Few debut albums are as perfect as ‘Little Earthquakes’ by Tori Amos. Not only is it a recording with barely a note wasted its also a deep and thoughtful experience that leaves the listener emotionally spent upon completion of listening. In under an hour, Ms. Amos takes us on a roller coaster journey of songs that deal with changing weather and changing emotions – songs dealing with self depreciation, of sexuality, self-worth, rape, missed periods, fitting social situations…or not, and far more besides; almost every line dealing with the deeply personal, uncovering parts of the human condition. Right from the beginning of ‘Crucify’ to the last notes of the title track with Amos pleading “give me life, give me pain, give me myself again”, ‘Little Earthquakes’ never lets up.
With the passing years it remains a fan favourite. Surprising, then, that for so many years, the only available version of ‘Little Earthquakes’ has been the bare-bones CD, exactly the same release that first appeared in 1991. Its twentieth anniversary came and went without celebration – that seemed a great pity given the wealth of extra materials that surround the sessions.
In addition to the dozen album cuts, Tori recorded over an album’s worth of extra tracks – issued on now hard to find CD singles. Finally, in April 2015, most of those glorious b-sides are to be made again as part of a 2CD deluxe edition. The expanded ‘Little Earthquakes’ is to be a must have for fans, but even so, still presents a missed opportunity.
There are several cover tunes from the period that are not set for release as part of the 2CD deluxe ‘Little Earthquakes’,and there is also a long out of print VHS release containing several promo and live clips alongside interview footage and linking materials, all of which could have been included. Although a few of the clips reappeared on the ‘Fade To Red’ DVD compilation, the near-hour long ‘Little Earthquakes’ VHS has never been reissued in its original form. Treasured copies of the release sit on outdated mediums on dusty shelves, begging to be rediscovered on silver digital discs.
What’s more, an album’s worth of demo recordings has long circulated among fans, unissued officially. These things combined make a pretty essential super-deluxe set. While 2015’s 2CD set is very welcome, below, Real Gone looks at a potential tracklist for the ultimate ‘Little Earthquakes’ reissue and what could have been.
LITTLE EARTHQUAKES SUPERDELUXE EDITION
Disc One: Little Earthquakes (original album) & Crucify Live EP
Silent All These Years
Tear In Your Hand
Me and a Gun
Precious Things (live)
Little Earthquakes (live)
Disc Two: Extra Earthquakes (The non-album cuts)
Here In My Head
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Take To The Sky
Song For Eric
Ode To The Banana King
Crucify (single remix)
Disc Three: Unfinished Earthquakes (The Unreleased Demos/outtakes)
Crucify (solo piano demo)
Silent All These Years (solo piano demo)
Leather (solo piano demo)
China (solo piano demo)
Thoughts (solo piano demo)
Take To The Sky (demo)
The Pool (demo)
Happy Phantom (outtake version)
Crucify (outtake version)
Song For Eric (outtake version)
Winter (percussion version)
Disc Four: Earthquake Visions: The DVD
DVD reissue of the 1991 ‘Little Earthquakes’ VHS
(running time: 55 mins)