It can sometimes be tempting to skip the first couple chapters of a biography; they usually delve into the subject's childhood and although obligatory, they can be pretty dull. Don't make that mistake with Tori Amos In the Studio; the first chapter is fairly brief, taking the reader from Tori's child prodigy days (she was tickling the ivories at five-years-old) to her early musical influences to her first puff of marijuana in a matter of 20 pages. Chapter 2, on the other hand, gets right to the meat and holds important information for anyone wanting to understand Amos' mindset. Each chapter is about a different album and the second chapter covers the pre-stardom Y Kant Tori Read record, an obscure (and these days valuable if you have one on vinyl) rock band record that not only fizzled but was the subject of intense ridicule. This time frame (1988) would prove to be extremely difficult for Amos, and not because her first album flopped. Leaving a performance one night Amos was abducted by a junkie who raped her and held her hostage for hours. Eventually the rapist craved drugs more than he did sex and Amos managed to free herself while the guy was out looking to score. She didn't go to the police and even worse she held in the rage and disappointment with herself for years, only beginning the healing process by channeling her anger into her song "Me and a Gun," released on her debut solo album Little Earthquakes. And while Amos says she's never felt the need to write another song about the incident the listener may choose to forever hear between the lines and empathize more deeply with Tori when she sings of vulnerable moments. Brown goes on to chronicle Amos' career album by album with each chapter having an underlying theme besides the making of and life of the record; the theme for Under the Pink is how Amos "put some clothes on" after baring her soul on Little Earthquakes and for Boys for Pele it is a break-up with her longtime boyfriend. True to the title of the book much of the story is told through experiences in the studio and there's mention of the use of certain equipment or what was done to achieve a certain sound but Brown doesn't bog things down with too much technical info. The book wraps up with a chapter on both of Amos' 2009 albums; Abnormally Attracted to Sin and the Christmas effort Midwinter Graces.
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