In the year 1997 I was introduced to Tori Amos. What can I say? 11 years later, several hundred dollars spent on rare EP's, limited editions, LP's, out of print DJ copies of promo items, concerts, etc etc, you could say that I was, and still am to an extent, a rabid Tori fan. My rigorous love for her may have faded over the course of her last three studio albums, but, you will still find me jamming out to 1992's "Little Earthquakes" every now and again, and remembering every emotion and thought I had when I first listened to it 11 years ago.
Live at Montreux brings the old, familiar Tori that we have been pining for since "Scarlet's Walk" dropped back to us. The girl who used to throw on some jeans over a bathing suit and pound away at a piano for a couple hours and tell quirky stories about her church going days, and the value of southern fried chicken. Listening to this performance (which pre-dates the official release of "LE") is very interesting. The songs are still new to Tori, and fresh. There is a quality about them that is still freshman in nature. She is still the girl who told stories between her songs about nothing in particular. The 1992 songs reveal a sharper, more polished version of Tori, but still one that hadn't been jaded by her label, and by legions of critics who would later label her as a "kook".
This CD is also pre Marcel and Mark, so the mighty Bosey sounds completely different. They didn't know how to mic it back then, so it sounds totally different. I, at first, thought there was something wrong with the sound quality of the recording. I was mistaken. There's nothing wrong with it at all, that's how it sounded then.
So, in short, for whatever the future holds for Ms. Amos (her recent split from a major label leads me to wonder what future material will be like), this blast from the past is a reminder of what was - that special moment when you first discovered Tori Amos, and curled up under a blanket, crying to yourself as she sang "China" for the first time to you.
*Edit* After purchasing the DVD, I see why the piano sound quality is so wonky on the 1991 performance. She was playing some odd, plug in 90's version of an electric/acoustic piano. It just sounded weird.