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"The Big Picture"
Thebigpicture12promo-b.jpg
Single from Y Kant Tori Read

Released

June 1988

Length

4:19

Label

Atlantic Records

Writer

Tori Amos and Kim Bullard (words and music)

Producer

Joe Chicarelli

"The Big Picture" was the lead single from Y Kant Tori Read's self-titled album and the first song on the album itself. 

Background[]

"The Big Picture" was released in the U.S. as a 7" single with "You Go to My Head" and as a 12" promo single with "The Big Picture" as the B-side.

Music video[]

The music video for "The Big Picture" was directed by Marty Callner, who also made videos for Aerosmith, Whitesnake, and Twisted Sister, and set on what Joe Vallese of PopMatters termed a "'ghetto city" scape" in Los Angeles. (pretty good years page 23) g=PA21&dq=the+big+picture+y+kant+tori+read+interview&source=bl&ots=d9DJcPHPpo&sig=LuskZU4q41JvA85SwNqQ3_GBzHk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEQQ6AEwCDgKahUKEwihhLf5w-DGAhUGkw0KHT8KAKQ#v=onepage&q=the%20big%20picture%20y%20kant%20tori%20read%20interview&f=false

As the video begins, Tori comes up to a police officer standing next to her car and says, "Boy, am I glad to see you." The officer informs Tori that he is writing her a ticket because she is illegally parked; Tori complains, arguing that "someone broke into my car, took my underwear. That's gross!" The officer tickets her regardless and leaves. As he walks away, the camera moves to reveal that Tori's stolen underwear is in his back pocket.

The rest of the video shows Tori "scantily clad [and] sword-wielding", dancing in various outfits, acting out parts of the song, including knocking a man off a ladder and confronting her mother, and playing the piano.

In his Amos biography Pretty Good Years, Jay S. Jacobs called the clip as "a typical cliched state-of-the-art, late-eighties hair metal music video: lots of smoke, motorcycles, sports cars, graffiti, curtains blowing in the breeze, and hot, barely dressed women." (pretty good years page 23).

Still from the opening scene of the video.

Live performances[]

"The Big Picture" was first performed live as a medley with "Pictures of You" by The Cure during the 2014 Unrepentant Geraldines Tour.

Lyrics[]

Someone smashed my window

broke into my brand new car last night

Caught my boyfriend lookin'

at another slender pair of thighs

Gotta make more money

Gotta get, gotta get there

faster than the rest, yeah

Knock 'em off the ladder

if they even seem to

stand a chance

The big picture

Gotta big white cloud

The big picture

is starin' at me

starin' at me

ooh, ooh, yeah

ooh, ooh, yeah

big picture

Why do I feel so threatened

that somebody else will take what's mine

Babe, it's only rented

No one really owns the merchandise

What about what I want?

Somehow it got lost somewhere

inside

My mother's on my case

I told her it's my life

well, she just died

The big picture

Gotta big white cloud

The big picture

is starin' at me

starin' at me

The big picture

On a big blank wall, hey

The big picture

is starin' at me

starin' at me

ooh, ooh, yeah

ooh, ooh, yeah

When I can see

I'll try again

I've got my paints

The big picture

the big picture

hey!

the big picture

got a big white cloud

the big picture, yeah

is starin' at me, starin' at me

the big picture, yeah

on a big blank wall

the big picture, yeah

it's starin' at me, starin' at me

gotta be

yeah baby

the big, the big, big picture

gotta be there, hey

gotta be, ooh, yeah

it's starin' at me, starin' at me

the big picture, yeah, hey

gotta be, gotta be, baby, oh yeah

the big picture, yeah

gotta big white cloud, white cloud

big picture

big picture

Releases[]

Personnel[]

Credits taken from "The Big Picture" 7-inch single.[1]

  • Words and music by Tori Amos and Kim Bullard
  • Produced by Joe Chicarelli
  • Co-produced by Kim Bullard
  • Mixed by Ed Thucker
  • Executive producer — David Yershemboum

References[]

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