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Boys for Pele

Boys For Pele, the grammy-nominated fourth album by singer and songwriter Tori Amos, is perhaps her least well-known and yet most-purchased album to date. Featuring 19 pop songs that incorporate harpsichord, clavichord, harmonium[?], gospel choirs, brass bands and full orchestras, the album addresses the concept of the different types of men that enter and affect a woman's life.

Named for the legendary volcano goddess Pele (and not the Brazilian football player), the album's first single, Caught a Lite Sneeze, was groundbreaking because it was the first song in history to be offered free-of-charge as an internet download. The album was praised and hailed by critics and fans as a huge musical achievement, but because the music was so inaccessible to radio, it did not initially sell well.

Shortly after its release, however, the song Professional Widow was remixed into a dance track that immediately rocketed to number one in the charts. The song Talula was also remixed and included on the soundtrack to the film Twister[?]. Two new versions of the album were then released; in the UK, the remix of Professional Widow was added to the album after the original version of the song (and the song In the Springtime of His Voodoo was removed completely). In the USA, the original version of the song Talula was replaced by Talula (the Tornado Version).

Album sales quickly picked up because of the desire to have these remixes. Ironically, the removed track ...Voodoo was also remixed but was a much smaller club success. Interest in the album resurfaced when, a little less than a year after its release, Tori Amos sang vocals on Blue Skies, another huge club and dance hit by dance music artist BT (Brian Transeau).

The album stirred up a lot of controversy because of the photography included in the liner notes. Most notably, a photo of Amos suckling a baby piglet at her breast was removed from library editions of the album. There was also a lawsuit by a man who got into a car accident while looking at a Billboard advertisement of the album featuring that same photo.

The album eventually went on to achieve platinum status (selling more than one million copies).



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