Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pretty Good Year

Pretty Good Year - Tori Amos. Released in 1992 and appears on the album Little Earthquakes

 “Whether it bums you out or not, the truth is, all this happened, as much as the first record did. But there are other characters involved a bit more. There are just other beings involved in this one. Like Pretty Good Year, for example, I got a letter from a guy named Greg in England. This one got to me – it missed getting to me for, like, three months. But it just got passed around to different people, and finally somebody just – I was walking through the record label in between the tour up in England, and somebody put it in my bag. They just said, “You know what, Tori? This has been sitting around here. Just take it.” And I took this letter, and I opened my bag two days later, and I read it. It was a picture of – he had drawn himself. It was a pencil drawing. Greg has kind of scrawny hair and glasses, and he’s very skinny and he held this great big flower. Greg is 23, lives in the north of England, and his life is over, in his mind. I found this a re-occurrence in every country that I went. In that early 20 age, with so many of the guys – more than the girls, they were a bit more, ‘Ah, things are just beginning to happen.’ The guys, it was finished. The best parts of their life were done. The tragedy of that for me, just seeing that over and over again, got to me so much that I wrote Pretty Good Year. You don’t really know what my role is. Am I Lucy, or am I that eight bars of grunge that comes out near the end where I express, and then nothing, everything else is Greg’s story? I found that kind of really fun. The emotion is coming from somebody else’s story. And yet it touched me so that I could sing it.”
-Tori Amos

“…in New Mexico, where I went to write, and record, this album, was that at one point I was spraying Pledge polish in a cupboard and I inhaled it and I got a lung infection which meant I couldn’t speak, or sing, for three weeks. And I really thought my voice was damaged forever and had to do voice lessons on the phone, with this voice teacher to try and get the natural corisone back on the cords. I was thinking ‘what if I never sing again?’ Then I’d say ‘if I can’t sing what’s the point in being alive, is this person worth anything at all?’ And there were moments where the only answer to that question was ‘no’. Then i’d give in to the self-pity that comes out in the song Pretty Good Year, and in the lyric ‘They say you were something in those formative years’.
– Tori; Hot Press, January 1994

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