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> OCC: Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill at 25
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Liam.k.
post Jun 25 2020, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE
Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill at 25: From slow-burner to trailblazer
25 June 2020 | By Rob Copsey

New entries at the top of the chart are always exciting, but just as there's more than one way to skin a rabbit (or so we're told; we have never tried), there's more than one route to Number 1. And 25 years ago, a new worldwide star called Alanis Morrissette was proving the old adage that slow and steady can win the race with her album Jagged Little Pill.

Given the record's enduring success, which Alanis is touring around the world in 2021 to mark its 25th anniversary, it's easy to forget it wasn't an immediate hit out of the gate. Jagged Little Pill was her third album but it served as her international debut, and it didn't exactly set the UK charts alight on its arrival.

The album was something the public hadn't really heard before: a woman displaying raw anger and a frank portrayal of female sexuality. Reviews were initially mixed: for some it was a landmark moment in alternative rock - Carole King's Tapestry for the '90s - while others thought the album's feminist message quickly grew wearing (sigh).

Jagged's first single, the fantastically acidic tale of a scorned woman, You Oughta Know, entered the Official Singles Chart at 76 before slowly rising to Number 22. The same week of that peak, in August 1995, her album Jagged Little Pill also limped in at 76 (spooky, eh?), which in modern times would probably mean you'd have to have a very serious chat with your record label.

But not everyone realises they're on to a good thing straight away – artists grow on us. And after a further three Top 40 singles, hype around Alanis had sufficiently increased to take her all the way to the top spot, where she belonged. It had only taken her eight months (!) but her patience was rewarded.

Jagged Little Pill spent 11 weeks at Number 1 (8 of them consecutive) and went on to be the biggest selling album of 1996, shifting 1.627 million copies that year, beating big releases from Spice Girls and Oasis. Its UK chart sales tally now stands at an impressive 2.81 million, making it 10x Platinum.

Alanis Morrissette's biggest singles in the UK
It was a monster album, but only one single from Jagged Little Pill hit the Top 10 – Head Over Feet – and it isn't the set's top seller, or indeed Alanis's biggest single in the UK. That honour goes to Ironic, which, as any dictionary enthusiast/bore will tell you is in itself ironic – because its supposedly ironic lyrics actually aren't. Yet it's called Ironic. Are you still with us?

Ironic's UK chart sales to date stand at 664,000, which might not seem especially high, but remember: that album was a big seller, passing its first million after a year on sale. Since streaming records began, Ironic has been played 36.5 million times in the UK.

Despite missing the Top 20, Alanis's debut single You Oughta Know is her second biggest single (296,000), benefiting from new fans discovering the track helped in part, perhaps, by acts like Beyoncé and Britney opting to cover it in live performances.

In third place is the lead single from her follow-up LP Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, Thank U (275,000). Featuring Alanis wearing nary a stitch of clothing, yet some strategically placed hair, the track became the last of her two Top 10 hits (so far) and and is her highest-charting single in the UK, reaching Number 5 in October 1998.

Despite never charting or being offficially released as a single, haunting ballad Uninvited makes Alanis's all-time Top 10 at Number 8. The track originally featured in Meg Ryan movie City of Angels and was memorably reinvented as a club banger by remix wizards Freemasons. They eventually went the whole hog and covered it themselves, with Bailey Tzuke on vocals, taking it to Number 8 in 2007.

Alanis Morrissette's Top 10 biggest songs on the Official UK Chart

TITLE PEAK YEAR
1 IRONIC 11 1996 664,000
2 YOU OUGHTA KNOW 22 1995 296,000
3 THANK U 5 1998 275,000
4 HAND IN MY POCKET 26 1995
5 HEAD OVER FEET 27 1996 200,000+
6 YOU LEARN 24 1996
7 HANDS CLEAN 12 2002
8 UNINVITED N/A 1998
9 ALL I REALLY WANT 59 1996
10 CRAZY 65 2005

©2020 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
Chart is based on physical sales, downloads and streaming equivalent sales combined.
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Liam.k.
post Jun 25 2020, 02:33 PM
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The OCC previous posted an article in May 2016 to celebrate 20 years since the album reached #1. This is what her best sellers looked like:

QUOTE
1 IRONIC 11 1996 371,000
2 THANK U 5 1998 200,000+
3 YOU OUGHTA KNOW 22 1995
4 HEAD OVER FEET 7 1996
5 HAND IN MY POCKET 26 1995
6 YOU LEARN 24 1996
7 HANDS CLEAN 12 2002
8 UNINVITED N/A 1998
9 JOINING YOU 28 1999
10 ALL I REALLY WANT 59 1996
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M4NGO
post Jun 25 2020, 02:39 PM
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Hands Clean and Joining You are my two absolute fave Alanis tracks wub.gif I'm sad that the latter has been pushed out of the Top 10 by Crazy sad.gif
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Jun 25 2020, 02:42 PM
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I was wondering yesterday, what were the total sales of her follow-up album? (Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie)?

I've been really hammering Alanis this week, so this article came at a good time for me.
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Liam.k.
post Jun 25 2020, 02:57 PM
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QUOTE(Tawdry Hepburn @ Jun 25 2020, 03:42 PM) *
I was wondering yesterday, what were the total sales of her follow-up album? (Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie)?

It had sold 482k by the end of 1999 and had passed 500k by the time 'Under Rug Swept' was released in February 2002. Not received any updates along the way, I don't think, but we know it hasn't passed 600k as it would be certified 2x Platinum.

'Under Rug Swept' sold 155k in 2002 and is probably still under 200k. 'So-Called Chaos' was certified Silver a few days before the album was released, I doubt it's actually sold as much as 60k though. 'Jagged Little Pill: Acoustic' and 'The Collection' have both sold 100k+ as they received automatic certifications based on sales. 'MTV Unplugged' was certified Gold in 2004 but I don't know whether it's actually shifted 100k in sales.

Upon the debut of 'Flavors of Entanglement', Music Week said this:

QUOTE
Escaping the shadow cast by a huge debut album can be tough, and after selling 2,580,752 copies of her breakthrough album Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette has sold fewer than 1m copies of the three studio albums, two live albums and one compilation that followed. She tries again with Flavors Of Entanglement, a new selection of songs she wrote with Guy Sigsworth, which debuts at number 15 on sales of 9,740.
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ben08
post Jun 25 2020, 04:58 PM
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... sales tally now stands at an impressive 2.81 million, making it 10x Platinum.

Surely 10x platinum is 3,000,000 sales? You say,

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill (#1, 1995) 2,806,000 [12/03/20]
That would be 9x platinum but BPI says,

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill - Sire - Platinum 10x - Album - 25.10.2002 - 12.06.1995
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Liam.k.
post Jun 25 2020, 05:07 PM
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That 10x Platinum is for shipments rather than sales.
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Euphorique
post Jun 25 2020, 05:13 PM
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Such an iconic album
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AcerBen
post Jun 25 2020, 05:16 PM
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Wow Uninvited at number 8. Should've been a proper single - her best song by a mile.
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jimwatts
post Jun 25 2020, 05:33 PM
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Uninvited was played a lot on my local commercial radio in 1998 (as was Goo Goo Dolls - Iris from the same film, even though that didn't make the Top 40 until the following year). Good to see it up there, but the current top 2 are my favourites from her.
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Euphorique
post Jun 25 2020, 06:30 PM
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It was a radio single
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Robbie
post Jun 25 2020, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE(ben08 @ Jun 25 2020, 05:58 PM) *
... sales tally now stands at an impressive 2.81 million, making it 10x Platinum.

Surely 10x platinum is 3,000,000 sales? You say,

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill (#1, 1995) 2,806,000 [12/03/20]
That would be 9x platinum but BPI says,

Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill - Sire - Platinum 10x - Album - 25.10.2002 - 12.06.1995
The actual sales for 'Jagged Little Pill' in 1996 will have been higher than 1.627m. The sales figure in the OCC database for the album in 1996 represents sales in about 80% to 85% of all shops that sold albums. The sales figure given at the time by Alan Jones (and calculated under the old panel sales / estimated total market sales method) was 200,000 for 1995 and 2 million for 1996, with the 2.2m total more closely tying in with the 7 x Platinum award the album was given on 1 January 1997. Add in the potential missing sales for 1995/6 and the album's true sales to date are likely over 3 million.
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jszmiles
post Jun 25 2020, 11:42 PM
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Over those 5 years Ironic Has almost doubled its sales. Wow.
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Liam.k.
post Jun 25 2020, 11:55 PM
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It was certified Platinum in October, so has sold an average of ~1.7k in the 37 weeks that have passed.
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M4NGO
post Jun 26 2020, 08:27 AM
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Ironic? More like Iconic *.*
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Bjork
post Jun 26 2020, 08:31 AM
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why Uninivited was not released as a single in the UK?

I understand why it wasn't a US single, cos back then it was a label strategy to sell albums, lots of mid 90s hits weren't US singles ie No Doubt - Don't Speak... but they could have released it in the UK...
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jimwatts
post Jun 26 2020, 09:35 AM
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I guess it didn't fit into the album campaign that year. Would surely have been Top 10 or better if it had been released.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Jun 26 2020, 10:34 AM
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QUOTE(M4NGO @ Jun 26 2020, 09:27 AM) *
Ironic? More like Iconic *.*


I still think she should have called it 'Inconvenient'. laugh.gif

Ahhh, she has so many fantastic and underrated tracks outside of the JLP era too. 'Precious Illusions' for instance - utterly amazing.
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M4NGO
post Jun 26 2020, 10:48 AM
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Yeah she's got some amazing tracks in her back catalogue. The two new songs she's put out recently are pretty great too, I presume there's a new album coming!
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Bjork
post Jun 26 2020, 11:01 AM
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Alanis new album is called Such Pretty Forks in the Road and is coming finally in a few weeks
they messed the release big time, was supposed to be out in the Spring then moved to September now it's finally out on Jul 31

love Alanis but sadly the GP is only interested in JLP, which is a pity cos she has many great songs besides the JLP tracks
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