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"from the choirgirl hotel"
General Information

Updated December 22, 2000

The Choirgirl Pages -
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  • General Information
  • 1st Single: Spark
  • 2nd Single: Swirl/Jackie's
  • 3rd Single: Cruel/Swirl
  • 4th Single: Jackie's Strength Remix
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  • Reviews From Toriphiles
  • Press Reviews
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  • Tori's 4th solo album, called "from the choirgirl hotel," was released on May 5, 1998 in North America and May 4, 1998 in the U.K. Many European countries got the album between May 1 and May 4. France and Switzerland were the first to see the album, it was released in those countries on April 30, 1998. The first single worldwide was "Spark." The second single in many European markets was "Raspberry Swirl", though in the U.S. the second single was "Jackie's Strength." The third single in the U.S. was a "Cruel/Raspberry Swirl", a double A-side release. The 4th single in the U.S. was a remix single featuring "Jackie's Strength & Father Lucifer." Tori recorded the new album in a 300-year old farm house in Cornwall, England during the closing months of 1997. This page contains detailed info on this album. It is divided into the different sections you see to the left.

    Choirgirl Finally Certified Platinum In The U.S.

    "from the choirgirl hotel" has finally been certified Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA! It reached its platinum status on December 18, 2000, more than 2 years after its release. This means that all of Tori's albums through to venus and back have reached Platinum status in the U.S. (Platinum means sales of at least 1 million.) Congratulations Tori! The RIAA web site allows you to search for Tori and find all her works that have been certified in the U.S.

    Choirgirl was certified Gold on May 20, 1998.

    Fourth U.S./Canadian Single: "Jackie's Strength / Father Lucifer" Remixes

    Go to the Jackie's Strength Remix Page for details on the fourth "from the choirgirl hotel." single in the U.S/Canada.

    MTV Ultrasound Says Tori Had "Disappointing" Album Sales

    In late December 1998, MTV Ultrasound had a year-end special. They included a story called "is rock dead?" about how certain established artists had "disappointing" record sales this year, and they flashed Tori on the screen for just a second (a scene from the Spark video), along with other artists like Hole, Marilyn Manson and Pearl Jam. The Dent and the many Toriphiles I know certainly do not consider choirgirl to be "disappointing" but I assume the record company or others in the music industry felt otherwise.

    Third U.S./Canadian Single: "Cruel/Raspberry Swirl"

    Go to the Cruel/Swirl Page for details on the third "from the choirgirl hotel." single in the U.S/Canada.

    Second Single: "Raspberry Swirl" In Germany/Australia; "Jackie's Strength" in U.S./Canada; No Second Single For The U.K.

    Go to the Raspberry Swirl/Jackie's Strength Page for the lastest information on the second "from the choirgirl hotel." single.

    from the choirgirl hotel

    The cover of the album is shown to the right.

    I really enjoyed the album artwork, especially the map that is inside. How could one not love such places as Mr. Grumpy's Maze, Pudding Dungeon, Wannabe Rockies, the Nautical Nuns Casino, and the spot with Ballerinas that just wonder around endlessly shoeless! The album booklet also includes lyrics, although they are not listed in the same order as they appear on the CD and the spacing between words gets pretty wild on some of the pages.

    The excellent Chasing Tornados web site has a page dedicated to the "from the choirgirl hotel". It includes lyrics and sound clips from each song, and all the photos from the CD booklet. You can click on any of the photos to see them larger.

    Ears With Feet chantel describes the album artwork for us:

    Artwork From Tori's New Album

    Track Listing
    Ther album has the following tracks and times. The disc is roughly 54:05 minutes long:

    1. Spark 4.12
    2. Cruel 4.05
    3. Black Dove (January) 4.36
    4. Raspberry Swirl 3.57
    5. Jackie's Strength 4.26
    6. iieee 4.08
    7. Liquid Diamonds 6.20
    8. She's Your Cocaine 3.41
    9. Northern Lad 4.17
    10. Hotel 5.18
    11. Playboy Mommy 4.08
    12. Pandora's Aquarium 4.48

    Lyrics To The Album

    The Chasing Tornados web site has a page dedicated to the "from the choirgirl hotel". It includes complete lyrics,

    Some U.S. Stores Opened At Midnight To Sell The Album

    Many Gave Away Promotional Posters & Lyric Booklets

    Tori's new album was released on May 5, 1998 in North America. Some stores in the U.S stayed open past midnight on Monday, May 4th to sell the new album. Some stores made an event out of the release, offering special promo items such as posters, album flats, lithographs, and lyric booklets. The posters that the stores gave away seemed to vary depending on where you went.

    Gerry Haney describes the lyric booklet, which appears to be a common promotional item floating around, "It is light brown in color - like a recycled paper bag - and it contains ALL of the lyrics to the new album. The front of it says, "Tori Amos from the choirgirl hotel" and it also lists the songs in smaller type on the front. The pack indicated that it is a promo item."

    Choirgirl Release Dates

    The album is now out in most countries.

    Wayne Fishell informs me that the album was finally released in Spain on May 11, 1998.

    The release date in Australia was May 11, 1998. (The "Spark" single was also released locally on that date._ Marki tells me that HMV in Melbourne, Australia was giving out a free video of "Spark" to the first 100 people who bought the new album. The photo of Tori to the left appeared in an ad for the new album that appeared in the Australian publications 'Beat', 'Time Off' and 'RAVE'. I thanks Han Le Danielle Ringrose, and Marki for sending me the photo.

    Ken Lee says the album is now available in most Asian countries.

    Alberto Carlos reports that "From the choirgirl hotel" was released in Mexico on May 8th, and the "Live in NY" video was released May the 5th (they are both imported products, and the album is the "made in Canada" edition)

    France & Switzerland got the new album before anybody! According to Ears With Feet Kim Rygiel and Gerard, Tori's new album was released in France on April 30, 1998. You can see to the right an ad for the new album that appeared in the April 1998 issue of RAGE magazine in France. (Thanks to Kim Rygiel for the scan. Click on it to see the ad larger.) Toriphile Silverfish verfies the album came out on April 30th and adds that if you buy it at FNAC they give you a free videotape of the Spark video, while supplies last. They had huge ads up all over the metro for it.

    Andrea Trombin Valente reports that Switzerland got the new album on April 30, 1998.

    The new album was released in South Africa on May 5th according to Ryno Posthumus.

    The new album was released in the U.K. on May 4, 1998.

    The new album was released in North America on May 5, 1998.

    The release date in Germany was May 4th. (Thank you Christoph Viethen.) The vinyl version of the album may be released in Germany on May 18th if it is not delayed or cancelled.

    The release date in Belgium was May 1st. (Thank you Nele Gielen.)

    Ruud van Melick tells us that the album was released in The Netherlands on May 1st, by Warner Music. Choirgirl Hotel has the Dutch catalogue number : 7567830952.

    The release date for Sweden was May 2, 1998 according to Daniel Bergquist.

    The Japanese Version Of "choirgirl"

    The Japanese release of "from the choirgirl hotel" included "Purple People" as a Bonus Track!

    The U.K. Promo Version Of "choirgirl"

    Ears With Feet Mike Gray sent me scans of a promo version of "from the choirgirl hotel" that appeared in the U.K. on EastWest Records. You can see right & below the front and back covers in one photo, and the CD disc in the other, which is different from the disc that comes with the regular album (see above.) The tracklisting was the same as the regular album.

    Huge Promo Posters At Tower Records In Los Angeles

    Kim H. has sent me some photos of some interesting promotional posters for "from the choirgirl hotel" that she found in Los Angeles in May 1998. You can see 2 photos of Tori on the front of Tower Records stores. The one located on the Sunset Strip, at the corner of Sunset and Horn, had a huge painting-type sign. The other one is a huge long banner right over the top of the Tower Records in Sherman Oaks, on Ventura Blvd., right on the front of the store. It was great to see Tori displayed so prominently!

    The 4 Song Promo Sampler

    Toriphiles Rusty and Dustin have sent me a nice scan of the 4-track choirgirl sampler that I have been reporting on. On my Sampler page I have all the details about this 4-song sampler, including lyrics and commentary. The songs are "Spark", "Jackie's Strength", "Rasberry Swirl" and "Playboy Mommy". I have now heard these songs, and I can tell you they are all different from one another. "Playboy Mommy" is a bluesy song complete with slide guitar. "Rasberry Swirl" is a dance song that is an enjoyable sonic assault on your senses. "Jackie's Strength" is a more traditional Tori song with some beautiful strings.

    Soundclips From The New Album

    At Tori's Official Web Site, in the Discography section, you can hear in RealAudio "Spark" in its entirety, as well as clips of "Rasberry Swirl" and "Jackie's Strength."

    The Chasing Tornados web site has a page dedicated to the "from the choirgirl hotel". It includes lyrics and sound clips from each song, and all the photos from the CD booklet.

    The First Single: Spark

    Go to the Spark Page for information on the first single from "from the choirgirl hotel." You can also find lyrics from the Spark single b-sides here, as well as comments on Spark from Toriphiles.

    Tower Offered Exclusive Download Of "Merman"

    In 1998, Tower Records launched a series of promotions that involved the downloading of free, exclusive tracks to computer users who purchased full-length albums at the chain's stores or Web site. The first track in the promotion was a song called "Merman" from Tori Amos. Tori's Official web site ( was the official launching pad for this promotion. You were given free access to "Merman" if you pre-ordered "from the choirgirl hotel" from a Towers Record store or the Tower Records web site.

    For more about Merman and some lyrics, go to my Merman Page.

    Merman was released in June 1999 on the No Boundaries compilation album.

    Tori At The Cafe In San Francisco

    After the San Francisco club show on May 5, 1998, Tori made an appearance at a gay bar in San Francisco called The Cafe. They were having a Tori album release party at the time. I have a report on this from Mark Folkman and a photo of Tori at the club that was sent to me by a Toriphile named I Heart 59.

    See the photo and read The Cafe report.

    Arch's Frozen Yugurt Promoted Tori's New Album

    I have a photo of a yogurt menu created by Arch's Frozen Yogurt in Charlottesville VA for a special Tori promotion the night before the album was released in the U.S., May 4, 1998. All the yogurt flavors were named after Tori songs!

    Photographer Katerina Jebb

    Katerina Jebb is one of the photographers responsible for the artwork to Tori's "from the choirgirl hotel" album. (See the April 1998 issue of Q Magazine for more info on this.)

    During the Yahoo chat on April 13, 1998, Tori said that she was reading the book "Girlfriend in a Coma" by Douglas Coupland. Ken Tough from the U.K. tells me that the cover to that book is similar to the artwork on Tori's FTCGH album! The cover features a young woman lying pressed on a piece of glass. It turns out Katerina Jebb, who did some of the artwork for the new album, did the photograph for that book cover as well. [On the U.K. version of the book cover only. Note that the covers of books in North America can often be different than those in Europe.]

    Updated August 2, 2000 - Ears With Feet Julia Lewis found other examples of the photographic work of Katerina Jebb at the following web pages:

    Interesting Artists
    Katerina Jebb

    Photographer Martina Hoogland-Ivanov

    Another photographer whose work is featured in the FTCGH album's artwork is Martina Hoogland-Ivanov. Tori mentioned in a Yahoo Chat on April 13, 1998 that she was really moved by Martina's work. Toriphile Alexandra sent me some striking and beauitful photographs that Martina did in a fashion spread in the March 1998 issue of The Face magazine called 'the pilgrims'. See the photos here.

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