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Cover art for U.S. editions
|Single by Tori Amos|
|from the album Under the Pink|
|B-side||"Sister Janet" "Daisy Dead Petals" "Honey" "A Case of You" "If 6 Was 9" "Strange Fruit" "All the Girls Hate Her/Over It (Piano Suite)"|
|Released||January 10, 1994 (UK)
January 17, 1994 (UK limited edition)
February 14, 1994 (AUS)
May 5, 1994 (US)
|Genre||Alternative rock, baroque pop|
|Length||5:06 (Album Version)
|Producer(s)||Tori Amos, Eric Rosse|
|Tori Amos singles chronology|
"Cornflake Girl" is a song by American singer–songwriter and musician Tori Amos. It was released as the first single from her second studio album Under the Pink. It was released on January 10, 1994, by EastWest Records in the UK, and on May 5, 1994, by Atlantic Records in North America. Singer Merry Clayton provided backup singing and sang the "man with the golden gun" bridge.
The song reached #4 on the UK singles chart, and was Amos' most successful international hit at the time. In Australia, the song peaked at #19, and was placed at #35 on the radio station Triple J's 1994 Hottest 100 poll. The song was also ranked in Blender magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born at #433.
Inspiration and meaning
The inspiration for "Cornflake Girl" came from a conversation she was having with a long time friend about female genital mutilation on the African continent, specifically how a close female family member would betray the victim by performing the procedure. Tori has said that growing up, the name they gave to girls who would hurt you despite close friendship was "cornflake girls."
The reference to cornflakes and raisins comes from their distribution in a box of breakfast cereal, implying that "raisin girls" are much harder to find than "cornflake girls". Amos has spoken in interviews about being referred to glibly as "the cornflake girl" due to the song's title being applied to her, when she considers herself a "raisin girl". Moreover, she specifically states in the first line of the song: "Never was a cornflake girl." The confusion may be related to her 1985 commercial for Kellogg's Just Right, made before she achieved widespread fame. Just Right includes both raisins and cornflakes, so the song and the cereal are related either through coincidence or intent.
Atlantic released a series of cornflakes boxes with picture of Amos on them to promote this. They are now collector's items.
The term "cornflake girl" also appears in the lyrics of the Billy Bragg song "Body of Water" from his 1991 album Don't Try This at Home with the line "Oh, to become a pearl / In the wordy world of the cornflake girl".
Two separate "Cornflake Girl" CD singles were released in the UK. The first, released on January 10, 1994, contains three original b-sides: "Sister Janet", "All the Girls Hate Her" and "Over It"; the latter two being part of a Piano Suite. The second, released on January 17, 1994, was a limited edition picture CD housed in a digipak, containing cover versions of the songs "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell, "If 6 Was 9" by Jimi Hendrix and "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday. The first CD single was replicated for the German and Australasian release, and its b-sides were re-used for the US "God" and "Cornflake Girl" releases. Other than "A Case of You" appearing on a US promotional CD compilation and a limited 2-CD Australian tour edition of "Under the Pink", the three cover versions on the limited UK "Cornflake Girl" CD single have not been released on any other title to date, and are not available to purchase through digital retailers. As such, this CD remains a collectible item.
The United States "Cornflake Girl" CD single is housed in a digipak case.
- UK 7" Single
- "Cornflake Girl"
- "Sister Janet"
- UK CD / Australian / German CD Single
- "Cornflake Girl" – 5:05
- "Sister Janet" – 4:00
- Piano Suite
- "All The Girls Hate Her" – 2:23
- "Over It" – 2:11
- UK Limited Edition CD Single
- US CD Single (with different artwork)
- "Cornflake Girl" (Edit) – 3:54
- "Sister Janet" – 4:00
- "Daisy Dead Petals" – 3:03
- "Honey" – 3:47
There were two different videos for "Cornflake Girl". The UK version was directed by Big TV!, two directors from the UK. Tori said that is based on The Wizard of Oz, except that Dorothy goes to Hell instead. Tori stated that she wanted there to be "two different visual expressions" of the song. The US video features Tori driving a truck full of women around a typical American desert.
The song was covered by post-hardcore band Jawbox as a hidden track on their self-titled 1996 album, as well as by the band Tapping the Vein on the Tori Amos tribute album, Songs of a Goddess. In 2007, after Amos had to pull out of an appearance on the Australian comedy program The Sideshow, musical comedy trio Tripod performed the song in her place.
On March 25, 2010, British electronic musician Imogen Heap covered the song live in Australia. The performance was done per request by the winner of an online charity auction who paid about $4000 USD to win the item "VIP Experience Meet Imogen Heap + A Song Just For You".
- "New Release Summary – Product Available from: 14/2/1994 > Singles (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 209 – Week Ending 13th February 1994)". ARIA. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Official Charts > Tori Amos". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Australian Charts > Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
- "Hottest 100 > 1994". ABC. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "NME > Tori Amos – The Story Behind 'Cornflake Girl – Classic Song". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- Tori Amos appears in a Kellogg's Just Right Commercial
- "Cornflake Girl". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
- Lyrics: Body of Water, MTV.
- Hajari, Nisid: Music Capsule Review: Jawbox, Entertainment Weekly, July 26, 1996.
- Amazon.com: A Tribute To Tori Amos – Songs Of A Goddess
- The Sideshow, Episode 15. September 15, 2007.
- "Broadcast Yourself". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
- "Ultratop > Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Offizielle Deutsche Charts > Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl (single)" (in German). Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for 'Cornflake Girl' (from irishcharts.ie)". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "dutchcharts.nl > Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "charts.org.nz > Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "Billboard > Artists / Tori Amos > Chart History > Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-04-09.
- "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-25.