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Jagged Little Pill – June 13, 1995




Jagged Little Pill is the third studio album by Canadian-American singer Alanis Morissette, released on June 13, 1995, and her first album to be released worldwide.

Jagged Little Pill was a worldwide commercial success, topping the charts in thirteen countries. With sales of over 33 million copies worldwide, it is one of the best-selling albums of all time and made Morissette the first Canadian to achieve double diamond sales. Jagged Little Pill was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning five, including for Best Rock Song, Best Female Rock Vocal, and Album of the Year, making the then 21-year-old Morissette the youngest artist to win the top honor up to that point. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has Jagged Little Pill on their 200 Definitive Albums list. Rolling Stone ranked Jagged Little Pill at number 69 on its 2020 list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time“. It was also ran on Broadway until 2021.

Alanis recorded every track on Jagged Little Pill in one or two takes. She said she didn’t want to record vocals over and over. The album’s most successful single “Ironic” was the third track to be written for the album. In an interview with Christopher Walsh of Billboard, Ballard explained how he and Morissette met, and how “Ironic” was written. He commented: “I’m telling you, within 15 minutes we were at it — just writing. ‘Ironic’ was the third song we wrote. Oh God, we were just having fun. I thought ‘I don’t know what this is — what genre it is — who knows? It’s just good’.”

The lead single, “You Oughta Know“, has guitar by Dave Navarro and bass by Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers. The song was written with a different instrumentation; the pair were then asked to re-write the music – something Navarro described as being “A lot like a remix … The structure of the song was in place but there were no guide tracks, we just had the vocal to work from. It was just a good time and we basically jammed until we found something we were both happy with. Alanis was happy too.” Flea explained to Bass Player magazine: “It was very instinctive – I showed up, rocked out, and split. When I first heard the track, it had a different bassist and guitarist on it; I listened to the bass line and thought, That’s some weak s–t! It was no flash and no smash! But the vocal was strong, so I just tried to play something good.”

On organ is Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, who came in for one session when Morissette and Ballard were working on the album. He played on six tracks total. His payment was dinner.

This song is an angry message from a scorned ex-girlfriend directed at her former lover. The lyrics came from a journal entry Morissette wrote during what she describes as “a very devastated time.”  The song was rumored to be about the actor Dave Coulier, whom Morissette dated for a time – Coulier says it was in 1992 when Alanis would have been 17 or 18 years old and he would have been 32 or 33 (hence the line “an older version of me”). Coulier played Joey on the TV show Full House.

In a 2008 interview with the Calgary Herald, Coulier claimed the song is about their rocky former relationship. The actor/comedian said that he first heard the track when he was driving. “I said, ‘Wow, this girl is angry.’ And then I said, ‘Oh man, I think it’s Alanis,'” Coulier revealed. “I listened to the song over and over again, and I said, ‘I think I have really hurt this person.’ I tried to contact her and I finally got a hold of her. And at the same time, the press was calling and saying, ‘You want to comment on this song?’ I called her and I said, ‘Hi. Uh, what do you want me to say?’ And she said, ‘You can say whatever you want.’ We saw each other and hung out for an entire day. And it was beautiful. It was one of those things where it was kind of like, ‘We’re good.'”   Coulier later said that he only admitted to being the subject of the song to placate reporters who kept asking him about it. In 2014, he told Buzzfeed: “The guy in that song is a real a-hole, so I don’t want to be that guy.”



Sited from Wikipedia/Songfacts/The Retro


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