Editor’s Note: From Albumism’s inception back in 2016, we’ve remained unabashedly and unequivocally passionate about our mission of celebrating the world’s love affairs with albums past, present and future.
But while our devotion to the album as an art form has remained steadfast, as evidenced by our deepening repository of individual album tributes and reviews, we’ve admittedly seldom taken the opportunity to explicitly articulate our reverence for the virtues of artists’ complete album repertoires as a whole.
Hence why we’ve decided to showcase what we believe to be the most dynamic discographies of all time in this recurring series. In doing so, we hope to better understand the broader creative context within which our favorite individual albums exist, while acknowledging the full breadth of their creators’ artistry, career arcs, and overall contributions to the ever-evolving musical landscape.
We hope you enjoy this series and be sure to check here periodically for the latest installments.
Studio Albums: Little Earthquakes (1992) | Under the Pink (1994) | Boys for Pele (1996) | From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998) | To Venus and Back (1999) | Strange Little Girls (2001) | Scarlet’s Walk (2002) | The Beekeeper (2005) | American Doll Posse (2007) | Abnormally Attracted to Sin (2009) | Midwinter Graces (2009) | Night of Hunters (2011) | Gold Dust (2012) | Unrepentant Geraldines (2014) | Native Invader (2017) | Ocean to Ocean (2021)
The experience of listening to Tori Amos’ music is typically an immersive experience, owing to her proven penchant for activating both the cerebral and the visceral through her songs. And while her idiosyncratic lyricism often defies immediate interpretation, which can be maddening for some and an intriguing, welcome excursion for others, few can deny the sheer musicality at play across her prolific repertoire to date.
An initially self-taught, subsequently classically trained pianist who was the youngest student ever admitted to the preparatory division of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Amos cut her musical teeth performing in Washington D.C. piano bars and then forming the ephemeral band Y Kant Tori Read, which dissolved shortly after the release of their eponymous 1988 debut album.
Still under contract with Atlantic Records, Amos transitioned her focus toward the birth of her solo career. While her stirring piano work may have been the most pronounced feature upon initial listens of her powerful debut album Little Earthquakes (1992), it was her imaginative, incisive narratives (“Girl,” “Silent All These Years”) coupled with evocative metaphorical musings and stark introspection (“Me and a Gun”) that compelled listeners to embrace her inaugural solo affair with fervor.