Dancing Tori: Professional Widow Remixes and A Potential Remix Album

Updated October 5, 1996

From a posting to the Precious-Things mailing list by Chuck on
August 11, 1996

Hi everyone!

I'm cross-posting this to ecto for all the Toriphiles there...

Due to overwhelming demand (!) here's my one-fingered transcription of the review of the "Professional Widow" remixes in the Fairfield weekly:

TORI AMOS: "Professional Widow" (Atlantic)

America's premier singer/songwriter/pianist proves to have officially embraced dance music with this, her third single to be remixed house-style, and it is by far the best one yet. With both "God" and "Talula" receiving decent re-workings, Armand Van Helden (of "The Witch Doktor" fame) and MK (remixer of the "Nightcrawlers" remix we all know and love) both take a stab at "Boys For Pele" album track "Professional Widow", and your feet are not quite ready for it. Van Helden's "Star Trunk Funkin'" mix is the best of the bunch; he has melded Tori's deadpan voclas ("Honey bring it close to my lips") into a nightmarishly memorable funkout, complete with chunky disco basses which sound as if they were played live. A passage of the song is mixed into the break so average punters will know it's still a Tori remix. MK's mix and "Vampire Dub" are far deeper, incorporating Bucketheads-style snares and horns into the spliced-up vocals that he is best known for. This single is just a teaser to a forthcoming Tori Amos remix album which will feature, amongst the "Talula" tracks remixed by DJ Duke, "In The Springtime Of His Voodoo" interpreted by Vinny Vero, "Father Lucifer" by King Britt, and "Putting The Damage On" by Hippie Torrales. I've personally heard these mixes and they are inexplicably phat.

For those of you that have asked what more I know about this forthcoming album, well, this is it! Last night at the Happy Rhodes show in NYC, Mike Curry, Meth, Woj and I postulated that perhaps it's being done by Atlantic's dance music division, like the "Widow" single was, without the other Atlantic divisions even being aware of it!

Also, according to a DJ at our local dance venue, there are several other "Professional Widow" remixes circulating on white labels, one of which concentrates on the word "starfucker" for 11:00 or so! Whether these have been sanctioned by Atlantic is speculation at best...

For those unacquainted with the dance music scene, many times DJ's will come to be in possession of remixes of tracks done by various remixers which may or may not be "official" releases. Sometimes they are done exclusively for the club scene and are not publicly released (such as Sarah McLachlan's "Possession"/"Fear" remixes, which _were_ just released on her "B-sides, etc.." CD and previously only available on import CD). Other times they may be of uncertain legal status such as last year's Led Zeppelin "Good Times, Bad Times" remix, or the infamous Pink Floyd trance remixes (these were done by The Orb - a fact unpublicized, yet widely known, due to the fact that PFloyd refused to give permission for the re-working -the entire Pink Floyd oeuvre was totally re-done in a trance/dance style and released on 10 bootleg CDs and various white label 12-inchers). Another aspect of this is that the performer's record label will at times do white label (sometimes anonymous) remixes of product and distribute it to clubs, solely with the intention of generating an underground-type "buzz" on the artist. Whether or not any of these "alternative" remixes will ever show up legitimately, who knows! Tori _has_ been undergoing a marketing campaign directed at the gay community: full page ads in the gay press for her upcoming shows, feature articles in Atlantic's "Stereotypes" web zine thing, the various dance re-mixes, the previews of BFP at GLBT clubs prior to its release, and Atlantic is NOT a label to pass up an opportunity to sell more records - if any of these remixes take off, I would bet that there'd be an official release down the road.

From an email sent to me by Will Nazer (WilNazer@aol.com) on October 5, 1996

"I was recently reading in the September issue of DMA (Dance Music Authority) that there is going to be a Tori remix album. In the magazine there is an interview with some guy at Atlantic Records called Johnny "D" DeMairo. He said that he has commissioned a ton of remixers to do several Tori tracks. He has got a remixer called King Britt to remix 'Father Lucifer', Hippie Torrales is doing 'Putting the Damage On', Robbie Tronco is doing "Way Down", Ashley Beedle and Xpress-2 are doing 'Hey Jupiter', Gavo is doing "Horses", and Todd Terry (the man responsible for the remix of Everything But the Girl's "Missing") is doing 'Doughnut Song.'

Here is what Johnny "D"DeMairo says about the "Professional Widow" remixes-- 'I actually got the approval for these mixes while Tori was on tour in Germany. They (Tori and her band members) were all on the tour bus, they were all down and out, I don't know if they had a bad gig or what , but they were all in a bad mood, and Tori had the mixes on a cassette, and Tori and John Witherspoon, her road manager put the cassette on and everybody was just dancing and having a good time. She certainly gave the approval (to put the mixes out) after that.

Here is what he says regarding the remix of 'Horses'-- 'I also had this kid named Gavo up in Canada send me a reference CD of a mix he did independently of 'Horses'and I played it for Tori and she was floored!! That will definitely be on the album.'"

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