Flowers Competing for the Sun–A Tori Amos Playlist


Tori Amos’s birthday was this week. 

Discovering her Little Earthquakes album at 16 augmented a massive shift in my musical tastes. I played the cassette tape so much that first year all identifying marks wore off, I dubbed it for others and made a slew of mixtapes, and eventually I had to buy a second tape.

I listened to this album usually alone. For my guy friends, it didn’t really register as anything of worth, and I was embarrassed at the time to love it so much. Later, as Amos’s popularity grew, listening to her and talking about the songs with my woman friends became some of my favorite times.


By the time I got to college, I fully embraced my affection for Amos. This coincided with what I still think are her best albums–Boys for Pele and From the Choirgirl Hotel. After college, I let my fandom slacken. While I would still find and listen to her albums when released, I didn’t obsess over them as I had as a teen/young adult. I didn’t really come back to her work until last year with the release of Native Invader, then I did a deep dive and still have on and off days where I binge her work.


The brilliant writer Joanna Valente over at Luna Luna Magazine put out an article ‘See which Tori Amos You are Based on Your Zodiac Sign.” It was a fun piece, and although I disagree with the selection for Virgo (this Virgo’s song is ‘God’ if it is anything), it prompted me to create my own tribute playlist.

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