Rhino’s top-quality compilations and Tori Amos’ unique artistic vision combine to make “A Piano: The Collection” a delight for Tori-philes. The charming boxed set is topped with a three-dimensional keyboard that opens like a piano bench. Instead of packaging her complete studio albums together, Amos chose tracks that best represent her work from 1991’s “Little Earthquakes” to 2005’s “The Beekeeper.”
Many appear as alternate or remixed versions, the changes sometimes too subtle to detect. One exception is Armand’s Star Funkin Mix of “Professional Widow,” which renders it unrecognizable.
But the real treasures of this five-disc trove are its plentiful B-sides and unreleased material. Amos includes 35 songs that have been circulating as random singles for years. Among the best are unrequited love song “Here. In My Head,” the chilly, jangly “Sugar” and “The Pool,” an eerie recording the sounds like a descent into purgatory.
A 60-page booklet presents a comprehensive bio, photos that chronicle Amos’ career and commentary from the artist. She reveals how label meddling affects an album (the exec who yanked “Take to the Sky (Russia)” from “Little Earthquakes” deserves a good kick), song inspirations (“Ode to My Clothes” waves goodbye to a wardrobe that was accidentally thrown out) and her constant quest for new sounds. More commentary on the rarities would have been nice, but Amos’ writing is entertaining enough to compensate. — Christa L. Titus