Tales of a Librarian

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Tales of a Librarian
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 2003
Recorded1990 – Summer 2003
ProducerTori Amos, Eric Rosse
Tori Amos chronology
Scarlet's Walk
Tales of a Librarian
The Beekeeper
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Mojo4/5 stars[2]
Q3/5 stars[4]
Uncut5/5 stars[5]

Tales of a Librarian (complete title: A Tori Amos Collection: Tales of a Librarian) is the first retrospective compilation album by singer/songwriter Tori Amos. Given the option to be involved in the project, Amos elected to take a central role in the production of the collection, released in 2003 on her former label Atlantic Records.

Amos described the compilation as a "sonic autobiography", a title derived from her dislike of the term "greatest hits".[6] Recording under the premise that a librarian is a "chronicler", Amos pieced together the collection in accordance with the Dewey Decimal System; so, for example, "Sweet Dreams", which contains the lyrics "Land, land of liberty / We're run by a constipated man", is listed as "973.938: History of North America -- Politics of Illusion".[7] Amos revisited the mixing of many of her own favorite songs from her career, focusing on those she thought were not fully realized in their original recordings and those that she felt explained her life story. Additionally, Amos added two new songs and two re-recorded b-sides: "Angels", "Snow Cherries from France", "Sweet Dreams", and "Mary", respectively (the latter two compositions were originally recorded in 1990 during sessions for Little Earthquakes).

Track listing[edit]


All tracks written by Amos.

1."Precious Things" (from Little Earthquakes)4:29
3."Silent All These Years" (from Little Earthquakes)4:10
4."Cornflake Girl" (from Under the Pink)5:05
5."Mary" (b-side from Little Earthquakes)4:42
6."God" (from Under the Pink)3:54
7."Winter" (from Little Earthquakes)5:43
8."Spark" (from From the Choirgirl Hotel)4:13
9."Way Down" (Extended) (from Boys for Pele)1:50
10."Professional Widow" (Armand's Star Trunk Funkin' Mix) (Radio Edit) (single from Boys for Pele)3:48
11."Mr. Zebra" (from Boys for Pele)1:05
12."Crucify" (from Little Earthquakes)5:00
13."Me and a Gun" (from Little Earthquakes)3:43
14."Bliss" (from To Venus and Back)3:35
15."Playboy Mommy" (from From the Choirgirl Hotel)4:06
16."Baker Baker" (from Under the Pink)3:12
17."Tear in Your Hand" (from Little Earthquakes)4:38
18."Sweet Dreams" (b-side from Little Earthquakes)3:39
19."Jackie’s Strength" (from From the Choirgirl Hotel)4:25
20."Snow Cherries from France"2:56



All tracks written by Amos.

1."Pretty Good Year" (Recorded live during soundcheck from Welcome to Sunny Florida, September 4, 2003.)3:47
2."Honey" (Recorded live during soundcheck from Welcome to Sunny Florida, September 4, 2003.)4:00
3."Northern Lad" (Recorded live during soundcheck from Welcome to Sunny Florida, September 4, 2003.)4:27


All tracks written by Amos.

1."Putting the Damage On" (Remixed; runs over photo gallery.)5:08
2."Mr. Zebra" (Instrumental; runs over photo gallery and navigation menu.)1:05
3."Putting the Damage On" (Instrumental)5:08


Chart (2003) Position
Billboard 200 (US)[8] 40
Official UK Album Chart (UK)[9] 74
Canadian Album Chart (Canada) 86
ARIA Album Chart (Australia)[10] 93
Austrian Album Chart (Austria) 72
Belgian Album Chart (Belgium) 34
Dutch Album Chart (The Netherlands) 93
IRMA Album Chart (Ireland) 67


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[11] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[12] N/A 295,000 [13]^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Mojo review
  3. ^ musicOMH.com review
  4. ^ Q review
  5. ^ Uncut review
  6. ^ "Tori Amos - Tales of a Librarian". yessaid.com. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2006-11-12.
  7. ^ Kelefa Sanneh (2003-12-05). "Tales of a Librarian". nytimes.com.
  8. ^ "Tori Amos - Artist Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  9. ^ https://archive.is/20120724142623/http://www.chartstats.com/release.php?release=41731
  10. ^ "ARIA.net Week of 08/12/2003: Issue #720" (PDF). Pandora. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  11. ^ "British album certifications – Tori Amos – Tales of the librarian". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 July 2012. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Tales of the librarian in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  12. ^ "American album certifications – Tori Amos – Tales of a librarian". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 12 April 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  13. ^ https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/1045442/ask-billboard