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Music / Little Earthquakes

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She's been everybody else's girl, maybe one day she'll be her own.

"Why do we
Crucify ourselves
Every day?
I crucify myself"

Little Earthquakes is the debut studio album by Tori Amos, released in 1992. It is often considered to be one of the most important musical albums by a female artist ever. Prolific in Alternative Rock and Baroque Pop "Little Earthquakes" has received a lot of acclaim and garnered hits with "Crucify", "Silent All These Years" and "Winter". While it only peaked at no. 54 on the Billboard album chart, it would sell over two million copies in the U.S. alone by 1999 and remains Amos' most popular album.

For Amos, this was the album that put her back on the map after her last album she made with a band, Y Kant Tori Read. It also saw her returning to her roots as a pianist. When she first submitted the album to her record company, they didn't like it and made her record more songs. Then they wanted to remove some songs from her soon-to-be debut. This is one of those cases where the executives unknowingly helped, since the second batch of songs Tori recorded were fan favourites "Girl", "Precious Things" and the eponymous "Little Earthquakes". They also wanted to replace the piano with guitars, since Grunge was popular at the time. Fortunately, Tori didn't let that happen.


  1. "Crucify" (4:58)
  2. "Girl" (4:06)
  3. "Silent All These Years" (4:10)
  4. "Precious Things" (4:26)
  5. "Winter" (5:40)
  6. "Happy Phantom" (3:12)
  7. "China" (4:58)
  8. "Leather" (3:12)
  9. "Mother" (6:59)
  10. "Tear In Your Hand" (4:38)
  11. "Me And A Gun" (3:44)
  12. "Little Earthquakes" (6:51)

Silent All These Tropes:

  • A Cappella: The notable Tear Jerker, "Me And A Gun".
  • Antichrist: "Silent All These Years"
    I got the anti-Christ in the kitchen yellin' at me again.
  • Broken Bird: "Me And A Gun". The fact she throws in some really bitter snark into it just makes it more so.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Tori is barefoot on the album cover.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "China", referring to both the country (being somewhere very distant) and to the porcelain on the table.
  • Face on the Cover: Tori in a claustrophobic pose.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: "Tear In Your Hand"
    By the way, I don't believe you're leaving 'cause me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.
  • Kick the Dog: Invoked in "Crucify":
    Got a kick for a dog beggin' for love
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Crucify".
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Happy Phantom" is, in spite of its cheery title and sound, the thought of someone contemplating suicide.
  • Nostalgia Filter: "Winter" looks back at Amos' youth and the good memories she has of her father.
  • One-Word Title: "Crucify", "China", "Leather" and "Winter".
  • One-Woman Song: "Girl", "Mother".
  • Parental Love Song: "Winter" is about Amos' father.
    He says, "When you gonna make up your mind
    When you gonna love you as much as I do
    When you gonna make up your mind
    'Cause things are gonna change so fast."
  • Pun: "Mother"
    I escape into your escape
  • Rape as Drama: "Me And A Gun" is based on Amos' real-life experiences as a rape survivor, and invokes her memories of the attack as the song's core dramatic element.
    Yes, I wore a slinky red thing
    Does that mean I should spread for you, your friends, your father, Mr. Ed?
  • Religion Rant Song: "Crucify" (type 2)
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Happy Phantom"
    There's Judy Garland taking Buddha by the hand
    (...) They say Confucius does his crossword with a pen
    • "Tear In Your Hand"
    If you need me, me and Neil'll be hangin' out with the dream king. Neil says hi by the way.
    • This is a reference to Neil Gaiman and his "Sandman" comic books. A friend of Tori's delivered a demo tape with the song for Neil to listen to (with the message "please don't sue her"), and Neil loved the music so much he gave her a call. They have been close friends ever since. Neil returned the favor, basing future versions of the character "Delirium" on Tori, and including some of her lyrics in the background of later Sandman issues.
    By the way, I don't believe you're leaving 'cause me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.
  • Suicide Is Painless: The narrator dreams about becoming the titular "Happy Phantom" and having fun after killing herself.
  • Title Track: "Little Earthquakes"
    Oh these little earthquakes
    Here we go again
    These little earthquakes
    Doesn't take much to rip us into pieces
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: "Winter":
    He says, "When you gonna make up your mind?
    When you gonna love you as much as I do?"
  • Wham Line:
    • "Leather"
    But why do I need you to love me
    When you can't hold what I hold dear?
    • "Me And A Gun"
    Yes, I wore a slinky red thing
    Does that mean I should spread for you, your friends, your father, Mr. Ed?