China (Tori Amos song)

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Single by Tori Amos
from the album Little Earthquakes
  • "Sugar"
  • "Flying Dutchman"
  • "Humpty Dumpty"
Released January 20, 1992
Genre Alternative rock, piano rock
Length 18:51 (UK CD single)
Label Atlantic, EastWest
Writer(s) Tori Amos
Producer(s) Ian Stanley
Tori Amos singles chronology
"Silent All These Years"

"China" is a song by American singer-songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the third single from her debut studio album Little Earthquakes. It was released January 20, 1992 by Atlantic Records in the US and EastWest Records in the UK. It was the first song written for Little Earthquakes and was originally titled "Distance": a recurring lyric and theme in the song., It was also originally submitted to the Library of Congress in 1987.[1]


The song is often cited as one of Amos's least abstruse and most traditional ballads. It is a lament about lost love with lyrics like "Sometimes I think you want me to touch you/How can I when you build the great wall around you?" This particular lyric likely inspired the cover art of Amos standing at an upside-down teacup shaped wall. This visual theme also occurred in the music video, which showed Amos lamenting on a rocky beach in England.

This song did not take off very well as a single. When Amos's fame reached its peak in the mid-1990s, copies of the single often sold for $30–50, but now can be found on eBay for ten dollars or less. It was highly sought after because the B-side "Humpty Dumpty" was not released elsewhere, even on Amos's B-sides compilation More Pink: The B-Sides, nor on her retrospective boxed set A Piano: The Collection).

Alternately, the B-side "Sugar" has become one which has appeared in various formats more than any of Amos's other B-sides. It was included on the B-sides album More Pink: The B-Sides in 1994. A live version appeared as a B-side on the single Hey Jupiter in 1996; a different live version appeared on the live disc to her 1999 2-CD set To Venus and Back. This is ironic considering Amos's contention that she wrote the song at the last minute in an attempt to have a full set of songs for record producers.

Track listing[edit]

CD single/12" single
  1. "China" – 5:01
  2. "Sugar" – 4:27
  3. "Flying Dutchman" – 6:31
  4. "Humpty Dumpty" – 2:52
7" single/Cassette single
  1. "China" – 5:01
  2. "Sugar" – 4:27


Chart (1992) Position
UK Singles Chart 51


  1. ^ China by Tori Amos from