Articles - June 1999

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San Antonio Express-News
June 29, 1999
    The following review of the Kosovo benefit album "No Boundaries" appeared in the June 29, 1999 edition of the San Antonio Express-News online. (Expressnews.com)

    Stars make decent music for a good cause

    No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees
    Various artists
    Epic 63653
    Reviewed by Robert Johnson

    Featuring bookend tracks by Pearl Jam as its main selling point, this all-star project has noble intentions (raising money for humanitarian organizations aiding war-torn Kosovo) and decent music, for the most part.

    The highest-profile track has been Pearl Jam's remake of J. Frank Wilson's 1964 hit, "Last Kiss," which has been a commercial success if not an artistic one.

    Once available as a fan-club only bonus, it soared into the Top 10 last week, mainly on the enduring nature of the tune and not Eddie Vedder's vocals, which seem even shakier than usual.

    Pearl Jam's other contribution is better a live cover of Arthur Alexander's "Soldier of Love" (later covered by the Beatles and rewritten by Robert Plant).

    A collection of live, unreleased and remixed cuts, the album is a scattershot affair, with the tunes dealing with the appropriate themes war, alienation, violence, despair, loss.

    It's sequenced about as effectively as possible, with the rockier tunes and softer, singer-songwriter contributions grouped together.

    It certainly has across-the-board star power. Alanis Morissette rages on "Baba"; Bush offers an acoustic, live "Come Down Again"; Oasis also goes acoustic on "Take Me Away."

    The Lilith Fair crowd should be thrilled by a gorgeous live version of Sarah McLachlan's "Mary" and the Indigo Girls' intense "Go."

    There are contributions from the Wallflowers, Tori Amos, Jamiroquai, Ben Folds Five, and even a Peter Gabriel sighting (unfortunately, "Black Paintings" isn't new).

    Pointless remixes of Korn's "Freak on a Leash" and Black Sabbath's "Psycho Man" (which seems really out of place) clutter things up somewhat.

    Mostly, though, the music on "No Boundaries" is as good as its cause. *** 1/4


Boston Phoenix
June 17-24, 1999
    The following is a review of the "No Boundaries" album from the June 17-24, 1999 edition of the Boston Phoenix:

    *** Various Artists

    NO BOUNDARIES

    (Epic)

    How anyone was able to throw together a high-profile, major-label benefit CD inspired by a global human tragedy without including Sting in the project is a total mystery. But here it is, a genuine Sting-free compilation dedicated to raising funds to provide aid for the Kosovo refugees through three international agencies (CARE, OXFAM, and Doctors Without Borders). Epic was kind enough to volunteer the services of six of its heavy hitters: Pearl Jam, who contribute two previously unreleased cover tunes from a 1998 fan-club-only vinyl single, Rage Against the Machine ("Ghost of Tom Joad" live), Korn (a remix of "Freak on a Leash"), Black Sabbath (a remix of "Psychoman"), Oasis (the obscure import B-side "Take Me Away"), and Indigo Girls ("Go" live). The 16-track CD also reaches beyond the Sony roster to include live selections from Alanis Morissette, Neil Young, and Sarah McLachlan, plus a "special acoustic version" of Bush's "Come Down" (performed, oddly enough, with electric guitar) and a fine Tori Amos studio leftover. No major revelations or epiphanies here, but, hey, you won't readily find any of these tracks elsewhere, it's for a good cause, and, best of all, there's no Sting.

    -- Matt Ashare


New York Times
June 17, 1999
    Several Toriphiles, including Joel Spitzer and David Bloomgren, informed me that Tori & Alanis Morissette have a color photo on page G7 of the Thursday, June 17, 1999 edition of the New York Times in the Circuits Section. It accompanied an article about MP3 technology. The article itself did not mention Tori. The caption below the photo read, "The singers Alanis Morissette, left, and Tori Amos will offer live performances on a web site devoted to MP3 music." That should read "on a web site promoted by MP3.com, which is devoted to MP3 music." These journalist always leave out the details! ;)

Los Angeles Times
June 13, 1999

    Reviews of the "No Boundaries" benefit album are appearing. The LA Times gave the album 2 1/2 stars in their June 13, 1999 issue. For now you can read the review at the LA Times web site, though I have included it below as well:

    Record Rack
    ** 1/2 VARIOUS ARTISTS "No Boundaries"; Epic By STEVE HOCHMAN

    This album (due Tuesday [June 15, 1999]) should begin rather than end with Pearl Jam's ragged, live version of Arthur Alexander's "Soldier of Love" instead of starting with the band's even more ragged take on the '60s teen melodrama "Last Kiss." With its first line, "Lay down your arms," "Soldier" could have set a "make love, not war" tone for a collection of cast-off live, unused and remix tracks benefiting Kosovo refugee relief. But then, this is not about sending a message. It's about sending money, pure and simple, with Epic guaranteeing a $1-million contribution.

    Only Neil Young's live, acoustic "War of Man" directly addresses the topic, though Peter Gabriel's eerie "Fourteen Black Paintings" (from his 1992 "Us" album) is built on a Balkan-like modal figure, and Tori Amos' previously unreleased "Merman" is an appropriately disturbing lullaby. Of the rest, Alanis Morissette's live, raw "Baba," the Indigo Girls' surprisingly tough "Go" and Ben Folds Five's tinnily nostalgic "Leather Jacket" are highlights.

    Of course, the big attraction is "Last Kiss," the current radio hit that was previously released only as a fan-club single. But it's just part of a jumble ranging from sweetness (Sarah McLachlan) to bluster (Rage Against the Machine, Korn). The charity of the project can't be faulted. But compared to the 1995 Yugoslav benefit album "Help!," "Boundaries" lacks that sense of concept and effort reflecting the cause.

    Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).


Slugwire City On A Hill Press
June 3, 1999

    I received an email from EWF Joshiieee who reported on an email he received from Toriphile Heather. Heather is a student at the University of California at Santa Cruz and she saw an article in a recent issue of that school's newspaper with the headline, "FAnatic In Santa Cruz." The newspaper is called the Slugwire City On A Hill Press and the issue with this article was June 3, 1999 (Vol.33 Issue#29). The article talks about MTV Fanatic and includes an interview with a student named Sara Bickford, who was chosen to meet Tori on Fanatic. There is also a photo of Sara with Tori and a second photo of Sara holding up a Fanatic shirt. Robyn Wandzell found this article online at the City On A Hill Press Online web site. You can read the article there and see the photos! I found it really enlightening how MTV told Sara to not use such big words on the program or else she may confuse the MTV listeners. That certainly says a lot in my opinion!

    Since I expect the online version of this article to be removed soon, I have also added the article and photo to the Dent as well.


Teen People Magazine
Summer 1999 Yearbook Issue
    Omer and Randi tell me that a special Yearbook Issue of Teen People Magazine contains a few photos of Tori. (Rebecca Kaplan tells me this issue is called the Summer 1999 issue.) This issue shows old high school yearbook photos for many celebrities. Photos of Tori are on pages 45 and 49 and are from Richard Montgomery High School in 1981. One picture is her most likely to succeed yearbook photo and the other is her homecoming queen pic. These photos can also be seen in Tori's official biography "All These Years."

    Jewlya sent me what was written beneath both photos. The photo on page 45 includes the text, "Was Tori Amos the only girl at Maryland's ? She was named Most Talented, Best All-Around, and Most Likely to Succeed. (Makes you wonder why her first band was called Y Kant Tori Read.)"

    The photo on page 49 includes the text, "From 'Choirgirl' to Queen: Tori Amos was the 1980 Homecoming Queen at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md."


Q Magazine
June 1999
    In the June 1999 issue of Q Magazine there was an article about the different branches of record companies, and for each, they had a box with the various labels and some of the major artists listed (i.e. Madonna for Maverick, Blur for Food, etc.), and Tori was listed under EastWest (under Time/Warner) with small picture that looks like the one from her 1998 Q cover shoot (where she has the gold body paint or armor-like thing, or whatever that is). It did not actually say anything about Tori, other than her name. So there is not much to this, but I wanted to let you know. Thanks to MrZebra_40 for initially telling me and to Trillian E. Minai for the clarification.

Rolling Stone Magazine
June 10, 1999
    Kelly Stitzel has informed me that the June 10, 1999 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine (with Mike Meyers on the cover) includes an article about the 5 1/2 Weeks Tour, though they mainly concentrate on Alanis and the MP3 angle. The article appears on page 36 of the issue and there is a photo of Morissette with the caption "Supposed current Internet junkie: Alanis Morissette leads the way among artists flocking to the Web." You can read the article below.

    THANK YOU, MP3
    Alanis Morissette cuts a lucrative tour-sponsorship deal with MP3.com
    Eric Boehlert

    Alanis Morissette's announcement that her North American summer tour with Tori Amos is being co-sponsored bye the online music site MP3.com threatens to turn a simmering dispute among artists and labels into a minor revolt.

    Major labels are united in their commitment to shun the MP3 format--which lends itself to pirating--and to launch their own digital downloading system by early next year. But impatient artists such as Morissette are sprinting ahead and cutting lucrative deals with online companies. "I wanted to get involved with the new technology," says Morissette, who suggests that eventually the music business could be built on three-way relationships between artists, labels and online partners. One Internet analyst points out that Morissette's is just the first of many pacts to come from multiplatinum performeres. "It's like the Wild, Wild West," says the manager of one Top Ten act. "Labels are telling artists, 'No, no, no to MP3,' and the artists are saying, 'Fuck you.'"

    That's because while label execs worry about potential lost earnings from pirated MP3 files, artists and managers understand that using MP3 is a great way to interact with fans 9157,000 of whom reportedly downloaded Tom Petty's latest single, "Free Girl Now," when it was posted at MP3.com for just fifty-six hours). They also realize that most acts make more money from ticket and merchandise sales than they do from CD sales. So if a percentage of tech-savvy fans downloads an artists's album for free off the Web, that means losing less than two dollars per CD in sales. But if those same consumers decide to buy forty-dollar concert tickets, the artist wins.

    And in Morissette's case, she also pockets an MP3.com deal in the low seven figures, estimates Mark Hardie, senior analyst for Forrester Research. "She'll probably get some cash and stock in a cool company." In exchange, MP3.com gets live performance cuts to opost, which should boost its Web traffic as well as its buzz. And for a hot Internet company that may soon go public, that's priceless.

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