In her over 20-year career, Tori Amos has bent pianos, keyboards, and harpsichords to her will, crafted mystical metaphors for subjects both taboo and terrestrial, and built a cult following that has endured on the faerie dust that is her incredible catalog of songs. Not lasting very long in the bosom of the mainstream has its benefits, and for Tori Amos and her fans that means never being all that limited by the tyranny of singles. Album tracks, b-sides, covers — they all mingle on fans’ rankings of her best tracks. On the occasion of Tori’s 50th birthday, we thought we’d do the honorable Internet thing and rank her top 100 songs, subjectively and oh so definitively. Strap on those faerie wings, straddle a piano bench, and have a look (and a listen).
100. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (B-side to “Spark” single)
Kicking off a Top 100 list with a cover song is one thing. Kicking it off with a Christmas carol is another. But she gives the world’s finest holiday song an appropriately melancholy spin.
99. “Flavor” (Abnormally Attracted to Sin)
Late-era Tori that retains the haunting quality that used to come much more easily.
98. “Flying Dutchman” (B-side to “China” single)
Early b-sides were often the more fanciful alternatives to the earnest album cuts. “Take a trip on a rocket ship, baby” qualifies.
97. “Strange Little Girl” (Strange Little Girls)
The lead single off of Tori’s album of reinterpreted covers of “male” songs wasn’t the best of the batch, but the chorus has a kick to it.
96. “Cool On Your Island” (Y Kant Tori Read)
Is it dirty pool to include a track from Tori’s big-hair ’80s incarnation? This isla bonita of a song managed to pop up on tour even after Tori made the switch to singer/songwriter/piano chanteuse, so it counts.