American Doll Posse is the ninth studio album by singer-songwriter Tori Amos. The album, like her previous three, is a concept album, with the 23-track American Doll Posse entailing five female personae Amos developed based on Greek mythology. Musically, the album is a drastic departure for Amos. Having stated that the box set A Piano: The Collection (2006) was the summation of her previous work and the end of an era, the album elicits a new chapter in her career and is her heaviest, most rock-influenced album to date.
American Doll Posse serves as Amos' third and final album under her contract with record label Epic/Sony, as Amos announced a year after the album's release that she would be operating independently of major record labels.
Prior to its release, Amos revealed that the album is political in nature:
The main message of my new album is: the political is personal. This as opposed to the feminist statement from years ago that the personal is political. I know it has been said that it goes both ways, but we have to turn it around. We have to think like that. I’m now taking on subjects that I could not have been able to take on in my twenties. With Little Earthquakes I took on more personal things. But if you are going to be an American woman in 2007 with a real view on what is going on, you need to be brave, and you need to know that some people won’t want to look at it.
While Amos had hinted that she may bring back both the harpsichord (last used on Boys for Pele) and the Wurlitzer (used on Strange Little Girls and Scarlet's Walk), only the latter appeared on the track "Dark Side of the Sun". Before the album's release, she made several comments about bringing a "warrior woman" out, as well as stating that the record would be a very different chapter from what has come before.
What I'm trying to tell other women is they have their own version of the compartmentalised feminine which may have been repressed in each one of them. For many years I have been an image; that isn’t necessarily who I am completely. I have made certain choices and that doesn’t mean that those choices are the whole story. I think these women are showing me that I have not explored honest extensions of the self who are now as real as the redhead.
|Attributes||Songs|| Covers in|
|Isabel (HisTORIcal)||Greek goddess of the hunt Artemis||Photographer and is the most outwardly political||"Yo George", "Mr. Bad Man", "Devils & Gods", "Almost Rosey", "Dark Side Of The Sun", "Drive All Night" (with Santa)||"Sweet Dreams", "In The Springtime Of His Voodoo", "Tombigbee", "Virginia", "Scarlet's Walk", "Sweet Sangria", "Mountain", The Exorcist theme "Part One", the Velvet Underground song "New Age", which Amos had previously covered under her own name in 2001|
|Clyde (CliTORIdes)||Greek goddess of the underworld Persephone||"Wears her emotional wounds on her sleeve, but remains idealistic. She is looking at the effects of not being a whole person. She is trying to figure out what she believes in and she is dealing with having been disappointed in her life"||"Bouncing Off Clouds", "Girl Disappearing", "Roosterspur Bridge", "Beauty Of Speed", "Miracle" (with Tori)||"Little Amsterdam", "Black-Dove (January)", "Juarez", "Little Earthquakes", "Upside Down", "Mary" and the Lloyd Cole track "Rattlesnakes," which Amos had previously covered under her own name in 2001|
|Pip (ExpiraTORIal)||Greek goddess of war, wisdom and strategy Athena||Confrontational "warrior woman"||"Teenage Hustling", "Fat Slut", "Body & Soul" (with Santa), "Velvet Revolution", "Smokey Joe"||"Bliss", "Cruel", "The Waitress", "Blood Roses", "Me And A Gun," "Professional Widow", "Suede", the Neil Young song "Heart Of Gold," which Amos had previously covered in 2001|
|Santa (SanaTORIum)||Greek goddess Aphrodite||Sensual and passionate||"You Can Bring Your Dog", "Secret Spell", "Body & Soul" (with Pip), "Programmable Soda", "Dragon", "My Posse Can Do", "Drive All Night" (with Isabel)||"Cruel", "God", "Sugar", "She's Your Cocaine", "Hoochie Woman", "Raspberry Swirl", "Bug A Martini", "Sweet The Sting", the Brazilian traditional song "Carnival"|
|Tori (TerraTORIes)||Greek gods Demeter and Dionysus||Caricature of the artist herself, with promotional images released depicting the character holding sage and with a Bible in one hand and the word 'shame' scrawled across the other||"Big Wheel", "Digital Ghost", "Father's Son", "Code Red", "Posse Bonus", "Miracle" (with Clyde)||—|
"Bouncing Off Clouds" served as the first single in Europe and as the second single in the United States. "Almost Rosey" was released as the third single as an internet-only release through MySpace. Following the trend set by her previous releases with Epic as dictated by general music industry trends, all three singles released from American Doll Posse were promo-only singles, no commercial singles were produced.
|"My Posse Can Do" (Santa)||3:37||American Doll Posse DVD (2007)|
|"Miracle" (Clyde & Tori)||4:34||digital download (iTunes) (2007)|
|"Drive All Night" (Santa & Isabel)||4:06||digital download (Borders) (2007)|
The album's debut at # 5 is the same debut position as The Beekeeper (2005), but with American Doll Posse selling fewer units. This decrease in sales is partially explained by the overall decline of sales in the music industry. At the time of the album's release, overall music sales for 2007 were down over 16% than the previous year's sales.
Limited edition copies of the album were ruled to be ineligible for the UK Top 40 sales chart due to the inclusion of free art cards depicting each of the Posse members. According to an article on Amos' site, Amos chose not to issue a reduced packaging version of the special edition (as had been done with Scarlet's Walk). As a result, the album's UK debut at # 50 is based only upon sales of the single-disc standard version of the album.
The chart below lists the album debut positions (within the top 20) in major markets around the globe.
|Chart (2007)|| Peak|
|United World Chart||10|
|Billboard Top 200 Albums (US)||5|
|Billboard Top Digital Albums (US)||2|
|Billboard Top Internet Albums (US)||3|
|European Top 100 Albums||7|
|Australian Albums Chart||20|
|Austrian Albums Chart||14|
|Canadian Albums Chart||15|
|Dutch Albums Chart||5|
|Finnish Albums Chart||7|
|German top-100 Albums Chart||10|
|Italian Top-100 Albums||18|
|Norway Albums Chart||11|
|Swiss Albums Chart||15|
iTunes offered a free bonus track, "Miracle", and a Ticketmaster concert pre-sale code for anyone who pre-ordered either version of the album. Standard edition versions of the album purchased from Borders included a code to download a different bonus track, "Drive All Night", while albums purchased at Target were accompanied by a poster featuring the five "dolls".
The chart below lists the release dates for American Doll Posse in major markets around the globe.
|Poland||April 26, 2007|
|Austria||April 27, 2007|
|Australia||April 28, 2007|
|Mexico||April 30, 2007|
|USA||May 1, 2007|
|Finland||May 2, 2007|
|Japan||July 18, 2007|
The full band tour for American Doll Posse commenced on May 28, 2007 in Rome, Italy. The European leg of the tour ended with a show in Ra'anana, Israel on July 21, 2007. The Australian leg of the tour, which commenced on September 10 and lasted the rest of the month, was followed by the North American leg which began October 9. The tour ended on December 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA. Amos, using a Bosendorfer piano, Yamaha synth, and Hammond organ, was backed by Matt Chamberlain (drums), Jon Evans (bass), and Dan Phelps (guitar).
As hinted before the tour began, one of the four alter-egos, complete in her own unique wardrobe, opened each show, performing as many as seven songs, followed by a costume change with Amos taking over as herself for the remaining two-thirds of the show. Three exceptions were the San Diego and Los Angeles shows, where two dolls opened, and the Anaheim show, where two dolls opened and one of them returned for the encore.