77. Tori Amos – ‘Silent All These Years’ (1991)

“So you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts
What’s so amazing about really deep thoughts?
Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon
How’s that thought for you?”

Written by Tori Amos

Produced by Tori Amos/Eric Rosse

Taken from the album Little Earthquakes

Also released on Tales Of A Librarian: A Tori Amos Collection, A Piano: The Collection and Live At Montreux 1991 & 1992

UK #26, US #65

The career of Tori Amos has unfortunately been a big downward spiral, simply because her debut album, Little Earthquakes, was such a perfect album that none of her records since have been able to even come close. It is fitting then, that the first of her songs to gain recognition, ‘Silent All These Years’, is also her very best.

As angsty and slice-of-life-y as ever, ‘Silent All These Years’ is perhaps the most accessible and most revealing of all Tori’s singles. Her vocal style makes it feel a little bit like she’s whispering this to only the listener, a little secret shared between us. However, she’s breaking away from us, because she’s found her voice, and it’s been hee-eeee-eeere, silent all these years. Her usual rambling, confessional lyrics are in full swing here, but they’re somehow more open to interpretation, more open for everyone to own and take hold of. They’re not just here for Tori’s benefit, basically.

“Yes I know what you think of me, you never shut up”

Perhaps she was inspired by Janet’s then-recent album, but ‘Silent All These Years’ is really all about control (what, you thought it was going to be about a rhythm nation?). In the verses she tells us of times when she has no voice, no ability to speak up for herself and her rights. But in the chorus she tells us she’s found her voice, and now she’s ready and willing to use it. Pair this with the cathartic recounting of her rape in the other early single ‘Me And A Gun’, and Tori has set herself up for a long career in which she would be as outspoken as she pleased.

Music video:

2 Responses to “77. Tori Amos – ‘Silent All These Years’ (1991)”

  1. QThomasBower Says:

    In my opinion, absolutely the best debut album of all time. (I’m even including Kate’s!)

    Where could she go from there??

    Occasional wins – Jackie’s Strength, Hey Jupiter, Spark, Talula, Caught a Lite Sneeze, and her many amazing b-sides and covers.

    But I want here to make another Little Earthquakes!

  2. kelly Says:

    Tori Amos was once the single most fascinating upcoming artist to independantly articulate her voice, lyrically and passionately. Unfortunately, as with most artists, she forgot about the music, and became too obsessed with the aura celebrating her. For someone who’m I admired fiercely in early years, I’m sad to say, that her anger towards religion and her obvious blame of God, overtook a GOD given tallent that could have brought many of us together and perpetuated a career that was destined to come back around to “Blue Skies”.
    Kmurch

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