes off in his genius mind and checks back in. Then he makes a demo of it and we discuss it again and if there are changes, there are changes. We thought “Precious Things” had to be included [on Gold Dust] if you are going to talk about 20 years. That song had to come, but it needed a complete wardrobe change. And yet the soul of her had to stay. She had to have her soul and her intensity.

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Monday, Oct 1, 2012
The videos below illustrate the versatility of the song “Cruel”, which first appeared on from the choirgirl hotel (1998).

“‘Cruel’ was always one of the favorite live songs, especially when we were recording…what ended up being the live disc on To Venus and Back,” Jon Evans recently told PopMatters. “It was a real exploration, a kind of super-aggressive take on the song. It started that way in the studio, but it definitely took on a life of its own live. I know I used to break strings all the time on that song, because it was such an epic venting. The studio version is three and a half minutes or so and the live version was generally seven or eight minutes long. We’d have these long, drawn-out sections where she would improvise vocally and we would just try to keep building and building until she cued us. Which is also a really great thing about that, playing with Tori as opposed to so many people who are, say, pop singers, or in the rock world where everything is so scripted, with her there’s always a ton of improvisation. They never turn into hippy jams, but where there’s room to explore, she has always very comfortable doing that and letting things go where they need to go, knowing that we would be paying attention so when there’s a subtle queue we could get back to where we needed to be.”

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