Tori Amos Gives Britney Spears A Sign

Maura | July 14, 2009 - 5:00 pm

Last night in Oakland, Tori Amos covered Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” prefacing her version of the gigantic pop hit with an explanation that a fairy had told her to take on the track during that night’s show. (Perhaps the fairy was really excited by the news that Spears was in the studio with “…Baby” scribe Max Martin earlier this week?) Amos is just one of many musicians who’ve been compelled to put their own spin on “…Baby” in the decade since its release, probably because the one-two-three punch of the song’s minor-key pathos, Spears’ trapped-canary narrative, and the track’s pop perfection is too much to resist. Amos’ cover, the original, and a few other versions considered after the jump.

Britney Spears

The original. But is it the best? Let’s find out.

Tori Amos

Wrenching and minimalist, much like her take on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” all those years ago. I only wish she’d included the bridge, because who among us hasn’t punched their fist in the air during the part when Britney drags out the “Don’t you know… I… Still… Be-lieve!” bit?


One of the Dueling Slow Versions Of This Song By Modern-Rock Radio B-Listers that caused many a message-board fight during the early portion of this decade. It’s aight.

Fountains Of Wayne

A little shaggier than Travis’ take—and for that reason, I would always side with it in the If You Had To Pick One Cover Wars.

The Veronicas

Hey, a little bit of pep! The harmonies on this version really make it for me, although they, like Amos, lose points for ditching the bridge.

Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco and the Dresden Dolls

Again, the peppier takes on the song really bring out its strengths. This version isn’t as punch-you-in-the-mouth as the original—but then again, this is a live version of the track, and I figure that if anyone can give this song its over-the-top due, it’s Amanda Palmer.

Tori Amos – Baby One More Time, Oakland (7/13) [YouTube]