Tori Amos Gives Britney Spears A Sign

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]

  • NedRaggett

    This song has always been a blank spot to me, I have to confess — always much preferred “Oops! I Did It Again” as a early statement of intent because the bassline was about ten thousand times better. (And oddly enough it too has been given the shaggy indie band workover courtesy of Fuck on some long ago Italian compilation…)

    Anyway, makes sense Tori A. would try this at some point. I still think the song she should dig out and redo would be a slow, reflective version of Mott the Hoople’s “I Wish I Was Your Mother” — actually at about the same as this one Ian Hunter did:

  • Poubelle

    I would like to use this opportunity to confess my love of Bowling For Soup’s cover of this:

    The pop-punk sounds works perfectly with the lyrics–it totally turns the song into mall-emo. Oh, and it’s energetic and fun.

  • chaircrusher

    This put me in the mind of Richard Thompson’s stellar cover of “oops I did it again…”