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To Venus & Back CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 439 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, September 21, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 21-SEP-1999

Amazon.com

For many pop-music cynics, excess can be neatly summed up in three things: live albums, double-CD's, and Tori Amos records. Damned if To Venus and Back doesn't hit the trifecta. But perhaps Amos is just trying to prove what we've always suspected: that her muse possesses a sly, ironic wit and has been frantically trying to give us a wink while Tori whipped up her heady cocktail of quiet Sturm, desperate Drang, and angst in the panties. There's teasing moments on this double-dose of Tori's love affair with her own melodic and mystical dramaturgy to support that notion, even in the disc of powerful new studio recordings that inaugurates this set. Dubbing a song "Glory of the 80's" is burlesque enough, but yearning to have oneself cloned as Kim Carnes at its climax is simply inspired. Amos is to Kate Bush's distaff mysticism what Mark McGwire was to Roger Maris; she hasn't so much broken the mold as willfully hammered it into her own image. After Bush hit the snooze-bar on her career in the late `80s, Amos boldly stepped into the fray, building a body of work that demanded to be taken seriously, even while the thrift-store chic set were laughing up their tattered sleeves at her ambitious chutzpah. They're not laughing now; in fact, many may find Venus to be a deliciously guilty pleasure. Amos supporters have long maintained that the key to understanding her intrigue lies in her live performances. Disc two boldly states their case as Amos coos, whoops, and warbles through a hit-sprinkled set, her shrewd, sorely undervalued band hanging with every nuance and turn of phrase. Cynics are from Mars; Tori is from Venus--that's just the way her galaxy crumbles. Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B00001IVJS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (439 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,511 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Tori Amos' studio work on this 2CD set is somewhat polarizing. With From The Choirgirl Hotel, Tori fleshed out her sound by adding denser arrangements with the rest of her band. To Venus And Back, she sticks with this formula but meets with less success. Some of the songs feel overproduced, which handicaps the level of intimacy usually associated with her music. With Choirgirl this worked, but here the results are iffy. Tori doesn't cut loose with her voice as much, there's way less piano balladry, and some of the songs are a little flat. However, the album does have its share of highlights. The ethereal, dreamy "Datura" is wonderfully enigmatic. It's to her credit that Tori somehow manages emotional expression with a fairly detached voice. Also, "Concertina," "1000 Oceans," "Bliss," and the provocative "Lust" are almost as good as anything she's ever put to record, I think. My problem is that sometimes she waxes the techno sound a bit too much.
The live album included is incredible. I've never seen her live, and I'll take for granted that this album is no replacement, but it's great for a live recording. It's full of revelatory moments as Tori radically rearranges many of her songs and boosts the energy level. For some reason, I've never liked a live album on my first listen, but this is my one exception. The haunting "Bells For Her" is entirely different on a piano that isn't all wacky. I don't know where "Cooling" comes from, but it's an incredible showcase of Tori at her best: an emotionally intense piano ballad with utterly beautiful vocals. The violent "The Waitress" is extended by six or seven minutes, and it totally rocks.
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Format: Audio CD
This release is so well done, it makes you wonder why others don't dare to combine a full studio disc with a live album. Probably because replicating the quality of this album would be hard to do. Tori continues to expand her music on the first CD (the studio one), with such stunningly beautiful songs as Juarez, its slow soundscape and Tori's hypnotic vocals almost masking the terror of the subject matter. Classic Tori stylings are of course still there, on songs like 1000 oceans, while dipping into a bit of electronica produced the haunting Bliss and the louder faster Suede. What started off as just a couple of B sides to be added to the live album developed into a full album fully deserving of the praise given here.
The second CD finally captures the aural side of the live Tori experience, mixing fan favorites like Precious Things, Cornflake Girl with B-side favorites like Sugar, fun songs like Mr. Zebra, and even the unexpected epic that Waitress was turned into. The setlist does a good job of capturing the various moods of the concert, as well as showcasing the metamorphisis that Tori's songs go through on stage. If you are even a casual fan of Tori, listening to this disc will confince you to go to a show.
Tori has simply spoiled her fans with this release, so it is no wonder her fanatical following grow ever stronger - she deserves it. This is unquestionably one of the top releases of the year, even if it was, outside of Tori photo shoots in the music magazines, largely ignored by the industry.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just like the last person who placed a review here, I ordered the import version of "To Venus and Back" from DVD Legacy and received the domestic version. This listing is NOT what it claims to be. WARNING -- DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY HERE!!!
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Format: Audio CD
This double CD features a studio disc with a live album. The studio disc has all new music - it is an excellent album, and the live album really reflects what a Tori Amos concert is like. I have seen Tori Amos in concert and it is a great experience. Tori has an beautiful voice - she can do anything with her voice, sing like an angel, howl like an animal caught in a steel trap, or have the raw edge of the hardest heavy metal band. Combine this with fragmented images of feelings, things, and places in the lyrics that wouldn't normally seem to go together, like Jim Morrison did on The Doors albums; and you get a hypnotic, hallucinatory effect that pulls you in.

Tori Amos writes all her music and lyrics - and her music is absolutely amazing and unlike anything else out there. Her piano playing is beautiful - check out the song "Lust" on the first CD -and can easily hold it's own with any classical music pianist.

I love the songs "Bliss", "Lust", "Riot Poof", and "Spring Haze" on the studio album. The live album is full of the most popular songs off of Tori's first three albums.
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Format: Audio CD
I experienced the same problem as the others. I ordered the import version of "To Venus and Back" from DVD Legacy and received the domestic version. They have a description that is completely false. Don't get ripped off like I did. I bought TWO of these accidentally, thinking they were the special import versions, but unfortunately I was wrong and did not get refunded.
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