Tori Amos and Tool come from two different kinds of alternative genres, but they both shaped the 1990s in their own unique way. Both of them were riding massive waves of success by January 23, 1997, when Amos and Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan shared the stage for a performance of “Muhammad My Friend.”
This duet took place in New York City during Amos’ concert in support of her massively successful 1996 album Boys for Pele, which featured “Muhammad My Friend.” The record debuted at number two upon its release, becoming Amos’ first Top 10 hit and her highest-charting record to date. “Muhammad My Friend” was both subversive and controversial, taking religious imagery such as common depictions of Christ and framing it from a woman’s perspective.
Tool also released their largest record at that point in 1996, Ænima, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200 upon its release, selling 148,000 copies in its first week and going multi-platinum by the early 2000s. Largely considered the group’s magnum opus, the record’s title-track garnered Tool a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1998.
Amos has been keeping busy well into 2020, releasing a new Christmas EP a mere two months ago, which was accompanied by the single “Better Angels.” Keenan’s 2020 was a lot less optimistic, after he reportedly suffered two bouts of COVID-19, with the second landing him in the emergency room. Despite these diagnoses, Keenan did have some positives, as his supergroup Puscifer held their live stream in Arcosanti, Arizona last fall, which was followed by video performances of “Bedlamite” and “Fake Affront.”