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A song that could benefit from a backing track and Amos’ patented brand of playing the Bosendorfer with her right hand and a Rhodes keyboard with the left. With her cover of David Bowie‘s “After All” on Strange Little Girls and the occasional glam influence of the Thin White Duke found on songs like From the Choirgirl Hotel‘s “She’s Your Cocaine”, it feels like the time is right for her to possibly explore yet another Bowie classic, this time one with a piano-heavy specificity that fits, pun-intended, hand in hand with the Amos oeuvre.
One of Amos’ only true peers in terms of creativity, skill and raw talent, it is almost shocking that she has never covered one of PJ Harvey‘s tunes. Given her professed admiration for songs like “Beautiful Feeling”, acknowledgement of Harvey’s talent and career, a cover seems almost imminent, particularly since Amos has covered contemporaries such as Radiohead (“Karma Police”) and Bjork (“Hyperballad”, of which there is no known recording). Harvey must certainly be on Amos’ covers radar.
Why this cover has not happened yet is a mystery given the lyric’s affinity for shattered glass and broken hearts, both Amos staples. Also, with her predilection for the new wave hits of the 1980s such as A Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran”, Blondie’s “The Tide Is High” and Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” with specially-constructed backing tracks and two Eurythmics covers so far (“Sweet Dreams” and “Here Comes the Rain Again”) it is a safe bet US audiences will be getting some kind of synth-heavy pop from this glittery decade. Not to mention, Amos famously sung about the “Me” decade on her 1999 album To Venus and Back with “Glory of the 80s” and recently covered Berlin’s other mega-hit “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun, beautifully.
After recently composing a successful musical, The Light Princess, and firmly immersing herself in this milieu, we’re willing to bet Amos has her finger tuned to the pulse of contemporary musical theater. Given the phenomenal success of the current Broadway revival of John Cameron Mitchell’s transgender punk rock passion play starring Neil Patrick Harris, this romantic song feels like a natural choice to cover when Amos plays a two-night stand in New York City August 12 and 13. A simple, gorgeously-written myth that would thematically stacked up against the glam pop of American Doll Posse, wigs and all! Obviously “Origin of Love”, “Sugar Daddy” or “Wig in a Box” are all perfectly acceptable substitutes, but “Wicked Little Town” is the song from Hedwig’s repertoire that feels most in line with Amos’.
There is a side of Amos that fans gleefully like to refer to as “Demon Tori”. This side can be seen in performances of songs like “Blood Roses” and “Cruel” and would eventually be manifested in the character of “Pip” during the American Doll Posse era. This song by Iggy and the Stooges perfectly suits this harder-edged rock and roll aspects of Tori’s musical persona, so much so it was rumored to have been considered for inclusion on her 2001 covers album Strange Little Girls, while the track “Heart of Gold”, an interpretation of Neil Young‘s classic, instead showcases a striking Stooges influence. Amos told us earlier this year that her daughter’s instructions to her, regarding this tour, were to “get out there and rock” and there is nothing more “rock” than Iggy and the Stooges.
// Moving Pixels
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