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A Piano: the Collection Box set, Best of

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 3 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Best of
  • Label: Rhino-Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000GIWS5Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,289 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Leather (Alternate mix)
2. Precious Things (Alternate mix)
3. Silent All These Years
4. Upside Down
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Cornflake Girl
2. Honey
3. Take Me With You
4. Baker Baker (Alternate mix)
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Walk To Dublin (Sucker Reprise)
2. Hey Jupiter (Dakota Version)
3. Professional Widow (Armand's Star Trunk Funkin' mix)
4. Putting The Damage On
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. A Sorta Fairytale
2. Not David Bowie
3. Amber Waves
4. IIEEE (Remix)
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. The Pool
2. Never Seen Blue
3. Daisy Dead Petals
4. Beulah Land
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Out of print in the U.S.! 2006 five CD box. The unique and uncompromising artistry of Tori Amos, one of the defining stars of '90s music, laid the groundwork for the female singer/songwriter phenomenon that exploded midway through that decade. Her stunning 1992 debut Little Earthquakes introduced her haunting and emotive voice and captivating lyrical storytelling with an intensity and honesty that was breathtaking. Amos also masterfully brought piano back to the forefront of cutting-edge Pop/Rock, and over the course of her creatively daring career became one of the most influential artists of her time. Intimate, confessional, poetic, and defiantly independent, Amos' songs touch on self, family, religion, femininity, pain, and love with a searching spirit that translates powerfully into songcraft. This momentous box, spans the depth and breadth of her extraordinary repertoire, spotlighting both album versions and a sprawling tapestry of rarities. Rhino.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If there is ever a contest to determine the oddest career in showbusiness, then Tori Amos would at least get a nomination. She is a cult figure on an international level, and yet her music has definitely never been conditionned by the current trends. She hasn't had a top 40 single in North America, and yet most of her albums have entered the charts in the top 10. She earned her place in the spotlight with her debut "Little Earthquakes" - an introspective, piano-driven, feminist masterpiece - at a time where rap and grunge were all over the place. Her lyrics are often cryptic and poetic, and yet her fans respond to those lyrics in an highly emotional manner, saying that they strongly identify with her songwriting. And in spite of all of this - or perhaps because of all of this - she is still around today, while remaining a creatively and commercially viable artist.

"A piano", the five-disc retrospective presented here, is extremely representative of Tori's career, if only because it chronicles both the progression of her art, and the extreme unpredictability that is characteristic of Tori. The track listing consists mostly of key album tracks, singles, demos, rarities, B-Sides and live tracks; with over 80 tracks, it's a more than generous serving. It beautifully demonstrates how Tori Amos, once she established herself as some complex musician and artist, fearlessly toyed with what was expected of her; while the instrument that lends its name to the boxed set remained at the core of her music, subsequent albums pushed her creativity to spheres one might not have expected from her.

Boxed-sets are usually a tricky business; they are obviously aimed at die-hard fans, who are always (myself included) the most difficult customers to please.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are a fan of Tori Amos this set is essential. All the hits but also the obscure songs that are only played live are included. The booklet is terrific full of information and pictures. had the collection and shipped it to me within days in perfect mint condition. It has taken me months to find this collection in Canadian stores and even the distribution company did not have it in stock. I was worried that I might get some used wrong discs but I was very excited to recieve what I paid for.A Piano: The Collection
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Format: Audio CD
This woman's voice and music are amazing. Every song on this cd is pure pleasure to listen to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c5f6390) out of 5 stars 66 reviews
107 of 112 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c60fdd4) out of 5 stars Totally Tori. Sept. 26 2006
By Invisiboy2001 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This CD boxed set is a real treat. Sooooooo many remarkable Tori Amos recordings in one place! Most of the hits are here (Where is "Talula"?) -- as well as a wealth of hard-to-find b-sides, 10 previously unreleased tracks and alternate takes of familiar Tori gems.

And wait until you hear the re-sequenced, expanded edition of Tori's solo debut "Little Earthquakes"! It's like hearing the album for the first time. The reconditioned sound is top-notch! And the four added-back-in outtakes are tremendous. I love it, love it, love it!

However ...

1. No covers? Tori wrote all these songs, with the exception of two traditional numbers. At the very least, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" should have been included. Tori does an amazing version of that song, one that Kurt Cobain himself loved. And it was heavily played on alternative radio back in 1992.

2. We get the re-recorded version of "Mary". Um, why? The original version is much, MUCH better and is EXTREMELY hard to get ahold of on CD. Besides, fans already have this new, sanitized version on "Tales From a Librarian," where it was an A-side (and promoted as a single), from 2003. Also, why in the world is the newer "Mary" on the "Bonus B-sides" disc? It was on an album, so calling it a b-side is inaccurate.

3. "Purple People" isn't noted as such in the liner notes, but it is an alternate version. Not as inviting as the other version, but still a tasty morsel. "Beauty Queen/Horses" is also an uncredited alternate mix that contains slight electronic vibe under the track, which was not on the original "Boys for Pele" version.

4. We get two versions of "Professional Widow," but neither remotely resembles the album version, either musically or lyrically. Kind of a disappointment, because the original album track most effectively relays the song's story.

5. I was bummed that "Humpty Dumpty" was not included. I think that is one of Tori's best b-sides. Such an mean-spirited little ditty; I love it!

That's it. All the "flaws" (for lack of a better word) I could find.

This collection is DELICIOUS. If you are a Tori fan, this is essential to your collection.

Thank you, Tori, for 15 years of soul-searching and -searing music.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c60fe28) out of 5 stars Very Strong Collection Oct. 5 2006
By Brandon J. Smith - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The basic criticism of this collection is that it includes too few b-sides and non-album tracks (certain key songs like "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the original version of "Mary" are omitted), and too many album tracks are (most people who would buy this collection more than likely already own not only the original albums, but the "Tales of a Librarian" collection as well). As a career-spanning collection, there are pros and cons to having as many album tracks as there are here. Mainly, it can be frustrating to shell out for the same songs over and over again just to get the previously unreleased songs.

On the other hand, to have a collection of only b-sides, demos, and live recordings would be to take many of these songs out of context. Particularly on the first disc, "Little Earthquakes Expanded," we have the classic breakthrough album presented in its entirety, with added songs not tacked on at the end, as reissues typically do, but placed strategically within the album. For me, it improves the album greatly, my one problem with the album being its relentless intensity. The added tracks serve to vary the pacing of the album, making it more listenable even as they lengthen the playing time.

Regardless of previous hits collections, putting all of these songs together in almost-chronological order ("Venus" songs appear before "choirgirl" songs, for some reason, and some b-sides are scattered a bit) is a tour-de-force presentation of a restless, wonderfully diverse artist. Though Tori Amos has a very distinctive sound, being able to listen to her career over the course of 80+ tracks reveals a lot about how she changed over the years, which elements of her music she chose to change, and which elements she always retains.

As can be expected, most people will wonder why a few songs weren't included (for me: She's Your Cocaine, Raspberry Swirl, and Taxi Ride), but it's easy enough to mix those in yourself if you keep music on your computer or mp3 player. And, for the most part, they got it right (for all the songs included, there is only one groaner, the live version of Professional Widow on the second disc.)

The sequencing is mostly well done, and the package is very nice. The cds each have their own individual cases, so they're protected. The book is informative and entertaining, containing Tori's trademark eccentric comments about her own work, as well as some rather interesting discussions about how her songs and different sounds came about.

This likely will not be the last Tori collection to come into existence, so hopefully a few years down the road we'll see more of a straight-up gathering of b-sides and hard-to-find tracks. For now, though, I think this is an outstanding collection, ranking for me alongside Tom Petty's "Playback" as being as good a box set as one could hope for. It should be interesting to see in which direction Tori will choose to go next.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c614120) out of 5 stars A simple Rare and Unreleased package would have sufficed Oct. 26 2006
By The Wedge - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Most of what I feel has already been said in other reviews so I will simply recap.

1. No Covers. Where is Smells Like Teen Spirit, Angie, Thank you, Do It Again etc?

2. Just the rare and unreleased please. I own all the Tori albums and don't really need a recap (Though Tori points out that disc one is they way Little Earthquakes might have been, so that is kind of cool)

3. I have never liked the Digi pak, I like the jewel box. Digi paks wear out and are hard to deal with.

4. Now I have to find a place to store this obnoxious box. Sorry Tori or whoever designed it but I just want the music and the liner notes, I don't need another box to hide away somewhere.

WIth that said, this is a great box to give someone who wants some Tori and has none. It covers many of her best songs and her comments in the book are interesting and insightful.

I also recommend more men to give Tori a listen. As one of her male fans I like to compare her to music legends like Kate Bush.

Obviously die hard fans will have to own this one and nothing I say will change that.

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c614648) out of 5 stars Finally, a Tori box set! Sept. 28 2006
By N. Spence - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Being a rather rabid Toriphile, there was no question of whether or not I was going to purchase A Piano. Upon first glance the box set is really quite stunning. The piano shaped packaging is beautiful and perfect for a Tori box set. The included book is also gorgeous and full of interesting information and pictures, including some drawings done by Tori. Each disc is housed in it's own beautiful digipack that rests inside a faux velvet-like tray. My only complaint the with packaging is with the book. There were few very minor errors with some of the information, but what I was most disappointed with was the lack of a true "track-by-track" commentary of the included songs that I thought was going to be there. Instead, Tori comments on selected songs. Regardless, the commentary that is included is insightful and interesting.

As for the music itself, there is quite a lot to take in. But when it comes to Tori's music, I believe the more the better. And it really is about time that a true box set chronicled her career. However, some fans may find themselves disappointed with this collection as it does not offer much in the way of new/rare material, particularly if you collect Tori's singles and already have many of the b-sides. Also, the "alternate mixes" are not strikingly different from the album versions. With some of the alternate mixes I could hear the differences with the first listen. With many of them I am still struggling to find any difference. Even with the ones I did notice, the differences were fairly subtle.

Disc A: I am enjoying being able to hear the expanded version of Little Earthquakes that is more akin to how Tori originally envisioned it. I like that Tori decided to only use alternate mixes that were done in the Little Earthquakes era, rather than remixing as was done for Tales of a Librarian. But again, the alternate mixes are subtle in their differences.

Disc B: This disc focuses on Under The Pink and Boys For Pele era songs. I don't know what process of selection Tori went through when choosing songs to be included in this collection, but I find it strange that "Icicle" did not make the cut as I consider it to be one of the standout tracks on UTP. Conversely, I was surprised by some of the tracks that were included. "Take Me With You" is also a wonderful song that I am happy has now found a home. As for the BFP material, my comments are the same. I don't understand why some tracks, such as "Talula", were left off and why others were included. I don't mind the substitution of the Merry Widow version of "Professional Widow" for the album version, as I enjoy both.

Disc C: This disc wraps up the material from BFP and covers the material from To Venus And Back and Tales Of A Librarian. I am confused as to why there is another version of "Professional Widow" here (Armand's Star Trunk Funkin' Mix). This version of the song, to me, always seems out of place among Tori's other works. The unreleased song, "Walk to Dublin," is also a new gem that I greatly enjoy. The TVAB material was a surprise to me as I thought that Tori left off some of the best tracks from that album, "Juarez" and "Josephine" in particular, but included what I consider to be some of the weakest tracks. However, I was glad that the live version of "Sugar" and "Waitress" were included because of how much different (and better) they are from their studio counterparts.

Disc D: This disc covers material from Scarlet's Walk, The Beekeeper, and From The Choirgirl Hotel. I think this disc is really where the collection starts to falter. I was disappointed with how little material from Choirgirl was included in comparison to LE, UTP, BFP, and TVAB. It escapes me why songs like "Northern Lad" or "Pandora's Aquarium" or "Raspberry Swirl" were not included as well. Also, why only two songs from SW are here is puzzling. TBK also got similarly ignored with only three tracks making the cut. Among the tracks are newly remixed versions of "iieee" and "Cruel". Honestly, I prefer the album versions of both songs. "iieee" here sounds disjointed and choppy. While the remix of "Cruel" here feels like it's lost it's emotional intensity. There are also four unreleased songs on this disc. "Ode To My Clothes" is a funny song and I am glad that the booklet explains the story behind it, otherwise I doubt I would care much for it. "Zero Point" is a great song that I am amazed she set aside in favor of "Datura" on TVAB. "Dolphin Song" grabbed me instantly and I enjoy it immensely. "Not David Bowie" on the other hand, is the only unreleased song on the collection that I am not yet impressed with.

Disc E: This disc focuses on b-sides throughout Tori's career. Once again, I feel that this disc really faltered. With such an amazing catalogue of b-sides, I am a bit curious as to why Tori included songs like "This Old Man", "Hungarian Wedding Song", "Toodles Mr. Jim", etc. over songs like "Ode to the Banana King", "Siren", "Alamo", etc. The demos were interesting to hear, but with the exception of "The Fire Eater's Wife," I doubt I'll listen to them often. I would've rather had more b-sides or unreleased songs in place of them. The last unreleased song, "Peeping Tommi", is a great addition to the collection.

All in all, I greatly enjoy A Piano. However, there seem to be glaring omissions in what is supposed to be a retrospective of her solo career up to this point. Personally, I don't feel that FTCH was adequately represented considering that it was the album when Tori began experimenting with electronic music. Also, Tori's most recent studio albums, Scarlet's Walk and The Beekeeper, barely got a mention in this collection. Also missing from this box set, but perhaps not missed by many fans, are any selections from Tori's 2001 covers album, Strange Little Girls. Unfortunately, trying to capture Tori's incredible career in a 5 disc boxset is a near impossible task. I think this collection would've benefited from at least one more disc and a slightly modified track listing.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c614660) out of 5 stars (Almost) all things Tori you'd ever want Oct. 14 2006
By Paul Allaer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
After years of whispers, promises and delays, finally here comes the Tori Amos box set, and what a delight it is for Tori fans.

"A Piano: The Collection" (5 CDs, 86 tracks, 383 min.) brings an overview of Tori's best work, plus a wealth of rare, live, demos and previously unreleased tracks. When you get so much music (6 1/2 hours in total), it takes a while to digest it all, reason I only now post my review (I bought this box set the day it came out). The most enjoyable CD for me personally is Disc C ("Pele, Venus and Tales"), which brims with energy from start to finish (I admit that "To Venus and Back" is my favorite Tori album). Disc A is rightly devoted solely to Tori's incredible debut album, here titled "Little Earthquakes extended". It includes 4 B-sides from the singles of that album. Disc E ("Bonus B-Sides") brings just that: a wealth of B-sides, demos and other rarities (check out for example the excellent "Merman", previously only available as an internet download in 1999). And so on...

The packaging of this box set is outstanding. The set comes with a 60 page book, providing lines notes and album and track commentary by Tori herself. The folks at Rhino did their usual job of delivering a top notch product. After the disappointing "Tales from a Librarian" compilation in 2003, this 5CD box sets the record straight, and brings us almost all we'd ever want. Almost? yes indeed, despite the wealth of 86 tracks on this set, the box could have easily added a 6th CD with a collection of Tori's cover songs, of which she has done so many and so well over the years. Maybe there is another compilation on just that still waiting to be made someday. Meanwhile, enjoy this box set! Highly recommended.