Y Kant Tori Read (album)

Y Kant Tori Read is the debut studio album by American synth-pop band of the same name, fronted by then-unknown singer and songwriter Tori Amos. It released in 1988 by Atlantic Records.

Y Kant Tori Read
Studio album by
ProducerJoe Chiccarelli
Tori Amos chronology
Y Kant Tori Read
Little Earthquakes
Singles from Y Kant Tori Read
  1. "The Big Picture"
    Released: 1988
  2. "Cool on Your Island"
    Released: 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]


The band consisted of Amos, singer-pianist Kim Bullard, and future Guns N' Roses drummer Matt Sorum, as well as long-time Amos collaborator guitarist Steve Caton and various session musicians. Due to the title, some critics believed the album was a solo project by a woman named "Tori Read". This was compounded by the fact that Amos is billed simply as "Tori" in the liner notes.

The choice of producer in Joe Chiccarelli was that of Amos, who had liked some of the albums that he made previously.[2] According to Chiccarelli in an interview with HitQuarters:

"[Tori Amos] had a very strong vision of what she wanted to do on her first album. And despite the lack of success of that album, it was an interesting process because she was very vocal and very passionate about how she wanted it to sound and what her influences were and the emotions she was trying to convey."[2]

Although Amos had effectively disowned the album for many years,[citation needed] Chiccarelli has said that she was very happy with it at the time.[2]

Promotion and releaseEdit

The eponymous album was released in 1988 to dismal sales and the band split shortly after. Its lack of success and subsequent deletion has made it one of the most sought-after Tori Amos collectibles, fetching upwards of $1,000 in compact disc format in original longbox. At the height of Amos' career vinyl copies would often sell for between $300–500 but, due to the decline of music collectibles and the heavy bootlegging of the album, they now frequently sell for between $50–80.

Because of the scarcity of legitimate copies of the album it has been heavily bootlegged, so much so that an extensive FAQ on the topic was created.[3] Bootleg versions generally stem from one of the first editions to surface, on a foreign label called Pacific Records. These usually have six "bonus tracks" from later in Amos' career; "Song For Eric", "Ode to the Banana King (Part 1)", "Happy Phantom" (live), "Ring My Bell", "The Happy Worker" and "Workers". Other editions, particularly one that surfaced in Germany, were issued to intentionally resemble the original and fool legitimate collectors.

The number on the spine of the original CD reads 81845-2. The majority of bootlegs list this number incorrectly because the stolen artwork is taken from the easier to find LP version of the release, which had a different release number.

Non-promotional copies of the record are more desirable than promotionally issued copies. (The reverse is generally the case in music collectibles.) Because the record sold so poorly, the majority of commercially released copies were recalled, stamped with a gold promo stamp, and given a cut-out mark. Thus there are actually more promotional copies of the record than not.

Several singles were released to promote the album, though most promotionally and not commercially. "The Big Picture" was released as a 12" vinyl promotional single with unique artwork; "Cool On Your Island" was issued as a 7" vinyl promotional single with a special edit version of the song; it was also included as a b-side to a promotional CD featuring the song "Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins. (On The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Amos told a story from this era of being stopped by police while traveling through Germany because her friend was carrying marijuana; when she told the police officer that she was "on a CD with Phil Collins" she was set free.)

One music video was produced, for the song "The Big Picture", featuring Amos performing on a "ghetto city" sound stage set.

Amos has continued to play a select few songs from this album ("On the Boundary", "Etienne", "Cool on Your Island", and snippets of "Fire on the Side") live in concert. During the 2014 Unrepentant Geraldines tour, however, Amos played a full version of "Fire on the Side", as well as "Floating City" and "Pirates". "The Big Picture" and "Fayth" were performed as mashups with George Michael's "Faith" and the Cure's "Pictures of You" respectively. She has yet to perform "Heart Attack at 23" and "You Go to My Head" in any capacity.

In 2017, Amos said she had made peace with the album, and was considering reissuing it in the future.[4] She then made several press appearances in late August stating a re-issue would be out in November.

Subsequently, an entirely remastered edition of the album was discreetly released on all digital and streaming services for the first time on September 1, 2017, with no official announcement or promotion of any sort. This was then followed by a limited physical re-release of the remastered album on CD and transparent orange vinyl by Rhino Records as part of International Record Store Day's Black Friday exclusive releases on November 24, 2017, only available at exclusive partaking independent record stores.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Tori Amos, except as noted.

Side one
1."The Big Picture"4:19
2."Cool on Your Island"
  • Amos
  • Bullard
  • Amos
  • Brad Cobb
4."Fire on the Side" 4:53
  • Amos
  • Bullard
Side two
6."Floating City" 5:22
7."Heart Attack at 23" 5:16
8."On the Boundary" 4:38
9."You Go to My Head" 3:55
10."Etienne Trilogy" ("The Highlands" / "Etienne" / "Skyeboat Song")
  • Amos
  • Bullard
  • Traditional
Total length:48:44


Credits are adapted from the Y Kant Tori Read liner notes.[5]


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ a b c Bouwman, Kimbel (June 14, 2010). "Interview with JOE CHICCARELLI, producer for The Strokes, The Shins, The White Stripes, Frank Zappa". HitQuarters. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  3. ^ http://webspace.webring.com/people/af/fuzzbox000/yktrfaq.html
  4. ^ Michelson, Noah (August 21, 2017). "Tori Amos Is Releasing Her Most Political Album Yet, But Don't Ask Her To Talk Trump". HuffPost. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Y Kant Tori Read (CD booklet). Y Kant Tori Read. Atlantic. 1988.CS1 maint: others (link)

External linksEdit