Cornflake Girl

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"Cornflake Girl"
Tori amos cornflake girl us cover.jpg
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)[1]
May 5, 1994 (US)
Recorded May 1993
Genre Alternative rock, baroque pop
Length 5:06 (Album Version)
3:54 (Edit)
Label Atlantic, EastWest
Songwriter(s) Tori Amos
Producer(s) Tori Amos, Eric Rosse
Tori Amos singles chronology
"Crucify"
(1992)
"Cornflake Girl"
(1994)
"God"
(1994)

"Crucify"
(1992)
"Cornflake Girl"
(1994)
"God"
(1994)
Audio sample

"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.

Inspiration and meaning[edit]

The inspiration for "Cornflake Girl" came from a conversation she was having with a longtime friend about female genital mutilation in Africa, specifically how a close female family member would betray the victim by performing the procedure. Amos has said that growing up, the name they gave to girls who would hurt you despite close friendship was cornflake girls.[2]

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."

Atlantic released a series of cornflakes boxes with picture of Amos on them to promote this. They are now collector's items.[3]

The term "cornflake girl" also appears in the lyrics of the Billy Bragg song "Body of Water" on 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".[4]

Release[edit]

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.

Reception[edit]

The song reached number four on the UK singles chart and was Amos' most successful international hit at the time. The single peaked within the top 10 in Ireland[5] and Iceland,[6] and within the top 20 in Australia.[7] It was placed at #35 on the Australian radio station Triple J's 1994 Hottest 100 poll,[8] and ranked in Blender magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born at #433.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

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.[2] The US video features Tori driving a truck full of women around a typical American desert.

Track listings[edit]

The United States "Cornflake Girl" CD single is housed in a digipak case.

UK 7" Single
  1. "Cornflake Girl"
  2. "Sister Janet"
UK CD / Australian / German CD Single
  1. "Cornflake Girl" – 5:05
  2. "Sister Janet" – 4:00
    Piano Suite
  3. "All The Girls Hate Her" – 2:23
  4. "Over It" – 2:11
UK Limited Edition CD Single
  1. "Cornflake Girl" – 5:05
  2. "A Case of You" – 4:38
  3. "If 6 Was 9" – 3:59
  4. "Strange Fruit" – 4:00
US CD Single (with different artwork)
  1. "Cornflake Girl" (Edit) – 3:54
  2. "Sister Janet" – 4:00
  3. "Daisy Dead Petals" – 3:03
  4. "Honey" – 3:47

Charts[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by post-hardcore band Jawbox as a hidden track on their self-titled 1996 album,[20] as well as by the band Tapping the Vein on the Tori Amos tribute album, Songs of a Goddess.[21] 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.[22]

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".[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ a b "NME > Tori Amos – The Story Behind 'Cornflake Girl – Classic Song". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2016-04-09. 
  3. ^ "Cornflake Girl". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Lyrics: Body of Water". MTV.com. 
  5. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Cornflake Girl". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (24.03.1994-30.03.1994)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  7. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Hottest 100 > 1994". ABC. Retrieved 2016-04-09. 
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2421." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2443." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 9, 1994" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Charts.nz – Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Tori Amos Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Tori Amos Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  19. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1994". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-25. 
  20. ^ Hajari, Nisid (July 26, 1996). "Music Capsule Review: Jawbox". Entertainment Weekly. 
  21. ^ "A Tribute To Tori Amos – Songs Of A Goddess". Amazon.com. 
  22. ^ The Sideshow, Episode 15. September 15, 2007.
  23. ^ "Broadcast Yourself". YouTube.com. 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 

External links[edit]