Neil Gaiman's Comments On "Strange Little Girls"

Updated August 12, 2001

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Author Neil Gaiman has made several public comments about Tori's 2001 album "Strange Little Girls". Some of the comments were made earlier in 2001 before we really knew anything about the album. Neil did not give anything away, but his comments were interesting and informative just the same. Below you will find most of the major quotes Neil has made about Strange Little Girls:

Interesting thoughts from Neil Gaiman about the final version of SLG

Added August 12, 2001 - Galaxygrl alerted me to comments Neil Gaiman made about the final version of Strange Little Girls in his journal at Here is part of his entry for August 11, 2001:

    "Finished the second draft of the whatever-it-is-I'm-doing-with-Avalon. Not quite ready to write the review of STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS I thought I'd write, having just got the whole thing, all 12 tracks in a final mixed version. Fascinating how the whole shape of the album changes with HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN on there; it's an eleven minute monster I want to hear a lot more times before I say anything sensible. But Raining Blood now works much better now, following it. (It was never happy following I don't Like Mondays.)"

Neil and the issue of leaking material before it is ready

Added August 12, 2001 - Neil posted the following aon his journal at on Monday, August 06, 2001:

    Surprised this morning to discover that what looks like more or less random paragraphs extracted from the first couple of the stories I'd written for Tori's STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS have started floating around the net, and suddenly got a real insight into how artists must feel, having worked themselves into an exhausted frenzy, gone without sleep and and racked up a bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars recording a new album, mixing it, getting it into a form they are proud of, only to have everyone's first exposure to it be a badly compressed 56K mp3 of a premixed version released to a couple of journalists...

    If that's how the artist wants it released, fine. But if not, I dunno -- it's like a strange sort of race between curiosity and respect, and, knowing human nature, curiosity will always win, and always be disappointed.

    Not, I should add, that I spent thousands of dollars or went without sleep to write the SLG stories. But I had always thought that people's first exposure to them would be as a sequence of 12, in the correct order, to be read or heard in combination with the photos they refer to, and in context of the songs.

Great quote from Neil Gaiman on how he feels about Strange Little Girls

Added July 23, 2001 - Alana alerted me to more comments Neil Gaiman made in his journal at Here is part of his entry for July 22, 2001:

    Oh, one thing. Several people at the signing asked about the stories I wrote for Tori's STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS album. To clarify, they won't be on the CD -- I think the plan is to take a sentence from each one and put it by the relevant photo for the CD, then to run the whole story in the Tour Booklet. (one person asked me if the new album was really any good, as if I'd probably just been trying to get people's hopes up to help sell a dog of an album, which rather puzzled me. So, for the record, yes I really like the album. I think it's the best thing Tori's done in a while, and it's, in my opinion, her most personal album for years. I would be astonished if there wasn't at least one track on there that every dyed in the wool Tori fan loved immediately, and equally as surprised if there wasn't at least one track that they disliked equally as strongly -- it's that sort of record).

Interesting Comments from Neil Gaiman on some short stories he wrote for Strange Little Girls and some filming he did with Tori

Added July 17, 2001 - Alana alerted me to some interesting comments Neil Gaiman made in his journal at Here is part of his entry for July 16, 2001:

    ...Left London on the Gatwick Express. Saw my family, or bits of it. Went back to London on the Gatwick Express. Did a strange but kind of fun thing with Tori, where we sat and were filmed talking in a hotel with galaxies in the lifts (er, elevators) and see-through glass bathrooms. Read the short stories for Strange Little Girls and then we talked about each story and each song and what it meant. I think theyíll edit it into something and put it out on the web in some form.

Neil Gaiman talks about Tori's cover of "New Age"

Added July 10, 2001 - Neil once again comments on Strange Little Girls in his journal at on July 8, 2001. He mentions something interesting about Tori's cover of Velvet Underground's "New Age". He also kindly links to the Dent as well! Thanks to the many people who emailed me about this, especially heather dyan who was the first. Neil says:

    "(Jetlagged author tries to remember things he said, but he can only remember mentioning that the lyric version of New Age on Tori's "Strange Little Girls" CD is not as reported the one from the Velvet Underground's LOADED but actually the version from the Live 1969 LP, and I can only remember that because it's playing in the background as I type this.)"

More of Neil's online posts about "Strange Little Girls". Neil is writing something for both the CD Booklet and the 2001 tour book!

Added June 16, 2001 - Neil has been making comments about Tori's "Strange Little Girls" at various web sites and during some online chats. Neil obviously loves the new album. He has not revealed too much, but his tidbits are interesting and really make you want to hear the album. At the time of this posting, Neil is one of the very few people who has heard this new album. Neil has stated that he is writing something for Tori's "Strange Little Girls" CD booklet and her 2001 tour book! Neil says he plans to write something for each of the "girls" and that the tour book could have the longer versions of what he is writing for each song.

Here is a summary of some of his online, public comments.

Here are Neil's latest comments about the album from the 'Countdown to American Gods' topic (Topic 104) at The Well that is posted on the web at inkwell.vue.

    #1977 of 1991: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Fri 15 Jun '01 (08:20 PM)

    I'm writing something for each of the girls. It'll probably be longer in the version in the tour booklet, at a guess.

Neil did an chat on Friday, June 15, 2001 that I took part in and he talked about how he met Tori and also mentions that he loved the new album. You an read what he said about Tori below. (Thanks to Sadie Prater for sending me a transcript of what he said.)

    host-aoife: Question from JimsArcade : How did you and Tori Amos get to know each other? I enjoyed her introduction to the first "Death" trade paperback. I also noticed your name when in her "Thanks to" section on her record sleeves.

    Neil_Gaiman: Let's see... in 1991, I was given a tape at the San Diego Comic Convention. It was a tape of material that half of which ended up on Little Earthquakes. The other half ended up on b-sides. When I returned to London, I found the artist's number with the tape. I phoned her up and told her I thought she should go professional. She laughed. And told me that the album would be out shortly. I am very lucky to have met her. Like finding a sister, really.

    Neil_Gaiman: For "Strange Little Girls" Tori used me to bounce ideas off of. I've heard most of the tracks and it's fantastic. It spent about 36 hours straight playing on my turntable. The new Tori album is quite wonderful. Deeply surprising.

    Host-ChatArial: yes, her work is amazing!

    Neil_Gaiman: The kind that makes you very happy listening to it. Especially with the places she goes on it.

Neil did a Bowienet chat in mid-June 2001. (Thanks to XXXPandora for telling me.)

    breed028 asks "Mr. Gaiman, how is the new Tori Amos album?".

    Neil Gaiman answers: Wonderful! It's playing in the background right now. I've been playing it over and over since it arrived. What's fun about it is my kids, who have completely different musical tastes, also love it.

Neil has made several comments about Tori's new album in his journal at (which is now the same as Here are some of them. (Thanks to JohnnyTreachery.)

June 13, 2001:

    (Fedex tomorrow will bring many cool things, including the new Tori Amos CD, for the booklet of which I have to find some words.)

June 15, 2001:

    Some days are instant Christmas. They put a smile on your face...

    Today brought...

    Tori's CD, Strange Little Girls. It's missing one track, but the other eleven are there. I knew what to expect this time, but my family are spellbound. It's just playing all the time in the background... as surprising and as wonderful the fifth time as it was the first.

Neil Gaiman again posts about "Strange Little Girls" at The Well and

Added June 5, 2001 - If you look at the 'Countdown to American Gods' topic (Topic 104) at The Well that is posted on the web at inkwell.vue, you will once again see a post from Neil Gaiman about Tori's "Strange Little Girls" that was made on June 2, 2001. You can read his comments at the inkwell.vue (Topic #1662). You can also read Neil's comment quoted below. Neil says he is writing something for the album's CD Book/liner notes!

    #1662 of 1991: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Sat 02 Jun '01 (01:18 AM)

    Abbe -- I did a long interview this morning for a Tori fanzine, in which I worked very hard at not saying too much about the new album.

    I spoke to herself yesterday, though, and things are coming together swimmingly. There'll be some writing I have to do, pretty soon -- I hope, before the tour, as the finished album, CD book and everything will be handed in at the beginning of July.

The fanzine Neil is talking about is Little Blue World.

Neil Gaiman posts his reaction to Tori's new album after getting to hear it for the first time

Added April 24, 2001 - If you look at the 'Countdown to American Gods' topic (Topic 104) at The Well that is posted on the web at inkwell.vue, you will see several fascinating comments from Neil Gaiman about Tori's new album, "Strange Little Girls." He posted twice about the album, both on April 23, 2001. You can read his comments at the inkwell.vue (Topics #992 and #998). I will repeat them below because Neil stated in the topic that it was okay to do so. Neil did not reveal much, but says that the new recordings are powerful, not what you expect, and that Tori does things with her voice that are unique. Neil heard the 12 tracks that will be on the album and some b-sides as well. It is good to hear that we should get b-sides as well as the album! Read his comments below.

    #992 of 1006: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Mon 23 Apr '01 (01:19 PM)

    Okay. I've heard the twelve tracks of STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS. I'll post something coherent later.

    For now, let me just say that whatever you're expecting, it's not what you expect; whatever you're imagining, it's not what you imagine.

    And I *knew* what to expect -- and it wasn't what I expected.

    And yes, it's astonishing, and powerful, and scary, and cool. And if I'm good, maybe tonight I'll get to hear it again.


    (And yes, if anyone wants to repost this anywhere, feel free -- I'd hate to see people arguing over paraphases of what I might have said.)

    #998 of 1006: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Mon 23 Apr '01 (06:21 PM)

    More on Strange Little Girls.

    Sat up with Marcel, listening to the b-sides (all lovely, and in each case I could see why it wasn't an album track -- although one of them might be a single in its own right), and then he played me four or five of the album tracks again.

    It got better. And I was blown away the first time.

    I don't really want to say anything specific and tangible about this album, because it's not my place to talk about it -- it's Tori's and she'll talk about it when the time's right. And you'll hear it then,too.

    But I will say that it feels in many ways like her first album as a grown-up -- as a mother, maybe; and that it's both her most accessible album (there's one track which made me think of nothing so much as a great lost track from Little Earthquakes) and also -- especially in the sequence of the last four or five songs, her most painful.

    There are a couple of songs that are real singles. There's one song that will be a basement remix before you can say 'stains' . And there's one mammoth of a song that isn't yet finished, but even in the unfinished version it 's audacious and wild.

    She does things with her voice I've not heard before. And the arrangements and musicianship are astonishing.

    And, as I said before, it's not what you expect - *whatever* you expect.

At Inkwell.vue, Neil Gaiman mentions he has seen a track listing for Tori's new album project !

Added March 17, 2001 - If you check out the 'Countdown to American Gods' topic (#104) at The Well that is posted on the web at inkwell.vue, you will see a comment from Neil where he once again mentions Tori's upcoming album. (He refers to Tori as his goddaughter's mum.) You can go to inkwell.vue (Topic #104) and read them for yourself. Look for Neil's post on Thursday, March 15, 2000 (#374).

Neil's comments are below:

    #374 of 1990: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Thu 15 Mar '01 (01:45 PM)

    E-mail from my goddaughter's mum this morning with track listings for the new album. It's frustrating to know I have to wait until probably July when I'm in the UK to hear any of it.

Neil Mentions Tori's New Album Project At Inkwell.vue

Added February 14, 2001 - If you check out the Neil Gaiman topic 'SANDMAN:THE DREAM HUNTERS' (#73) at The Well that is posted on the web at inkwell.vue, you will see several comments from Neil where he indirectly mentions Tori and her new album, although he does not really give any details away. You can go to inkwell.vue (Topic #73) and read the comments. Look for Neil's posts on Monday, December 18, 2000 (#1470), Tuesday, December 19, 2000 (#1480) and Friday December 22, 2000 (#1492).

Neil's comments about Tori's new album are below:

    #1470 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Mon 18 Dec '00 (09:30 PM)

    Have gone to see fairy goddaughter. Who is, I want you to know, the cutest thing. Well, not THE cutest thing. That was maddy. but she's up there. And she has a magnificently goofy smile.

    Her mother and I are plotting the next album. Plot plot plot.

    #1480 of 1905: Neil Gaiman (neilgaiman) Tue 19 Dec '00 (07:50 PM)

    Martha -- nope. Not a concept album -- there's no story there. It's more plotting as in... um... I don't really want to give anything away. Other than to say it will be very wonderful, amazingly cool, and very very very different, and you'll all find out what I'm talking about in September.

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