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> Alanis Morissette | Jagged Little Pill, Classic Album #1
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dandy*
post Apr 27 2020, 09:16 AM
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I thought we could take a trip back in time to check out some of the albums that defined their respective eras... starting with this mid 90s classic from Alanis Morissette.

Jagged Little Pill was one of those slow burning hits that we used to get so often in the 90s. The album was originally released in June 1995 but didn't really gain any traction in the UK until the following year, eventually reaching #1 in May 1996 when it went on to become the biggest selling album of the year.

The first few singles all made a slight impression on the chart but nothing spectacular, with You Oughta Know, One Hand In My Pocket and You Learn all peaking in the low 20s. It was upon the release of Ironic that the album really started to take off. Of course Ironic is now pretty legendary, especially after comedian Ed Byrne used the song to explain the concept of irony to the world...



Follow up single Head Over Feet finally gave Alanis a top 10 single and also propelled the album back to #1 for a mammoth 8 weeks over the Summer, completing this unlikely success for the Canadian.

As for the album itself, it was definitely deserving of its success. It was quite rare in the mid 90s for a female artist to be writing such raw and open material, the country was in the middle of Britpop and everything was knowingly quirky and slightly tongue in cheek so the direct nature of Alanis' material really stood out from the crowd... especially in the lead single - I mean who doesn't love that use of the F word as she sings "and are you thinking of me when you f*** her", I'm still not sure I've ever heard it better deployed in a song. The production is quite basic and that always bothered me at the time (although I've since grown to love it) and it seemed to bother Alanis too as she rerecorded the album in an acoustic version for its tenth anniversary, I was really excited for this at the time but the revised version just paired everything back and didn't seem to have the same effect as the originals.

Personal favourite tracks from the album are You Oughta Know, Perfect, Right Through You, You Learn, Head Over Feet, Mary Jane, Not The Doctor and Wake Up. Ironic was never a fave for me although contrary to Ed Byrne above, I like to think that Alanis won out as after writing a song about irony and calling it Ironic, to then accidentally not include any irony in it at all must surely be ironic?

Track list and the singles are linked below... feel free to share your thoughts about this mid 90s staple happy.gif


Track list:

01 All I Really Want
02 You Oughta Know
03 Perfect
04 Hand In My Pocket
05 Right Through You
06 Forgiven
07 You Learn
08 Head Over Feet
09 Mary Jane
10 Ironic
11 Not The Doctor
12 Wake Up
13 You Oughta Know (version) + hidden track Your House



UK Chart Run: 53-40-22-22-30-40-49




UK Chart Run: 26-37-54




UK Chart Run: 24-32-48-73




UK Chart Run: 11-16-22-25-23-27-30-44-67




UK Chart Run: 7-16-28-36-33-45-68


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Bjork
post Apr 27 2020, 01:02 PM
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wasn't All I Really want the final single? think it peaked at round #60-70?

wonder also if anyone has the album chart-run?

I was a big fan of Alanis since day 1, the UK was kinda slow catching up but she was already a big favourite everywhere, especially in the indie/rock/alt universe. I think that in the US, You Oughta Know and Hand in My Pocket were not allowed in the charts cos of the silly chart rules at the time but they would have been massive for sure, and in a way it was better cos people bought the album instead... but not sure when the album first hit #1 in the US? probably earlier than in the UK but not sure when...

I love it the album but funnily you didn't mention my #1 from the album, Forgiven. Love how it deals with religion, and love the If I jump in the fountain/would I be forgiven.
You can see JLP is an iconic album cos still to this date I can recall all the lyrics for all the songs.

Of course all the singles were fantastic. I do really like Ironic even if the lyrics are a bit silly but the melody is gorgeous. Head Over Feet and You Ought Know are also great tracks. Even Hand in My Pocket I didn't like it much back then but won me over time. I also always liked the hidden track Your House.

But I do think there were a lot of female singer-songwriters writing confessional stuff before Alanis that paved the way for her. Like Tori Amos for instance. She was doing pretty much the same, even more confessional lyrics, but she never connected big way with the GP and was more like a niche artist.

A very successful album but totally deserved.
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Bjork
post Apr 27 2020, 01:04 PM
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One thing worth listening is the audio commentary about the album, it's available on Spotify and there Alanis and Glen Ballard talk about the songs and the creation/recording process. And it's truly amazing how mostly they wrote 1 song a day. Every song on JLP was written in 1 day. The ritual they had was going for lunch, talking about some topic, like Wouldn't it be ironic if you win lottery and die the next day...and then after lunch, they would hit the studio, he would improvise some guitar chords and she would write the lyrics based not their earlier conversations. Really worth listening.

This post has been edited by Bjork: Apr 28 2020, 05:58 PM
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Flopiday
post Apr 28 2020, 04:19 PM
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'Head Over Feet' is such a unique song in terms of melody, easily my favourite Alanis Morissette song.
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Popchartfreak
post Apr 28 2020, 06:14 PM
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It's a brilliant album, I went big on the singles right off the bat - You Oughta Know was a big "woah!" moment, the venom was deadly serious and the song and performance totally sold it as a game-changer. By the time of Ironic, which was a huge chart-topper for me, I'd bought the album and been seriously impressed with it enough to rate it as one of the top 10 greatest of the decade to date. If it had a flaw, it's that Uninvited wasn't also on it..... biggrin.gif
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dandy*
post Apr 28 2020, 08:54 PM
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QUOTE(Bjork @ Apr 27 2020, 02:02 PM) *
wasn't All I Really want the final single? think it peaked at round #60-70?

wonder also if anyone has the album chart-run?

I was a big fan of Alanis since day 1, the UK was kinda slow catching up but she was already a big favourite everywhere, especially in the indie/rock/alt universe. I think that in the US, You Oughta Know and Hand in My Pocket were not allowed in the charts cos of the silly chart rules at the time but they would have been massive for sure, and in a way it was better cos people bought the album instead... but not sure when the album first hit #1 in the US? probably earlier than in the UK but not sure when...

I love it the album but funnily you didn't mention my #1 from the album, Forgiven. Love how it deals with religion, and love the If I jump in the fountain/would I be forgiven.
You can see JLP is an iconic album cos still to this date I can recall all the lyrics for all the songs.

Of course all the singles were fantastic. I do really like Ironic even if the lyrics are a bit silly but the melody is gorgeous. Head Over Feet and You Ought Know are also great tracks. Even Hand in My Pocket I didn't like it much back then but won me over time. I also always liked the hidden track Your House.

But I do think there were a lot of female singer-songwriters writing confessional stuff before Alanis that paved the way for her. Like Tori Amos for instance. She was doing pretty much the same, even more confessional lyrics, but she never connected big way with the GP and was more like a niche artist.

A very successful album but totally deserved.

Totally agree that the likes of Tori / PJ Harvey were doing honesty before Alanis was but I think it was more common in the early 90s amongst a landscape of alt rock and grunge... Alanis just happened to release at a time dominated by britpop, boybands and eurodance and I think that really made her stand out more.

QUOTE(The Snake @ Apr 28 2020, 05:19 PM) *
'Head Over Feet' is such a unique song in terms of melody, easily my favourite Alanis Morissette song.

Totally agree, I remember loving it from the first time I heard it and can't think of anything else it sounds like.

QUOTE(Popchartfreak @ Apr 28 2020, 07:14 PM) *
It's a brilliant album, I went big on the singles right off the bat - You Oughta Know was a big "woah!" moment, the venom was deadly serious and the song and performance totally sold it as a game-changer. By the time of Ironic, which was a huge chart-topper for me, I'd bought the album and been seriously impressed with it enough to rate it as one of the top 10 greatest of the decade to date. If it had a flaw, it's that Uninvited wasn't also on it..... biggrin.gif


Uninvited wub.gif Did you ever hear her MTV acoustic album? I liked that but I bought it primarily as it contained Uninvited!
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Bjork
post Apr 28 2020, 09:26 PM
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Uninvited is amazing but if something, it could have been on her next album SFIJ, Uninvited is from 1997, recorded rt least 3 years after the JLP songs
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Popchartfreak
post May 2 2020, 12:52 PM
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Yes, it would have been a great lead single off the next album - but it was thrown away as a movie track. The net effect was that it pissed off fans like me who couldnt buy it without buying the soundtrack album - which I refused to do and still don't own it - and lost impetus for the next album which I also didn't buy, and instead of a worldwide hit her fanbase declined as weaker tracks were put out as singles.

Thing with fans is - if you neglect them they are under no obligations to remain faithful. OK, so she got a song in a Hollywood movie, but it cost her album sales and impacted on her career negatively....
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Jester
post May 2 2020, 05:13 PM
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Great album, albeit a slow burner from me. Head Over Feet remains my favourite track even if Ironic was THE sing from the album and everywhere at the time.
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Bjork
post May 2 2020, 07:10 PM
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QUOTE(Popchartfreak @ May 2 2020, 02:52 PM) *
Yes, it would have been a great lead single off the next album - but it was thrown away as a movie track. The net effect was that it pissed off fans like me who couldnt buy it without buying the soundtrack album - which I refused to do and still don't own it - and lost impetus for the next album which I also didn't buy, and instead of a worldwide hit her fanbase declined as weaker tracks were put out as singles.

Thing with fans is - if you neglect them they are under no obligations to remain faithful. OK, so she got a song in a Hollywood movie, but it cost her album sales and impacted on her career negatively....


I disagree about that, everybody I know bought the City of Angels soundtrack, which was actually a great soundtrack with lots of great tracks, it also has Iris and Sarah McLachlan's Angel. With my friends we still joke about it and we call ourselves the proud owners of the City of Angels soundtrack biggrin.gif

but of course she was never gonna replicate the success of JLP, when you have such a huge album it's not easy to follow it up and few do... I think Alanis has always done and released whatever she wants without compromising herself, which is more important than album sales
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Shoat
post May 11 2020, 01:26 PM
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I'm not sure it was restricting the availability of Uninvited that cost her fans, so much as it was the follow-up being the Oxford Dictionary set to shuffle.

(Note - I actually enjoyed Supposed... , but can completely see why it didn't maintain the wave)

Jagged Little Pill is rightly one of the defining albums of the 90s. In my personal top 5 faves of all time. Agree with the Head Over Feet love - very much as vital to the album as Ironic or You Oughta Know; that brief moment of positivity stops the album from becoming a one-note slice of BITTER.


This post has been edited by Shoat: May 11 2020, 01:26 PM
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