Y Kant Tori Read
Listen & Buy
Released July 1988 (US)
Tori Amos: vocals, piano, keyboards
Steve Caton, Steve Farris, Peter White: guitars
Matt Sorum: drums
Steve Farris, Tim Landers, Fernando Sanders: bass
Kim Bullard: keyboards, piano (Fayth), programming
Steve Caton, Gene Black: additional guitars
Eric Williams: mandolin
Richard Bernard: bouzouki
Paulinho Da Costa: percussion
Devon Dickson: bagpipes
Ce Ce Bullard, Zobbin Rander, James House, Merry Clayton, Nancy Shanks,
The Valentine Bros., Rick Nelson: background vocals
Highest Chart Position: n/a
Atlantic Records released Y Kant Tori Read in July 1988. The album was preceded by the single The Big Picture released one month earlier in June. Y Kant Tori Read was released in all three formats: LP, CD and cassette. The name of the album was Tori’s ambiguous reference to her days at The Peabody Conservatory when she refused to read music; although she was thoroughly capable of doing so. The band consisted of studio musicians thrown together by producer Joe Chiccarelli, who had previously produced Pat Benatar. Tori sang, played piano and wrote all the tracks except for co-writing four tracks with ex-Poco member Kim Bullard and one track with Brad Cobb. The album was produced and recorded by Joe Chiccarelli at Hollywood Sound Studio in Los Angeles. At this point in her career Tori was not yet calling the shots and worked with whomever Atlantic Records saw fit to throw into the mix. The band included Steve Caton, who would continue to work with Tori on her four solo albums and accompany her on the Dew Drop Inn ’96, Plugged ’98, and 5 1/2 Weeks Tours. Also included were Matt Sorum (who would go on to play drums in Guns & Roses and The Cult), Steve Farris (Mr. Mister) and Kim Bullard. Photography for the album was by Aaron Rapoport.
Putting aside the severe metal-babe image projected on the cover and the seriously pouting vixen on the back of the album, Y Kant Tori Read actually contained a few non-lethal tracks. The Etienne Trilogy would not be too far out of place on Little Earthquakes, and The Big Picture as well as Cool On Your Island have a certain edge to them (although it helps to listen to The Big Picture if you are watching the video at the same time).
Unfortunately, the rest of the album is a tough listen at best. Most copies of the LP that are found today are promotional copies because the album sold poorly. Because of this, commercial (non-promotional) cassettes appear more frequently than commercial copies. The CD is practically non-existent and commands a price that has climbed into the hundreds of dollars. The CD has been bootlegged in several different versions. Finding an original Atlantic CD sealed in a long box is virtually impossible.
Tori has been asked frequently about the re-release of Y Kant Tori Read and has stated that “It’s not going to happen.” The only possibility for an official Atlantic re-issue might be if Tori were to change labels at some point in the future and Atlantic would miraculously resurrect this “lost” album. However, that situation seems highly unlikely at best.
– from Tori Amos: Collectibles
“It was a different time; I was in a different place. Everything was over the top — the high hair, everything. I was shopping at Retail Slut.” If you ever hear the album, though, skip to Cool on Your Island. She likes that one….As seen on the cover of Y Kant Tori Read, Amos used to wield an old-fashioned saber. “I was taking lessons. I was really into the whole New Romantic lifestyle. Could I still handle it? I’d have to spend a long time brushing up.”
– Tori; Blender Magazine, Nov 2002
“Working in the clubs so young like I did,” confesses Tori, “I became a chameleon, and took on many personalities. This album is the coming together of these personalities: the warrior – the lady with the sword from the album jacket; the child (that I couldn’t be in the clubs); and the woman, who is the balance between the two. I am just entering womanhood actually.”
– Tori; Official Y Kant Tori Read press release from Atlantic Records (1988)
“I don’t want to re-issue it because it might become a parody of the time. I haven’t stopped it being around. In the past, the record company have said let’s reissue it and I’ve said, “Let’s not!”. They’d be doing it for all the wrong reasons. It’s not right to do it just to cash in. It’s very of the time, to re-issue it now is just confusing. It’s like me getting back together with an old boyfriend and having sex with somebody I did when I was 23. I’m not hiding the fact we did it and if you can find the photographs to prove it, y’know? But I’m not gonna do it again. ”
– Tori; Attitude Magazine, September 2001