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Boys for Pele

4.3 out of 5 stars 290 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 24 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: East-West America
  • ASIN: B000002J88
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 290 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,857 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Horses
2. Blood roses
3. Father Lucifer
4. Professional Widow
5. Mr Zebra
6. Marianne
7. Caught a lite sneeze
8. Muhammad my friend
9. Hey Jupiter
10. Way down
11. Little Amsterdam
12. Talula
13. Not the Red Baron
14. Agent Orange
15. Doughnut song
16. In the springtime of his voodoo
17. Putting the damage on
18. Twinkle

Product Description

Product Description

Soulful R&B vocals, ripping solos, funky low-end, and real hip-hop are phrases that describe Vicious Groove's freshman effort, Vicious Nation.


Boys for Pele, the title of Tori Amos's epic third album, is as awkward and confusing as the music inside. Though it sounds like a recruitment slogan for Little League soccer, the name actually refers to the lost temples of feminine divinity. Pele, you see, is the Hawaiian volcano goddess; the boys, well, they're the sacrifices that quell the rumbling lady's rage. Attempting to regain fires stolen long ago, Pele rewrites the crucifixion to star a girl Jesus and in doing so conjures a forgotten matriarchal mythology. While Amos's characters--Jupiter, Muhammad, Lucifer--are male by name, the aural landscape into which they're thrown is as symbolically and expressionistically female as Georgia O'Keeffe's skull-and-roses paintings. Pele is a complex and formless--and often impenetrable--work of gothic-pop chamber music, both beautiful and ghostly in its nearly complete reliance on Amos's rolling Bosendorfer grand piano, chilling harpsichord (which she bangs like a courtly punk rocker), and acrobatic voice (as earthy as Joni Mitchell's and as otherworldly as Bjork's). Unfortunately, she takes us only halfway: her songs engage and challenge us to understand, but the imagery offers few clues to help us crack their frustrating opacity. Pele ends up as much a pretentious and self-indulgent trip as it is a synthesis of talent, imagination, and skewed vision. Still, there's reason to celebrate that an album as formalistically and thematically alien to pop audiences as Pele would win such quick success upon its original release. --Roni Sarig

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I am a diehard Tori fan....and I think this CD was one of the 1st Tori CD's that I had purchased. I loved how original she was as an artist & the intelligence in her writing ability. As mysterious as the lyrics is the way in which she chooses to deliver the notes vocally & instrumentally. Her music is absolutely for those with more than the average IQ out there...at least if your listening closely.

1.Horses: I just love her voice in this song...she has that real breathy quality to the tone in her voice that is so addicting to listen to. Her music sways as if your sitting on a swing in the playground and you just can't stop. I love the piano composition...it has a twinkling sound to it.

2.Blood Roses: Love the harpsichord in this song at the intro & throughout the track. Now hear's an instrument that you don't hear in songs much & yet it adds such a dynamic to the song. The lyrics are just so raw & driven and this song you can so appreciate her classical training.

3.Father Lucifer: Interesting lyrics & concept for this track.....one which has to be individually interpretted. Love the high notes she uses in her vocal delivery for this song.

4.Marianne: This is my 2nd favorite song on this song. I just think it is so well written, sung & the instrumentation arrangement is just glorious! It is a haunting piece of storytelling and her voice how she uses these whispers of inflection in her voice that draw you in......then the piano work which cascades like a waterfall to hold your attention. Just brilliant execution!

5.Caught A Lite Sneeze: I love this song...one of her rockier songs. I love the beats & use of the harp in this song...sounds so great I could listen to this song as just an instrumental even it's so great.
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Format: Audio CD
...as "Boys For Pele" IS very possibly Amos's masterpiece . Every song on it is instrumentally brilliant and lyrically ambiguous. The music's directness comes from its raw (though beautifully disciplined) emotions; from exquisite ballads like "Doughnut Song" "Marianne" "Twinkle" and "Putting The Damage On;" from the strange channeled mystery of "Not The Red Baron"...a song which, if one did not know better (and perhaps we don't) could almost be said to have portended 9/11. The truth is that Amos, as a genius, is probably not even aware of the meaning of 80% of her songs herself. They choose her as their spokeswoman; but it is not her job to interpret their message; only to record her own reactions to it whilst telling it. There is funk here, and heartbreak; there is devastating wit and a wonderful gift for satire ("Professional Widow"). The album's Achilles heel is the overrated and fingernails- on- a- chalkboard annoying "Caught A Lite Sneeze"......a blend of cacophony that sounds like Amos punching her muses in the face, and getting punched back. But to laud this record's virtues would be an essay in itself. It is a goergous work; the accomplishment of an unmistakable genius and an irreplaceably unique artist.
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Format: Audio CD
Ah yes. Pele. Where does one begin with such a hodgepodge of pure unadulterated emotion and myth? Yes, I admit that I am a major Toriphile, but this record was the contagion which caused my permanent outbreak of Toriphilia. I agree with some of the other reviewers -if you're new to the Church of Tori, it is recommended to start off with where she, Tori, first began (although my own personal prerequisite was Under The Pink -in the beginning I felt like Little Earthquakes was overrated, but of course I was proven wrong...but that's another review.)
Even so, if you have had a more "user-friendly" introduction so to speak, don't expect to like Pele instantly. She demands time and depth.
I owned a copy of Pele for about two years before I even had the nerve to listen to anything other than "Mr. Zebra," and "Hey Jupiter," and well...that was about it. I was frightened at first. Then suddenly I stumbled upon "Talula" and discovered the line, "He's my favorite hooker of the whole bunch." And suddenly I couldn't run away from the sensualsexualpowerful experience of Boys For Pele. It's been a staple for me ever since.
Pick a couple tracks you feel up to at the moment. Get to know each personally, before you venture to another. "Blood Roses" can be quite shocking at first, and rightly so.
If you're still uncertain, just buy Pele, put her on your shelf and wait until a) you've had a nasty, crazycrap ending to an amazing relationship b) you're in that state of mind where you feel like no one in the world could possibly understand you or c) you're about to take on your own sexual revolution.
Don't miss out on, "Professional Widow", "Marianne", "Little Amsterdam", "the Doughnut Song", "Putting the Damage On", "Hey Jupiter" and oh my let us not forget "Caught a Lite Sneeze.
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Format: Audio CD
I have owned "Boys for Pele" since 1996. I have always loved (most of) it, but I'd kinda stopped listening to it as the years went by. I saw it on my shelf a few days ago and threw it in the CD player -- oddly enough, just a few weeks after returning from the Big Island of Hawai'i, where I'd had the opportunity to take a long hike in Volcanoes National Park -- i.e., on Pele.
Let me tell you: when Pele gets mad, she does not play coy. She spits lava, she sets the forest afire, she makes the oceans boil.
Aha! And so we have Boys for Pele, which is a musical genius's way of saying: "F--- YOU! F--- YOU! AND F--- YOU AGAIN!" But of course Tori's too insightful to just have a temper tantrum (a la Professional Widow). She embraces her anger (Father Lucifer), she knows that her anger is in some ways just an escape from pain (Beauty Queen, Horses), she justifies her anger (Marianne), etc. ...
BUT ANYWAY: I have rediscovered this album, and I highly recommend it. I have to say that I don't even particularly relate to the fury in "Blood Roses" and "Professional Widow," but the rhythms/percussion are just wonderful and really not like anything I've ever heard elsewhere. Same goes for "Springtime of his Voodoo " and "Caught a Lite Sneeze" (which I do relate to).
"Father Lucifer" is pretty much worth the price of admission -- it's almost a kind of theme song for those of us who have embraced our inner devils.
Many of the tracks on this album make great use of harpsichord and/or brass instruments, which seems relatively rare these days and is a nice treat. Funny, I'd never thought of a harpsichord as a particularly angry-sounding instrument until this album came along!
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