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Alanis Morrissette – Jagged Little Pill (1995)

April 10, 2012

[Album 37/1001]

Somehow I never owned one of the 33,000,000 copies sold of Jagged Little Pill.  As any self-respecting high school music snob would, I had to distance myself from something so commercially successful! 

The album tracks are all fine, nothing throwaway, but it really was the big 5 singles that define this album.  I shall revisit them accordingly, in chronological release date order.

1) You Oughta Know – it made sense to release this first, as in 1995, this was a boundary-pushing, bold statement of a song.  The trouble is, it worked as an introduction to a new Alanis (a dramatic change from the ‘Just an emotion away’ dance-version Alanis), but I can’t picture her enjoying performing the song in concert today.  It feels like that stage of angrily grieving a lost relationship (in such explicit fashion) should have wrapped up a while ago.  The only one that doesn’t hold up over time.

2) One Hand in My Pocket – Good followup single, I enjoy the changing chorus ending lines.

3) Ironic – English teachers of the world cringed upon hearing her pronunciation of the word ‘figured’ and shuddered at the song’s definition of ‘irony.’  Though credit oughta be given where it’s due: much like MJ with his mega-selling album Thriller, Alanis respected the power of the music video.  All 5 big singles had memorable videos, this one featuring four Alanis personalities being particularly, iconic.

4) You Learn – I prefer the album version to the sped-up re-release.

5) Head over Feet – My preference on the album. “That’s not lip service,” great line.  Appropriate video for an underrated song.

Though her later records never quite hit the same stratospheric sales levels, there’s no doubting the impact of Jagged Little Pill. 

It certainly exceeded my expectations; it’s unlikely the 33,000,000 fans who purchased the album feel a great deal of buyer’s remorse.

From → 1990s

  1. W S permalink

    I think I have owned maybe 10 CDs in my life. This was one of them. I listened to it repeatedly on the new Sony discman that my sister, dad & I all shared.

    Did you find the secret track at the end?

    P.S. You should know that I married you for your CDs.

  2. The a cappella secret track, I foolishly missed it at first, thanks! Secret songs, shared discman – so very 90’s!

  3. Have you listened to that secret track yet?

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