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Thread: Boys for Pele

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Boys for Pele



    TORI AMOS
    BOYS FOR PELE

    (ATLANTIC)
    Released: January 1996
    Chart: UK No.2 / US No.2



    Non-album tracks:
    • Alamo
    • Amazing Grace / Til the Chicken
    • Beulah Land (released 1998)
    • Cooling (released 1998)
    • Fire Eater's Wife (released 2006)
    • Frog On My Toe
    • Graveyard
    • Hungarian Wedding Song
    • London Girls
    • Never Seen Blue (released 1998)
    • Samurai
    • Sister Named Desire
    • That's What I Like, Mick (The Sandwich Song)
    • This Old Man
    • Toodles Mr. Jim
    • Walk to Dublin (Sucker Reprise) (released 2006)


    I wrote this record because I was trying to fill the void any way I could. After nothing worked - men, food, incredible Chardonnay, shoes - there was no anchor to hold on to, the old ways didn't work any more. I realized I'd suppressed a lot of sides to myself to be loved and understood by men. I didn't want to play seductive little girl or ballbuster any more. With this record I played all those roles until I got to my heart. To find your fire as man or woman you have to take your torch and go to the shadows.
    Pele is a volcano goddess in Hawaii, and I fled to Hawaii in the middle of the Under the Pink tour for five days when I was at my lowest, and I couldn't feel any fire within myself. I couldn't feel anything. I came to the north shore in Hawaii, and a friend of mine - we'll call her a medicine woman, a very wise woman - was there. And I felt after the San Francisco, or around those dates, I couldn't feel a sense of when I wasn't behind that piano or with a man in my life. I couldn't find out who the woman was. Some of you may ask me, 'Why did you go to the men in your life?' and the truth is I felt they had an energy force, to a flame, that I couldn't find. When I went to the north shore and I just spent time walking up and down that beach with this medicine woman, I just began to feel the presence of Pele all over the island, even though I know she's not on that island. I just felt this deep little flame start to happen.




    ______




  2. #2
    Always rocks the Cheeto harder. ChasingTornados's Avatar
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    I was waiting for this one

    I'll post something in all the treads (thanks Menju), but I'll start here, telling the ol' tired story again lol

    My BfP memory - the short version: My dad bought it, it was sitting in his cd cabinet for 3 years (I never heard him play it I think) and I just randomly decided to take it out in like 1999. And I basically listened to it every day for weeks. I knew the Pro Widow mix, I was mesmerized by the video back in 1996/7 but I didn't put 2 and 2 together for the longest time that this was the same woman.

    Pele was my only Tori album for the longest time, I had never even considered the fact she might have more albums out haha, basically I was more into hiphop and Aaliyah and stuff. I don't know what I was thinking.

    Ok, so anyway, my cousin played The Beekeeper of all things 6(!) years later when I was staying at her house and I was like 'oh yeah, that's that weird lady with that pig whose album I love' (I know right)

    so that's part of the Tori story for me basically..

    I can't even tell you why I loved it so much back then.. (I was 13 I think?) Probably cause it was different and weird.
    Last edited by ChasingTornados; 06-18-2010 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Math=not my thing

  3. #3
    see a sea anemone devnull's Avatar
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    That's hilarious that you didn't get another album until the Beekeeper. When you discovered the rest of her catalog you must have been stunned! lasdjkfkljsd

    BFP - one of my absolute favorites. However I rarely listen to it all the way through now. It makes me feel a little crazy (as it should, I suppose...). I think it's one of her purest albums, it's expressed without compromise or production gloss or "conceptual" diversion.

  4. #4
    Always rocks the Cheeto harder. ChasingTornados's Avatar
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    I know! She played it and I don't even remember what I thought about it. I was just like 'hmmm you listen to the crazy lady too?' Also, my cousin was like: come with me to the book signing (for PbP).. And I declined... *headdesk*

    yeah, I think I bought the rest of the catalogue in like 3 months lol. I guess I was a quick study

  5. #5
    Senior Member pancakefrompele's Avatar
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    I don't even know where to begin with this album - or Scarlet's Walk for that matter. I did not start listening to Tori until 2000 with the release of Strange Little Girls. I kind of liked that album, so I started purchasing all of Tori's CDs, the second of which was Under the Pink. Well, in October 2001 my mother died, and I had just purchased Boys for Pele. I don't think I had even listened to it until after she died. Oh my God! The raw emotion of that music helped me, in so many ways, deal with grieving the loss of my mother. I was eighteen, so I really don't think i knew exactly "how" to feel.

    Got me some horses to ride on, to ride on
    The say that your demons can't go there
    Got me some horses to ride on, to ride on
    As long as your army keeps perfectly still

    And maybe I'll find me a sailor, a tailor
    And maybe together we'll make mother well
    So I got me some horses to ride on, to ride on
    As long as your army keeps perfectly still...
    That song seriously became my lullaby for a very long time. I am honestly and eternally grateful to Tori for that album. I have no idea who I would have become if I hadn't had her music as my outlet. Seriously, one of the hardest times in my life...
    Scarlet's Walk was released in October, 2002 around the anniversary of mom's death... good story, but this is not the thread for that album.
    Last edited by pancakefrompele; 06-18-2010 at 06:28 PM.

  6. #6
    come out and level up Waylon's Avatar
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    Boys for Pele is my favorite album by anyone, ever.

    I feel like we're so lucky to have been given such a pure piece of expression. Every raw detail - every breath, every voice crack, every little sound of the pedal being released on her piano - is there and I've listened to it so many times that I have it memorized and would never change a thing.

    I was introduced to this album by my best friend at the time, who was a huge Tori Amos fan and this was his favorite album. Another Tori fan friend gave me a cassette copy of Under the Pink...these were both around the same time I think. I remember each of them speaking to me in a very different way, but they both quickly had me obsessed and constantly looking for rare Tori singles at Borders. =)

    To me, this album is imperfectly perfect. Y'know?

  7. #7
    I love this album. It's my third favorite, after Scarlet's Walk and choirgirl.

    I remember riding in the car after I just bought this album and Blood Roses came on. WOW! I didn't know anyone made music like that!

    This album has some of my absolute favorite songs: Roses, Horses, Widow, Lucifer, Talula, Doughnut, Voodoo (my favorite from this album), Baron, Amsterdam, etc. I love the southern feel of the album, especially on songs like Talula, Voodoo and Amsterdam.

    Nothing but love for this one.

  8. #8
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    I got this record when I was 15, I think. It was my first Tori record and oh man, did I love it. I'm stilling finding new things to love in this record all the time.

  9. #9
    My favorite Tori album ever. There is so much to love about this record, there are so many things I still find in songs I never heard before. I love everything about this record and even today it still does not bore me one minute. I love the artwork a lot too, love the little accidents that happened while recording, that still made it to the album.
    I got this album for my birthday and I had just discovered Tori and owned both LE and UTP. I was shocked when I first heard the album. But I decided to give it a few tries and fell in love with it quickly and that love never died. Horses, Doughnut Song, Caught A Lite Sneeze, Voodoo, Muhammad My Friend...so many songs on this album that are my favorite.

    I may not be into Tori that much anymore these days. But this album I can still listen to and just love.

  10. #10
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    I think Tori was the coolest at this point. How interesting that it was a "location record," recorded in Ireland and the American south. I remember that the BFP EPK was played on PBS - I only caught a glimpse of it - and how incredibly interesting and creative this woman was/is. The first three albums DO live up to the way Tori described them: LE - a journal, UTP - an impressionistic painting, and BFP - a novel. So much density. Like winterscarol said, you can unearth new things every time. (Just recently I caught how Tori is singing "say a word to the hangman for me my babe" in "Little Amsterdam." And it just struck me how cool that lyric is and how great it sounds. I was a little intimidated by the album at first - the melodys were denser, harder to unlock. (as compared to LE and UTP). Anyway it's a really great album. She conjured rare atmoshpheres on this one.

  11. #11
    Vilest of the vile Homogenik's Avatar
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    I was already a fan from listening to LE and UTP in 1994 and 1995 like crazy, so when Pele came out, I was all over the thing. I remember buying the CALS single the day it came out and just listening to that over and over. I was already and Tori singles hound. The bsides did disappoint me a little I remember. They are silly filler songs after all. I don't remember my reaction to the album though, but it's always been my favourite and I still play it regularly. Can't believe at all it's been 14 years of listening to those songs. I was 16 at the time.

  12. #12
    It's gotta be here somewhere molotovcocktease's Avatar
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    First full album of hers that I bought. I can still listen to Pele from start to finish and not skip one song. It's still my favorite album to this day and i still play it on a fairly regular basis. I was 16 when this album came out, none of my friends had even heard of her, and didn't get my attraction to the music. I still can pick a fovorite of the album, the album itself is 'the favorite'.

  13. #13
    Loves ponies. Hates phonies. Regina Phalange's Avatar
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    Pele was the first album that came out after I was hooked as a fan. The anticipation of it was crazy. I was on rmt-a then and it's so funny being here now, as things are so different and yet the same.

    CALS was the first cd I bought. I didn't even have a cd player, lol. I used to have to borrow my sister's diskman or play it on my computer. I remember recording a snippet of the drums from the beginning of the song and changing the windows start up noises to it. So for a couple years, every time someone turned it on, a little bit of CALS would waft through the house.

    I hadn't really seen Tori live before this so watching the promotion for the album was intense. And looking back now at the recordings that exist, it wasn't just because I was unfamiliar with her live: they really were intense even now.

    I bought it the day it came out (on cassette. hee hee) and was on a car trip alone and I listened to it over and over and over for hours. It was so moving. I used to later just go for long drives and listen to it. LE introduced me to Tori and truly changed my life, but pele was pretty big in my life too. Hey Jupiter is probably my favorite all-time Tori song. Its earliest live performances are heart-breaking.

    I too love the chunks of the pedal. I never heard the cars and train that are supposedly on it. I think this album is perfect because it's imperfect, like the lyrics being sung don't match up to the ones in the liner. This album is about emotion and that comes through.

    I saw her for the first time on this tour (no one would go with me in 94) and was so amazed. And yes, there were people with fairy wings on.

    I had to buy this a second time on cd. I wasn't even thinking and bought a used copy. Later, i was like "oh crap! what version did I get?" Thankfully, it was the original one, with glitter girl talula and regular Prof Widow. I think that was a horrible, horrible idea to do, to change the album's lineup. That's NOT what pele is. Of all the stupid things done by her people over the years (and we will fill pages of this new forum with complaining about those things), changing Pele was unforgivable. Even if Pele sucked, you can't erase what it is.

  14. #14
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    The thing about Pele that I remember is just how exciting it was. And a sense of sort of...I don't know...pastoral intrique. This is random, but in a way like Jack Kerouac's writing. By which I mean - making something out of nothing. Kerouac and Co. had little adventures stomping across America, the American south, etc. And Pele has that roaming, free-wheeling energy for me. Like I said in my earlier post - it was a location record. A gas station that you pass every day on your way to work suddenly has mythical possibilities surrounding it. I know that sounds comical but I'm serious. If you don't like in a big city, and you are surrounding by the rustic to semi-rustic, there's a sense of infusing it with something. Creating little myths out of the mundane or old. Bloodlines, like Tori talked about with the piano and harpsichord. Or watching something as banal as Charlie Brown on tv and the Red Baron, but mutating it into this other, otherworldly thing. I can't articulate it but there was just something so magical about what Tori was doing at that time. A lot of Tom Waits work does something similar. That Gothic American South and how fractured and weird and beautiful and scary it is. Like a Sam Sheperd play, but of course in a feminine mode.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet View Post

    I had to buy this a second time on cd. I wasn't even thinking and bought a used copy. Later, i was like "oh crap! what version did I get?" Thankfully, it was the original one, with glitter girl talula and regular Prof Widow. I think that was a horrible, horrible idea to do, to change the album's lineup. That's NOT what pele is. Of all the stupid things done by her people over the years (and we will fill pages of this new forum with complaining about those things), changing Pele was unforgivable. Even if Pele sucked, you can't erase what it is.
    Ah, yes, true! I still don't get why other versions emerged with no Voodoo on it. Seriously?

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