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Thread: From the Choirgirl Hotel

  1. #31
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    Listened to it the other day.

    It just sounds amazing. Great production. Like on "Spark," when the background vocals come in for the first time, it attains a new depth and richness, and then we go into the chorus with the piano and back out again - it's fantastically done. I think it still sounds fresh and alive over a decade later. I also think it was a good and quite brave move for her away from the sound/'image' she had prior to this to do something more band-based and different, experimenting with structures and rhythm. I didn't connect with the album the same way as I did others at first, but these days it's certainly up there at/near the top of my list. She's always impressed me as a songwriter and musician, but here she impresses me not just as a songwriter and musician but also a producer, a singer (her vocals are superb throughout), and as someone with a vivid imagination and vision for her work.

  2. #32
    Love the album. My third/fourth favorite, depending on what's fluctuating above, with Pele always on top, of course. After Tori released A Piano and created an extended edition of LE, I made ext. ed.'s of all the albums - minus BfP, which is perfection and which really deserved a Disc 2/sequel of sorts with all of the b-sides.

    Here's mine for this album (though I do think it's perfect as is; this is just to enhance it for me):

    Spark
    Cruel
    Black-Dove (January Girl)
    Raspberry Swirl
    Jackie's Strength
    Iieee
    Liquid Diamonds
    Bachelorette (although I love it, it's best to edit out the laugh at the end of the song for continuity; this actually fits beautifully after the above song and leads nicely into the one below)
    She's Your Cocaine
    Northern Lad
    Hotel
    Purple People(a wonderfully soothing track after the above tempest. Also, the horn at the end of Hotel and throughout this one make them sound perfect together)
    Playboy Mommy
    Pandora's Aquarium
    Merman (in keeping with the water theme, I love ending the track with a lullaby of sorts. I love Pandora as an ending though, so you could have this as sort of a hidden track or coming before PA - either way works really well; even though it's about Matthew Shepard, I also see it as being about a little baby boy, floating above...)

    * I consider the other b-sides that were released during this era to be Pele's. There were recorded during/for that album and have it's distinct organic sound. They don't fit this album sonically or thematically, as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by Fast Horse; 08-18-2010 at 01:39 PM.

  3. #33
    the unhappy worker waitressboy's Avatar
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    Every time that you're talking with somebody and then there's a huge silence, you try to break the ice -again- and you ask something like "If you were in an empty island, which cd would like to have?". And my answer is (and will ever be) Choirgirl. Living in Argentina that's a good way to start a conversation, because everybody will say "WTF?" just cause nobody knows Tori here. Choirgirl has never been released in Argentina, so even if somebody knows a singer called Tori Amos, it's almost impossible that that person has the album.

    It was just destiny.
    I was at my grandma's house and she was taking a nap; I was watching TV on mute so I wasn't going to wake her up, and on MTV they showed the video of Jackie's Strength. I wasn't listening to the song, I was just watching the images, and I wrote down the name of the album. I used to carry a list of cds I wanted to buy; in 1998 there was no internet in my town so my only chance to get some new good music was travelling to Buenos Aires and spend some time at the record stores.
    On my 16th birthday I went to the house of a family friend of mine in Buenos Aires. They didn't have a cd player and for some reason I never knew they didn't let me use the computer. On July 24th, the day before my birthday, I went to visit the place where I used to live when I was born. A couple of blocks from my old house there was a Musimundo, the biggest music store at the time. I bought "Dummy" (Portishead) and then I found this cd with a picture of a woman trapped in a xerox machine. And it was the album of the video with the bride in a taxi that I watched before. I had to buy that.
    I was one week in the house of that family without listening FTCH. I translated every lyric (my english was really bad at that time, and it's IMPOSSIBLE to translate to spanish the lyrics of Choirgirl, so I was doing really crazy interpretations) and had no idea of the music.

    I remember that I went back home, put my headphones, pressed play and when the bridge of Spark started I thought "wow, this is HUGE". When FTCH ended, I knew that it was going to change my life. Well, I don't know about "my life", but it surely changed my interests in music.


    Let's jump to 2002.
    Do you remember Audiogallaxy? Before torrent, rapidshare, imesh, emule, there was that glorious program called Audiogallaxy.
    Well, before SW was released, I found in Audiogallaxy a remix of Raspberry Swirl with the voice of Tori and instead of music there was a choir making the melody. I've asked about this remix in every page, every forum that I've been and it seems like nobody ever listened to it...
    When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.

  4. #34
    ...digital ghost... SonglessRobin's Avatar
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    ^

    Beautiful post! I loved how your approach to Tori was through the visuals / lyrics before the music! That's amazing!

    And, now that you mention it, I DO remember that remix in AG. I tried to download it, but as it never finished I gave up. Silly me!! But it was real, you're not alone in this!

  5. #35
    I'm pretty sure he said "Killdren". Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waitressboy View Post

    Let's jump to 2002.
    Do you remember Audiogallaxy? Before torrent, rapidshare, imesh, emule, there was that glorious program called Audiogallaxy.
    Well, before SW was released, I found in Audiogallaxy a remix of Raspberry Swirl with the voice of Tori and instead of music there was a choir making the melody. I've asked about this remix in every page, every forum that I've been and it seems like nobody ever listened to it...
    I remember Audiogalaxy like it was yesterday. I also remember the RS remix you are talking about. This was an actual "official" remix. It was released in a promo version of RS. The single cover actually had a cartoon-like picture of three men that appeared to be a, well, choir. I don't know where it is, but I am pretty sure I still have it somewhere. Shall look for it.


    Does anybody know what b-sides were recorded after the album was finished? A week before the album was released, Tori said she was going back to studio because she was "behind on her b-sides" so was going to record some for "the next singles". Would be interesting to know...

  6. #36
    Got my eye on you Octopussy's Avatar
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    Holy shit, I remember that Raspberry Swirl remix!! It was awful!!

    And waitressboy, I had the exact same experience, but with Boys for Pele. I was visiting my aunt in Arizona and on one of the last days I was there, I bought Pele in FYE. Being that I only had a cassette walkman, I couldn't listen to it. But I already owned Little Earthquakes so I had a pretty good idea of her sound... or at least, I thought I did. Blood Roses really knocked me on my ass.

    Fast Horse - I also consider Purple People, Bachelorette and Merman to be the only true (original) Choirgirl b-sides. Never Seen Blue and Beulah Land especially have nothing to do with the album at all, although they do sound nice as b-sides to Jackie's Strength.
    Your extended track order is perfect, except Pandora's Aquarium has always been track #1 to me. I used to start the album on Pandora with the "repeat all" feature so it would loop around to Spark. I like easing into the album with a Pele-esque throwback.

  7. #37
    Got my eye on you Octopussy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Does anybody know what b-sides were recorded after the album was finished? A week before the album was released, Tori said she was going back to studio because she was "behind on her b-sides" so was going to record some for "the next singles". Would be interesting to know...
    Walk To Dublin was remixed to be a b-side. Never Seen Blue and Beulah Land are probably the original Pele outtakes. I don't think she actually recorded any new ones, at least, none that were ever released.

  8. #38
    The remix of "Spark" on the "Cruel" single is amazing. Apart from The Dakota Version of "Hey Jupiter", it's pretty much the only official Tori remix I actually like. It really captures the "underwater" feel of the album.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by JIM View Post
    Holy shit, I remember that Raspberry Swirl remix!! It was awful!!

    And waitressboy, I had the exact same experience, but with Boys for Pele. I was visiting my aunt in Arizona and on one of the last days I was there, I bought Pele in FYE. Being that I only had a cassette walkman, I couldn't listen to it. But I already owned Little Earthquakes so I had a pretty good idea of her sound... or at least, I thought I did. Blood Roses really knocked me on my ass.

    Fast Horse - except Pandora's Aquarium has always been track #1 to me. I used to start the album on Pandora with the "repeat all" feature so it would loop around to Spark. I like easing into the album with a Pele-esque throwback.
    I'll have to try this out...

  10. #40
    ForumBound EnjoyJoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waitressboy View Post
    I was one week in the house of that family without listening FTCH. I translated every lyric (my english was really bad at that time, and it's IMPOSSIBLE to translate to spanish the lyrics of Choirgirl, so I was doing really crazy interpretations) and had no idea of the music.
    I've translated much of choirgirl (Unintentionally) It's not impossible, but some double meaning is sometimes lost. I'm a supporter of art in its original language, though I also think is nice for people to be able to experience lyrics without knowing the language.

  11. #41
    Threat level: Bitch in a wheelchair andy's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think Choirgirl was her sparsest recording session next to Venus. I think there are a few drunk session songs (I always imagined Bachelorette was a drunk outtake that she meant to finish but she actually love the recording). The only besides we know of from this time are Purple People, Merman, Bachelorette, Do it Again, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, supposedly Like a Prayer and Love is a Battlefield and then I guess Violet's Eyes was worked up but never completed. I imagine, yes, Never Seen Blue, Beulah Land, Walk to Dublin and Cooling were all recorded during Pele and mixed for Choirgirl. She peobably didn't spend as much time recording because the record was such a great production number and they did a lot of interesting production experiments on that album. Anyway... I'm in love with it, still. Been playing it a LOT recently.

  12. #42
    ^ She also wrote "Snow Cherries" for Choirgirl but didn't record it.

  13. #43
    Choirgirl is only mid range in my album ranking. I've never thought it's Tori's best album. or even second best album. Northern Lad and Pandora's Aquarium are decent songs but not epic-perhaps not even great- by any means. I have never gotten into Pandora's Aquarium. I can't remember the last time I listened to the entire song. There are some definite gems in Black Dove (January) and Hotel, but the album as a whole doesn't surface as legendary.

    Bachelorette is amazing!!! It sounds like a fancy ballroom dance. And I think its Tori's salute to being single, bidding it a fond farwell

  14. #44
    ForumBound EnjoyJoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liquid_running View Post
    ^ She also wrote "Snow Cherries" for Choirgirl but didn't record it.
    And she began Martha's Foolish Ginger but wouldn't finish it until much, much later

  15. #45
    I'm pretty sure he said "Killdren". Stone's Avatar
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    Finally found Tori's interview- here is the quote.

    ...after L.A., we're doing uh, we're in the studio doing b-sides for Britain for the next single. I'm always trying to catch up. I'm behind on my b-sides. So...
    April 30, 1998.

    In the same breath, she talks about Lilith Fair.

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