China (Tori Amos song)

"China" is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the third single from her debut studio album Little Earthquakes. It was released January 20, 1992 by EastWest Records in the UK. It was the first song written for Little Earthquakes[citation needed] and was originally titled "Distance"[1]; a recurring lyric and theme in the song. It was originally submitted to the Library of Congress in 1987.[2]

Tori Amos China.jpg
Single by Tori Amos
from the album Little Earthquakes
  • "Sugar"
  • "Flying Dutchman"
  • "Humpty Dumpty"
Released20 January 1992
Length18:51 (UK CD single)
LabelAtlantic, EastWest
Songwriter(s)Tori Amos
Producer(s)Ian Stanley
Tori Amos singles chronology
"Silent All These Years"


The song is often cited as one of Amos's least abstruse and most traditional ballads. It is a lament about lost love with lyrics like, "Sometimes I think you want me to touch you/How can I when you build the great wall around you?" This particular lyric likely inspired the cover art of Amos standing at an upside-down teacup shaped wall. This visual theme also occurred in the music video, which showed Amos lamenting on a rocky beach in England.

The single peaked at #51 in the UK,[3] but did not chart in other countries. One of the B-sides on the single, "Humpty Dumpty", is exclusive to this release. The B-side, "Sugar", was included on the Australian B-sides album, More Pink: The B-Sides, in 1994 and a live version appeared on the single, Hey Jupiter, in 1996. A live version of "Sugar" also appears on the live disc to Amos' 1999 2-CD album, To Venus and Back. Amos contends that she wrote the song at the last minute in an attempt to have a full set of songs for record producers.[citation needed]

Track listingEdit

CD single/12" single
  1. "China" – 5:01
  2. "Sugar" – 4:27
  3. "Flying Dutchman" – 6:31
  4. "Humpty Dumpty" – 2:52
7" single/Cassette single
  1. "China" – 5:01
  2. "Sugar" – 4:27


Chart (1992) Position
UK Singles Chart[3] 51


  1. ^ Jacobs, Jay S. (2006). Pretty Good Years: A Biography of Tori Amos. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4234-0022-6.
  2. ^ China by Tori Amos Archived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine from
  3. ^ a b "Official Charts > Tori Amos". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-04-09.