Y Kant Tori Read was a 1980s pop band, fronted by (then unknown) singer-songwriter Tori Amos. Despite the continuing obscurity of the band and the fact that it only produced one album, its sound was somewhat unique at the time, although later often compared to Pat Benatar's work from around the same time. Y Kant Tori Read has been classified as everything from glam-influenced pop to semi-progressive rock.
Formed in 1984, the band originally consisted of Amos, Steve Caton, and several musicians that they worked with at the time. When they were signed to Atlantic Records through record producer Joe Chicarelli, only Amos and Caton were kept on in the band. Kim Bullard, later of Kajagoogoo, and Matt Sorum, later of Guns N' Roses, were brought in to flesh out the band for the album. The album, also called Y Kant Tori Read, was released in 1988 and was an unmitigated commercial failure. Amos herself has claimed that it moved less than 7000 units, including promotional LPs, cassettes and CDs, as well as vinyl "cut-out" (very discounted) copies.
Throughout most of the 1990s, as a result of Amos' successful solo career, copies of the album in its various formats would sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars, particularly an unopened copy on compact disc in its original long box. At the time of release, cut-out copies on vinyl had been placed on sale for ninety-nine cents. A music video for their song "The Big Picture" was made, but the only member of the band featured was Amos.
Two singles were released. The first, "The Big Picture," was commercially issued exclusively as a 7" vinyl single (and without a picture sleeve.) A 12" vinyl promotional release did have a picture sleeve, however. The second single, "Cool on Your Island," was issued as a cassette single and 7" vinyl single, this time with a picture sleeve; and in various promo 7" vinyl singles, including as a B-side of labelmate Phil Collins' "A Groovy Kind of Love." Neither single was successful.
Atlantic Records fully abandoned promoting the record after only two months of release. At Amos' request, the album has never been reissued. However, she continues to periodically perform "Cool on Your Island" and "Etienne" (from "The Etienne Trilogy") live, and has been known to play "Fire on the Side" on at least one occasion. Amos performed "On the Boundary" live in Los Angeles, CA on December 18th, 2011.
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