Album Description

A Piano: The Collection

Monday 26 September 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

A Piano: The Collection is Tori Amos’ first boxset compilation. Housed in a very nice piano replica, it contains 86 tracks over five discs and a 60-page hardcover booklet with an insightful biography and Tori’s own comments about her albums as well as the remixes and unreleased tracks featured in the box. While most of the fans probably have a large part of the songs included, A Piano is definitely worth the buy because of its numerous goodies : six previously unreleased and gorgeous songs dating from the different eras of her career, a few demo versions of classic Tori tracks such as "A Sorta Fairytale" or "Jackie’s Strenght’ and several new mixes of songs such as "Cruel", "iieee" that were not featured in her first best-of compilation Tales of a Librarian. If you don’t possess all of Tori’s singles, you’ll also be interested to know that the last disc contains 22 B-Sides, including several that are pretty rare and were only featured on long out-of-print releases. And of course, though quite fragile, the object in itself is beautiful, and the overall packaging (box, CDs, book) was made with great care and will please any fan.

In the States, Barnes & Nobles also had an exclusive and limited edition of the boxset featuring a bonus DVD with a 27-minute interview where Tori discusses how the boxset came about, how she selected and remixed the tracks as well as her thoughts on her long-spanning career. The interview was shot at her home studio in Cornwall. Of course, this special edition sold out very quickly and your only chance to get it is to watch on eBay and such.

When asked about why she decided to release such a large boxset, Tori explained that Rhino Records — a company of Warner Music who bought the rights of Tori’s back catalog after her split with Atlantic in 2003 — approached her and that she felt it was a chance for her to get a proper collection of her songs "before I get too old and senile". "In my life I’ve really enjoyed certain boxsets, especially Led Zeppelin’s."  [1] She also expressed that by putting this retrospective of her career together, she had the feeling this was "the end of an era". Not because she wanted to stop, but because she finally pulled all the different pieces of her she explored through the music together and was now ready to do something different. "Since Little Earthquakes, I’ve taken 15 years to construct, but I may only take one year to deconstruct. Let’s see what happens next."  [2] Of course, we all know by now what Tori did in the next few years following this release and it’s crystal clear she’s still learning and expanding her skills, exploring challenging and unexpected places.

[1Clash, September 2006

[2A Piano booklet, p.15.