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"Crucify"
Tori Amos Crucify US Cover
Single from Little Earthquakes

Released

May 12, 1992

Length

4:58 (album)
4:18 (remix)

Label

Atlantic Records

Writer

Tori Amos

Producer

Davitt Sigerson

"Crucify" is the opening track on Tori Amos' 1992 debut solo album Little Earthquakes. The song was among the first written and recorded for Little Earthquakes. "Crucify" was released as the fifth and final single from the album in the United Kingdom and United States.

Background Edit

"Crucify" was written and recorded during the first phase of creating Little Earthquakes, a period that also yielded the songs "Silent All These Years", "Winter", "Happy Phantom", "Leather", and "Mother", all of which were recorded at Capitol Records in Los Angeles.[1] The song was included on both a cassette Tori submitted for copyright in June 1990 and on the initial version of Little Earthquakes rejected by Atlantic Records in December the same year.[2]

Tori wrote "Crucify" while living in Los Angeles.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/tori-amos-track-by-track-guide-to-little-earthquakes-20091218

Remastered and alternate versions Edit

A remixed and reconditioned version of "Crucify" was included on the 2003 greatest hits collection Tales of a Librarian. An unedited single version can be found on the 2006 boxset A Piano: The Collection.

Live performances Edit

The first documented performance of "Crucify" live in concert took place at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland on July 3, 1991.[3] This performance was recorded and subsequently released on the live album Live at Montreux in 2008. Amos has played the song on nearly all of her tours since.[4]

Recorded live performances of "Crucify" have also been included on Welcome to Sunny Florida and Legs and Boots.

Television appearances Edit

Amos has performed "Crucify" on a variety of television programs.

Releases Edit

The UK Crucify (Part 1) single includes more non-LP tracks, the remixed version of Crucify (shortened from 4:58 to 4:15 and with guitar added). The Crucify (LP version) as stated on the track list, is actually a slightly different mix from the actual LP version. It is about three seconds shorter, is more up-tempo and includes additional and different background vocals. The UK Crucify (Part 2) single also included a live version of Crucify, recorded April 5th, 1992 in Cambridge, England.[5]

US EPEdit

1. Crucify (Remix) 4:18
2. "Winter" 5:44
3. "Angie" 4:26
4. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 3:18
5. "Thank You" 3:49

US Cassette SingleEdit

1. "Crucify" (Remix) 4:18
2. "Me and a Gun" 3:42

UK SingleEdit

1. "Crucify" (Remix) 4:18
2. "Here. In My Head" 3:53
3. "Mary" 4:27
4. "Crucify" (LP version remix) 4:58

UK Limited Edition Live EPEdit

1.Edit

"Little Earthquakes" (live) 6:58
2. "Crucify" (live) 5:19
3. "Precious Things" (live) 5:03
4. "Mother" (live) 6:37

UK 7" VinylEdit

1. "Crucify" (remix) 4:18
2. "Here. In My Head" 3:53

France Thin Jewel CaseEdit

1. "Crucify" (LP) 4:58
2. "Angie" 4:22
3. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 3:15

Music video Edit

The "Crucify" video was directed by Cindy Palmano (photographer and video director), produced by Tracey Josephs, while cinematography was directed by Adrian Wild. Styling and make-up was provided by Karen Binns and Lesley Chilkes, respectively. It was released in 1992 by Atlantic Records.

Crucify Bathtub Screenshot

Tori walking into a bathtub from the "Crucify" video.

The video was shot using the radio edit of "Crucify" that can be found on the EP and singles, but the version used on Tori's 2006 "Fade to Red" 2DVD set is an edited version of the remastered track that is found on the compilation Tales of a Librarian. It includes images of Tori at the piano shot using overhead cameras, twin Toris who sing together at a counter, clothing "reminiscent of Anne Boleyn", and shots of Tori climbing into a bathtub fully dressed, then dancing in the wet dress.

Crucify - Tori Amos04:31

Crucify - Tori Amos

Cindy Palmano has said that Atlantic Records finished the video because "I took it to a certain stage and then the record company wanted to edit it in a different way". Yet she approves of the bathtub sequence: "I like when she steps into the bath and comes out of the bath. It all looks really Hitchcock, I love it."[6] (Palmano also directed the videos "Silent All These Years", "Winter", "China" and "Pretty Good Year", the latter from Amos' second album, Under the Pink.)

The music video can be found on Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos: Complete Videos 1991-1998 and Fade to Red: Video Collection.

RDT: "Crucify" has a different feel from the rest of the videos.

Cindy: I took it to a certain stage and then the record company wanted to edit it in a different way. It got a bit uncomfortable so they finished it off and I didn't.

RDT: "Crucify" has the definite MTV "short attention span" feel. It's a shame, really.

CP: "Crucify" could have been good but it was cut with some mad stuff that they shot later. I didn't shoot any of the performance clips. I think it looks dreadful, that stuff. It's such an obvious approach to femininity, that, and it's one that I'm not at all interested in.

The filling of the bath was good, wasn't it? That was a good shot. I really liked that one. I like when she steps into the bath and comes out of the bath. It all looks really Hitchcock, I love it.

RDT: The clothing in "Crucify" is reminiscent of Anne Boleyn.

CP: Yes, exactly.

RDT: Was that the thought?

CP: Well, one of the queens, I don't mind which. (laughs) -- Cindy Palmano, Really Deep Thoughts Fanzine, Issue #4[7]

Other appearances Edit

Comic Book Tattoo

A four-page piece inspired by "Crucify" was included in the 2008 graphic novel anthology Comic Book Tattoo, a collection of short comics based on Amos' songs.[8] "Crucify" was created by Paul Maybury.[9]

Crucify comic book tattoo by paulfresh

Page from "Crucify".

Lyrics Edit

every finger in the room
is pointing at me
i wanna spit in their faces
then i get afraid what that could bring
i got a bowling ball in my stomach
i got a desert in my mouth
figures that my COURAGE
would choose to sell out now

i've been looking for a savior
in these dirty streets
looking for a savior
beneath these dirty sheets
i've been raising up my hands
drive another nail in
just what GOD needs
one more victim

why do we crucify ourselves
every day i crucify myself
nothing i do is good enough for you
crucify myself
every day
i crucify myself
and my HEART is sick of being
in chains

got a kick for a dog
beggin' for LOVE
i gotta have my suffering
so that i can have my cross
i know a cat named easter
he says will you ever learn
you're just an empty cage girl
if you kill the bird

i've been looking for a savior
in these dirty streets
looking for a savior
beneath these dirty sheets
i've been raising up my hands
drive another nail in
got enough GUILT to start
my own religion

why do we crucify ourselves
every day i crucify myself
nothing i do is good enough for you
crucify myself
every day i crucify myself
and my HEART is sick of being in chains

please be
save me
i CRY

looking for a savior
in these dirty streets
looking for a savior
beneath these dirty sheets
i've been raising up my hands
drive another nail in
where are those angels
when you need them

why do we crucify ourselves
every day i crucify myself
nothing i do is good enough for you
crucify myself
every day i crucify myself
and my HEART is sick of being
in chains

why do we
crucify ourselves
everyday

never going back again
crucify myself
again you know
never going back again to
crucify myself everyday

© Sword & Stone

Charts Edit

Chart (1992) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 83
Canadian Singles Chart 74
Dutch Mega Top 100[10] 79
French SNEP Singles Chart[10] 17
German Singles Chart[10] 84
Irish Singles Chart[11] 25
Swedish Singles Chart[10] 16
UK Singles Chart[12] 15
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks[13] 22

Quotes Edit

"Bells started going off every time I wouldn't stick up for myself. I accepted Quasimodo was a squatter in my cerebral area. A rhythmic pattern kept chasing me around. I dug out the drum machine and put the pattern down. I would leave that pattern on for hours while I just sat and argued with myself about stuff. The first music to get put to the pattern was the 'B' section, 'I've been looking for a saviour'....a door opened and the demons started to show up." - Little Earthquakes Songbook


“That cat is Jesus. He’s my love [smiles]. He gives me wisdom. The rest is up to yourself.” - Oor - March 7, 1992


“I’ve been in the alternative stations because they won’t play my lyrics. The whole Bible-belt banned me for ‘Crucify’ because they thought I was being sacrilegous. They felt that it was detrimental material for their children and that it was blasphemous. So ‘Crucify’ was banned and ‘Silent All These Years’ using 4-letter words, I think.” - Hollywood Report - September 10, 1992


"I have that guilt still. I'm still working through this idea of giving myself completely to this man I'm with because he is my best friend and someone I respect. Yet he is also someone I need to slam me against a wall and fuck me. And love me as well. The concept of both being part of the one relationship is still hard for me to accept. Because I've been taught that being fucked against a wall, or anywhere, is not love. Who the fuck thought up *that* idea? That notion has kept marriages from working, people from giving to each other and both sexes under control for centuries." - Hot Press, 1994


Interviewer: I was very interested in this, here you've got onions around your neck...
Tori: Yeah.
Interviewer: Does it go all the way around?
Tori: Yeah, it goes all the way around. It's the resurrection vibe. So that if you come out of the earth you'd have it...you'd be all ready.
Interviewer: Did you put this on? Did you like pull this over your head? This onion thing?
Tori: "No, they wrapped it around my head like a necklace." - US Radio WFNX March 31, 1994


"A lot of guilt. Well Protestants have guilt just as much as Catholics. I mean it's all about shame shame shame, I'm so bad that I had that thought of that choirboy. But I was always having those thoughts." - UK Radio March 1, 1994


"I would get taken advantage of. You know, do things for somebody, and ... they walk over you, or ... want to make you feel like nothing. I do think that there are times when we all can be pretty abusive, and we can be those victims, and we change roles with ourselves." - The Tori Papers #1: First Look Video Interview, Fall 1995


"Queen Elizabeth I and peeping Tom were the buzz words I was hearing from Cin when we were chatting about Crucify. Cindy's visual sense never ceased to surprise and generally make me belly laugh. She's a bit of a devil. Cindy was always weaving in a sub text -- Elizabeth the first getting Baptized and then doing her saucy strumpet shimmy after being blessed of course." - Tori Stories Promo Booklet, 1998


"I was living in L.A. when I wrote that. Times were changing. I had just recently come out of the Y Kant Tori Read experience, which catapulted me — drove me — to begin making this music. Unknowingly, I just had to write. Because I wasn't used to failure. I'd been a child prodigy. From child prodigy to "vapid bimbo," I think, was one of the quotes — it was a galaxy apart ... I kind of got put in a category. There were categories of more artistic, more commercial, and in my mind, commercial wasn't a dirty word. Because at the time, there were all kinds of artists that I liked that were doing it. When Y Kant Tori Read was decimated, the image wasn't a good choice ... I had to put the pieces back together, because I hadn't been used to being a failure. So I had to then look at my part in the misrepresentation of my soul, and how I pulled the trigger." - Tori Amos Track-by-Track Guide to Little Earthquakes (Rolling Stone)[14]

Personnel Edit

Credits taken from Little Earthquakes and Tales of a Librarian liner notes.[15]

Little Earthquakes (1992)

  • Acoustic piano, vocals — Tori Amos
  • Bass — Jef Scott
  • Drums — Ed Green
  • Percussion — Paulinho Dacosta
  • Mandolin — John Chamberlin
  • Ukulele — Eric Williams
  • Backgrounds — Nancy Shanks (Beene), Tina Gullickson
  • Recorded by John Beverly Jones
  • Assisted by Leslie Ann Jones
  • Mixed by Paul McKenna
  • Produced by Davitt Sigerson

Tales of a Librarian (2003)

  • Remixed and reconditioned by Mark Hawley and Marcel van Limbeek
  • Mastered by Jon Astley
  • Produced by Tori Amos

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.yessaid.com/interviews/92-09Keyboard2.html
  2. http://www.yessaid.com/timeline7.html
  3. http://www.toriset.org/s.php?c=101&t=0
  4. http://www.toriset.org/s.php?c=101&t=0
  5. Hereinmyhead.com - Crucify
  6. Crucify Video, Hereinmyhead.com
  7. Really Deep Thoughts Fanzine, Issue #4
  8. http://www.comics.org/issue/537267/
  9. http://web.archive.org/web/20080730020148/http://www.toriamos.com/main_comic.html
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Crucify", in various singles charts - Lescharts.com
  11. Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved January 13, 2009)
  12. "Crucify", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved January 13, 2009)
  13. Billboard - Allmusic.com
  14. "Tori Amos' Track-by-Track Guide to 'Little Earthquakes'" Rolling Stone. 2009
  15. http://toriamos.com/go/galleries/view/128/1/4/albums/index.html

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