A New Year. A New Decade. I couldn’t resist starting with one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters, Tori Amos. Tori is easily in my Top 5 of artists I’ve seen perform live the most, though it’s been a while. I’m determined to see her play again in this New Decade.
Tori’s album Under the Pink came into my life the day it was released. 1994. I was in a falling apart very short-lived marriage. I had a two-year-old daughter. I lived in my favorite apartment of all-time. I fell in love with one of the great loves, and great heartbreaks of my life. I was twenty-five, and a little more lost than found.
“Pretty Good Year” by Tori Amos
from the album, Under the Pink (1994)
Song of the Day
It’s been forever since I’ve watched this Music Video. In 1994, I was still an avid MTV watcher. They still played videos then. I vividly remember watching this one while talking long-distance to that love/heartbreak of my life. We were both tuned in, telling each other what songs we loved, and which ones we didn’t. I loved this one. Loved Tori more than words could say. She wasn’t a favorite of his, but he listened, indulging my fangirl enthusiasm.
He would tell me years later that this song reminded him of me. Along with countless others. We’d made so many mixed tapes and later mixed CDs for each other. Songs would become definers of our love and our life together. They would soundtrack our rises and our falls.
We were always trying to find change and hope and a better place to be. We were always hoping for a “Pretty Good Year”.
I love how Tori breaks through the window at the beginning, then curls up in that oversized chair, the shards of broken-ness lying around her. It feels like how my life so often is. It feels melancholic, but also so strong. I want to carry that breaking free/breaking through feeling into this New Year/New Decade, and I want to be able to find comfort, even among the broken-ness that can sometimes be me, and my life.
I can’t count how many times I’ve played this song, or listened to this album. The first tracks of an album are special to me. I’m an album-girl still. I like to listen from start-to-finish, to hear the story an album tells, the ebb and flow of story and song. I love Playlists, too. I’ve loved them since my mixed tape days. But, a well-crafted Playlist or the “shuffle” setting on my Spotify will never replace listening to an album I love in its entirety.
“Pretty Good Year” (live at MTV, 1994)
“Hold onto nothing as fast as you can.
Well, still, pretty good year.”
“Pretty Good Year” was released as the second single from the album in Europe in March 1994, and the fourth single from the album in Australia in November 1994. It was not released as a single in North America.
“Pretty Good Year” became her second single to reach the top 10 on the UK Singles Chart, following “Cornflake Girl”, where it peaked at number seven. (from Wikipedia)
In 1994, I collected the CD Singles that came out from every album I loved. I had this one in my collection, picked it up at Tower Records. I loved the B-Side “Daisy Dead Petals” off of the single. It reminded me of my childhood, my little girl nickname Daisy, and the lyric “She said ‘these dead petals honey brought me here'”.
Do you have any Tori Amos memories from 1994? Any Under the Pink, or “Pretty Good Year” thoughts to share?
Here’s to 2020 being a “Pretty Good Year”.