General Info

Beauty Queen

Monday 8 August 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

written by Tori Amos

Bösendorfer through Leslie Cabinet and vocal - Tori Amos

"Beauty Queen" is the intro to "Horses" on Boys for Pele.

In the 7th issue of the fanzine Upside Down in 1996, Tori explained how the song was written:

"With this record, what I hope you find interesting is the piano’s going through a Leslie. A Leslie is a rotating speaker. I just had this feeling in my tummy, I said, ’Mark, we need a Leslie, do something.’ So I get the most beat-up fucker in Ireland, getting a Leslie in Ireland is a bit tricky. This one had been around forever. It’s half dead, so we put her out in the graveyard, which is a really good place for dead things to come alive. So it’s out there with a little blankey over her because of the wind that’s howling at the microphone.

We’re inside the church and I click on the Leslie switch and this little intro comes out of the blue, and then I go into the first song and that’s what starts the record. I don’t know how this happened, it was just in the moment. I’ve been writing the intro on and off for months, but this little ditty came in front of it which starts the whole thing. It’s all part of the same song because as you’ll hear, the Leslie doesn’t stop. It’s in one take, that’s it, and it just happened. That’s the one we just mixed tonight. We went through a lot on it because we changed the reverb on the vocal, pushed the Leslie up a little and brought it back just to go OK."