Jagged Little Pill

Jagged Little Pill is the third studio album, and international debut, by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, released on June 13, 1995 through Maverick. It was her first album to be released worldwide as her first two albums were released only in her native Canada. Morissette began work on the album after moving from her hometown, Ottawa, to Toronto; she made little progress until she traveled to Los Angeles, where she met producer Glen Ballard. Morissette and Ballard had an instant connection and began co-writing and experimenting with sounds.

The experimentation resulted in an alternative rock album that takes influence from post-grunge and pop rock, and features guitars, keyboards, drum machines, and harmonica. The lyrics touch upon themes of aggression and unsuccessful relationships, while Ballard introduced a pop sensibility to Morissette's angst.[2]

Jagged Little Pill topped 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.[3] Jagged Little Pill was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, winning five, including Album of the Year, making Morissette the youngest artist in history to win the honor, a record she held until 2010, when Taylor Swift won this prize with Fearless (2008).[4] Rolling Stone ranked Jagged Little Pill number 327 on its 2003 list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[5][6]

A musical stage production based on the album premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge on May 5, 2018.[7]

Jagged Little Pill
Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 13, 1995
RecordedMarch 8, 1994–April 1995[1]
StudioWestlake Recording Studios and Signet Sound, Hollywood
LabelMaverick, Reprise
ProducerGlen Ballard
Alanis Morissette chronology
Now Is the Time
Jagged Little Pill
Space Cakes
Singles from Jagged Little Pill
  1. "You Oughta Know"
    Released: July 6, 1995
  2. "Hand in My Pocket"
    Released: October 31, 1995
  3. "Ironic"
    Released: February 27, 1996
  4. "You Learn"
    Released: July 9, 1996
  5. "Head over Feet"
    Released: September 16, 1996
  6. "All I Really Want"
    Released: December 1, 1996


In 1991, MCA Records Canada released Morissette's debut studio album Alanis, which went Platinum in Canada.[8] Her second album Now Is the Time was a commercial failure, selling a little more than half the copies of her first album.[9][10] With her two-album deal complete, Morissette was left without a recording contract. In 1993, Morissette's publisher Leeds Levy at MCA Music Publishing introduced her to manager Scott Welch.[11] Welch told HitQuarters he was impressed by her "spectacular voice", her character and her lyrics. At the time she was still living with her parents in Ottawa. Together they decided it would be best for her career to move to Toronto and start writing with other people.[11]

After graduating from high school, Morissette made the move.[9] Her publisher funded part of her development and when she met producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, he believed in her talent enough to let her use his studio.[9][11] The two wrote and recorded Morissette's first internationally released album, Jagged Little Pill, and by the spring of 1995, she had signed a deal with Maverick Records. According to Welch, every label they approached passed on Morissette apart from Maverick.[11]


Hollywood Sign (Zuschnitt)
Jagged Little Pill was recorded in Hollywood after Morissette relocated there and met with Glen Ballard.

Morissette co-wrote the album solely with Glen Ballard, who also produced the album. The demo recording sessions started in 1994 at Ballard's home studio and included only Morissette and the producer, who recorded the songs as they were being written. Ballard provided the rough tracks, playing the guitars, keyboards, and programming drum machines, and Morissette played harmonica. The duo sought to write and record one song a day, in twelve- or sixteen-hour shifts, with minimal overdubbing later. All of Morissette's singing on the album respects that rule, each recorded in one or two takes. The tracks that were redone later in a professional studio used the original demo vocals.

Ballard met Morissette in 1994 when his publishing company matched them up. According to Ballard, the connection was "instant", and within 30 minutes of meeting each other they had begun experimenting with different sounds in Ballard's home studio in San Fernando Valley, California.[12] Ballard also declared to Rolling Stone that, "I just connected with her as a person, and, almost parenthetically, it was like 'Wow, you're 19?' She was so intelligent and ready to take a chance on doing something that might have no commercial application. Although there was some question about what she wanted to do musically, she knew what she didn't want to do, which was anything that wasn't authentic and from her heart."[13] The first track the pair wrote was "The Bottom Line", which was not included on the album's initial release, but was included on the album's 2015 re-release. The song was written in one hour, immediately after they met.[14]

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'."[15] The album's lead single, "You Oughta Know", contained guitar which was contributed by Dave Navarro along with bass that was provided by Flea. Navarro and Flea created the song in the studio together and 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." Speaking about the song's conception, Navarro said "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."[16] The first song to be shown to A&R and record company people was "Perfect", with a simple arrangement containing only Morissette's vocals and Ballard's acoustic guitar. In 1995, around the time that Morissette penned a deal with Maverick Records, the duo took the demos to a studio and began working on full band arrangements for some tracks.


Jagged Little Pill was noted as being a departure from Morissette's previous releases, which predominantly featured dance-pop music. Unlike her previous albums Alanis and Now Is the Time, the album strayed from her typical dance and bubblegum pop. In contrast, this album is seen as a landmark in alternative rock. Lyrically, most of the songs were written by Morissette and Glen Ballard.[17]

The album opens with "All I Really Want". The song features the use of a harmonica, swirly guitars and canned drums and is based in a grunge-pop genre, the song's lyrics talk about "intellectual intercourse" and a mental connection with another angry, frustrated, frightened, uncomfortable soul. "You Oughta Know" features themes of "raw anger and frank portrayal of female sexuality". "Perfect" is a pristine ballad that talks about "pushy" parents while the following song "Hand in My Pocket" is a cataloging of contradictions set over fuzzy guitar and a '90s drum machine. The latter song also portrays a lighter side to Morissette, with lyrics that touch upon themes of her self-effacing and hopeful side. "Right Through You" is a grunge song with angry lyrics about sleazy record bosses who prey on female artists who they want to "Wine dine and sixty-nine" rather than actually supporting their musical careers, whilst "Forgiven" was compared to the work of Madonna, due to its Catholic undertones. "You Learn" is a mid-tempo self-help rock song, the song features Morissette giving out advice; "Ditch the fear, open your heart, speak your mind, and when the going gets tough, walk around the house naked."

"Head Over Feet" is ballad that contains guitar and drum box backing, with plainspoken vocals, the song lyrically talks about Morissette being a "handful", and that she's not the type to get emotional. "Mary Jane" is built over a ballad's tense and ringing electric guitar, and sees Morissette trying to reassure a friend who's having a rough time, or possibly smoking marijuana ("Mary Jane" is another name for the drug). "Ironic" is a pop rock song,[18] set in the time signature of common time, composed in a moderate tempo of eighty-two beats per minute.[19] The song's usage of the word "ironic" attracted media attention for an improper application of the term, because according to Jon Pareles of The New York Times, the song gives a distinct "unironic" sense in its implications.[20][21] According to the Oxford English Dictionary "irony" is "a figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed by the words used".[22] Thus, lyrics such as "It's like rain on your wedding day" and "A traffic jam when you're already late" are not ironic.[23] "Not the Doctor" features gnarlier guitars, and features acoustic strumming and languid drum loop with needle-sharp lyrics. The final song "Wake Up" takes shape of a cry for help to an apathetic world.[24]

Release and promotion

Alanis Morissette at Espacio Movistar 6
Alanis Morissette. Performing a live concert in the Espacio Movistar, Barcelona, June 2008.

Maverick Records released Jagged Little Pill internationally in 1995. The album was expected only to sell enough for Morissette to make a follow-up, but the situation changed quickly when KROQ-FM, an influential Los Angeles modern rock radio station, began playing "You Oughta Know", the album's lead single.[25] The song instantly garnered attention for its scathing, explicit lyrics,[9] and a subsequent music video went into heavy rotation on MTV and MuchMusic.

After the success of "You Oughta Know", the album's other hit singles helped send Jagged Little Pill to the top of the charts. "All I Really Want" and "Hand in My Pocket" followed, but the fourth US single, "Ironic", became Morissette's biggest hit. "You Learn" and "Head over Feet", the fifth and sixth singles, respectively, kept Jagged Little Pill (1995) in the top twenty on the Billboard 200 albums chart for more than a year.

Due to the success of the album, Morissette toured worldwide for a total of 18 months. A DVD and VHS was released, under the title Jagged Little Pill, Live.[26] That had received positive reviews from music critics as well. The tour had spanned from different countries (which was eventually featured on the VHS) where she had travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the United Kingdom, South America, Asia, United States and her native Canada.[27] It had won a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video.[28]

In 2005, Morissette re-released an acoustic version of the album, Jagged Little Pill Acoustic, on the tenth anniversary of the original album's release. This album was originally sold through Starbucks' Hear Music brand in an exclusive six-week deal that ended on July 26, 2005. For the duration of this partnership, music retailer HMV boycotted the sale of Morissette's entire catalogue in Canada.[29] The album was released on June 15, 2005, ten years to the day after the original United States release. The artwork of the acoustic version is similar to the original version, but is sepia tinted instead. On October 30, 2015, Jagged Little Pill was reissued by Rhino Records and Warner Music Group to mark its 20th anniversary. A two-disc deluxe edition contains a newly remastered version of the album, appended with ten demo recordings, two of which were previously released on the "Joining You" single in 1999. A limited four-disc collector's edition also adds 2005's Acoustic album and a full live concert recorded in London at Subterranea on September 28, 1995.[30] As with the Acoustic release, this edition also updated the cover artwork; this time presented in white & gold and labeled as Jagged Little Pill • Collector's Edition.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune2/4 stars[31]
Christgau's Consumer GuideB+[32]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[33]
Entertainment WeeklyC+[34]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[35]
Q4/5 stars[37]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[38]
USA Today3/4 stars[39]

Jagged Little Pill received generally positive reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic gave it a very positive review, giving it four-and-a-half out of five stars. He mostly complimented the album's standout talent saying "It's remarkable that Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill struck a sympathetic chord with millions of listeners, because it's so doggedly, determinedly insular." He concludes, "As slick as the music is, the lyrics are unvarnished and Morissette unflinchingly explores emotions so common, most people would be ashamed to articulate them. This doesn't make Jagged Little Pill great, but it does make it a fascinating record, a phenomenon that's intensely personal."[2] Robert Christgau gave it a B+ grade, mainly praising its thematic content: "she's happy to help 15 million girls of many ages stick a basic feminist truth in our faces: privileged phonies have identity problems too. Not to mention man problems."[32]

David Browne of Entertainment Weekly gave it a middling review, stating that the album "is [a hard] swallow. What sounds arresting on a single grows wearing over a full album. Producer-co-songwriter Glen Ballard's arrangements are clunky mixtures of alternative mood music and hammy arena rock, and the 21-year-old Morissette tends to wildly oversing every other line."[34] When listing the album at 45 on the "100 Best Albums of the Nineties", Rolling Stone commented: "Jagged Little Pill is like a Nineties version of Carole King's Tapestry: a woman using her plain soft-rock voice to sift through the emotional wreckage of her youth, with enough heart and songcraft to make countless listeners feel the earth move".[40]


Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Slant The 10 Best Albums of 1995

Commercial performance

Jagged Little Pill is one of the most successful albums of the 1990s. In the US, Jagged Little Pill debuted at No. 117 on the Billboard 200 before climbing to No. 1 in October 1995 almost 3 months after it was released,[42] and was the first album to reach both 12 million (in February 1997) and 13 million (in August 1998) in sales in the US since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan started tracking music sales.[43] It was certified 16× Platinum for shipments of 16 million copies. Morissette held the record by the youngest artist to be certified diamond in the US, until she was beaten by Britney Spears with her debut album ...Baby One More Time. On the week ending June 21, 2015 the album sold 5,000 bringing the sales to just over 15 million, making the album one of only three albums to have sold at least 15 million copies in the United States since Nielsen Music began tracking data in 1991.[44] and a further 350,000 units through BMG music club.[45] The album also peaked at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling over 2 million copies, being certified 2× Diamond.[46]

Jagged Little Pill was very successful worldwide. In Oceania, the album had debuted at number 46 in Australia, and rose to peak at number one, staying there for 10 consecutive weeks.[47] It was certified 14× Platinum, selling over 980,000 copies there. It is currently the 11th best selling album in Australian history. The album debuted at number 46 in New Zealand, then rose to number one, staying there for 11 non-consecutive weeks.[48] The album had been certified 14× Platinum, selling over 200,000 copies. It is currently the 14th best selling album in New Zealand.[49] In Italy Jagged Little Pill has shipped half a million copies. [50]

In Europe, the album peaked at number six on the French Albums Chart, staying in the charts for 37 weeks.[51] It was certified Platinum in that country. The album debuted at number 76 in the United Kingdom but peaked at number one, and stayed in the charts for a total of 221 weeks.[52] The album was certified 10× Platinum, shipping over 3 million copies.[53] Overall, the album sold 33 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the most successful albums in music history. One of the best selling albums worldwide, in 1996 it was the best selling worldwide with 18.7 million copies sold with 500,000 or more copies sold during more than 15 non-consecutive weeks. As of 2009, it has sold 33 million copies worldwide.[54]

Impact and legacy

The album received numerous awards and accolades. Morissette and the album won six Juno Awards in 1996, including the Album of the Year, Single of the Year for "You Oughta Know", Female Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Best Rock Album.[55] At the 1996 Grammy Awards, she won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song (both for "You Oughta Know"), Best Rock Album and Album of the Year.[56] "Ironic" was nominated for two 1997 Grammy AwardsRecord of the Year and Best Music Video, Short Form[57]—and won Single of the Year at the 1997 Juno Awards, where Morissette also won Songwriter of the Year and the International Achievement Award.[58] The video Jagged Little Pill, Live, which was co-directed by Morissette and chronicled the bulk of her tour, won a 1998 Grammy Award for Best Music Video, Long Form.[59]

In October 2002, Rolling Stone ranked it number 31 on its Women In Rock – The 50 Essential Albums list, and in 2003 the magazine ranked it number 327 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[5] The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[60] The album also appears on the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' "Definitive 200" list at number 26. The album ranked at number 50 on Rolling Stone's 2012 list of "Women Who Rock: The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time".[6] The album was included on Billboard's " Best Selling Pop album of the 1990s" where it was placed at number one.[54][61] The album peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200, making Morissette the first Canadian woman to top the chart.[62]

Morissette's success with Jagged Little Pill (1995) was credited with leading to the introduction of female singers such as Shakira, Tracy Bonham, Meredith Brooks, and in the early 2000s, Pink, Michelle Branch, and fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne.[63] American singer Katy Perry cites Jagged Little Pill as a significant musical inspiration, and opted to work with Morissette's frequent collaborator Ballard as a result. Perry stated, "Jagged Little Pill was the most perfect female record ever made. There's a song for anyone on that record; I relate to all those songs. They're still so timeless."[64]

In 2018, the album won the Polaris Heritage Prize Audience Award in the 1986-1995 category.[65]

Stage adaptation

In November 2013, it was revealed that a musical adaption of Alanis Morissette 1995 album Jagged Little Pill was being adapted for the stage[66] with Tom Kitt attached to arrange the orchestrations.[67] In May 2017, it was announced that the stage adaption would receive its world premiere in May 2018, 23 years after the album was released.[68]

Jagged Little Pill is scheduled to begin performances on May 5, 2018, at the Loeb Drama Center, within the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a limited run to July 15, 2018.[69] Notable casting for the show included Elizabeth Stanley as Mary Jane,[70] Derek Klena as Nick,[71] Lauren Patten as Jo,[71] Sean Allan Krill as Steve[71] and Celia Gooding as Frankie.[71] The show has a book by Diablo Cody,[72] with direction by Diane Paulus,[73] choreography by Sidi Larbi Cherkaou,[74] set design by Riccardo Hernandez,[75] costume design by Emily Rebholz,[75] lighting design by Justin Townsend,[75] and video design by Finn Ross.[76] Music and lyrics are by Alanis Morissette & Glen Ballard,[77] with musical direction by Bryan Perri[71], sound design by Jonathan Deans[75] and orchestration by Tom Kitt.[78]

Track listing

All lyrics written by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, except where noted.

1."All I Really Want"4:45
2."You Oughta Know"4:09
4."Hand in My Pocket"3:42
5."Right Through You"2:56
7."You Learn"4:00
8."Head over Feet"4:27
9."Mary Jane"4:41
11."Not the Doctor"3:48
12."Wake Up"4:54
13."You Oughta Know" (Jimmy the Saint Blend) / "Your House (a cappella)" (Hidden track)8:13
Total length:57:23

Note: You Oughta Know" (Jimmy the Saint Blend) / "Your House (a cappella)" (Hidden Track) only appears on the CD release and does not appear on the original 1995 vinyl release.

Japanese edition[79]
12."Wake Up" / "Your House (Acappella)" (Hidden track)8:56
13."Perfect" (Acoustic version)3:06
Total length:56:18
20th anniversary edition disc two: Demos
1."The Bottom Line"4:11
2."Superstar Wonderful Weirdos" (Morissette, Ballard, Terrance Sawchuk)4:23
3."Closer Than You Might Believe"3:35
4."No Avalon"4:21
5."Comfort" (Morissette, Sawchuk)4:05
7."King of Intimidation"3:20
8."Death of Cinderella"3:15
10."These Are the Thoughts"3:16
Total length:39:02
20th anniversary Target deluxe edition disc two bonus tracks: Live on Radio 3 DARA Holland (Recorded for "2 Meter De Avond In" on June 9, 1995)
11."Head Over Feet" (Live)4:09
12."Right Through You" (Live)3:07
13."Forgiven" (Live)4:26
14."Perfect" (Live)3:15
15."Not the Doctor" (Live)4:00
16."You Learn" (Live)4:02
17."Hand in My Pocket" (Live)4:22
Total length:66:23
20th anniversary edition disc three: Jagged Little Pill Acoustic
1."All I Really Want" (Acoustic)5:24
2."You Oughta Know" (Acoustic)4:58
3."Perfect" (Acoustic)3:26
4."Hand in My Pocket" (Acoustic)4:32
5."Right Through You" (Acoustic)3:40
6."Forgiven" (Acoustic)4:43
7."You Learn" (Acoustic)4:10
8."Head over Feet" (Acoustic)4:17
9."Mary Jane" (Acoustic)5:08
10."Ironic" (Acoustic)3:57
11."Not the Doctor" (Acoustic)4:26
12."Wake Up" / "Your House" (Acoustic)9:56
Total length:58:54
20th anniversary edition disc four: Live at Subterranea, London 09/28/95
1."All I Really Want" (Live)8:18
2."Right Through You" (Live)4:06
3."Not the Doctor" (Live)6:47
4."Hand in My Pocket" (Live)4:43
5."Mary Jane" (Live)6:39
6."Ironic" (Live)4:28
7."You Learn" (Live)5:06
8."Forgiven" (Live)6:00
9."You Oughta Know" (Live)5:23
10."Wake Up" (Live)8:07
11."Head over Feet" (Live)4:23
12."Perfect" (Live)3:31
Total length:67:37


The following people contributed to Jagged Little Pill:[80]



  • Glen Ballard – producer, engineering, mixing
  • Ted Blaisdell – additional engineering
  • David Schiffman – additional engineering
  • Victor McCoy – assistant engineer
  • Rich Weingart – assistant engineer
  • Chris Fogel – engineering and mixing
  • Francis Buckley – additional mixing
  • Jolie Levine – production coordination
  • Chris Bellman – mastering
  • Tom Recchion – art direction, design
  • John Patrick Salisbury – photography


Weekly charts

Chart (1995–97) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[47] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[81] 2
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[82] 1
Belgium Albums Chart (Walliona)[83] 2
Canadian Albums Chart 1
Danish Albums Chart[84] 1
Dutch Albums Chart[85] 1
European Albums Chart[86] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[87] 1
French Albums Chart 6
German Albums Chart[88] 3
Hungarian Albums Chart[89] 10
Irish Albums Chart[90] 1
Italian Albums Chart[91] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart[92] 1
Norwegian Albums Chart[93] 3
Portuguese Albums Chart[94] 1
Scottish Albums Chart 1
Spanish Albums Chart[95] 3
Swedish Albums Chart[96] 1
Swiss Albums Chart 2
UK Albums Chart 1
US Billboard 200 1

Decade-end charts

Chart (1990–1999) Position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[97] 26
UK Albums (OCC)[98] 5
US Billboard 200[99] 1

All-time charts

Chart (All-time) Position
New Zealand Albums Chart[100] 29
UK Albums Chart[101] 41
US Billboard 200[102] 7

Year-end charts

Chart (1995) Position
Canadian Albums (RPM)[103] 9
UK Albums (OCC)[104] 49
US Billboard 200[105] 14
Chart (1996) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[106] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[107] 3
Canadian Albums (RPM)[108] 1
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[109] 5
French Albums (SNEP)[110] 13
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[111] 2
Italian Albums (Hit Parade)[112] 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[113] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[114] 11
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[115] 3
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[116] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[117] 3
UK Albums (OCC)[118] 1
US Billboard 200[119] 1
Chart (1997) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[120] 26
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[121] 74
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[122] 43
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[123] 66
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[124] 44
UK Albums (OCC)[125] 46
US Billboard 200[126] 23
Chart (1998) Position
UK Albums (OCC)[127] 106
Chart (1999) Position
UK Albums (OCC)[128] 164
Chart (2000) Position
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[129] 79
UK Albums (OCC)[130] 117


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[131] Platinum 60,000^
Australia (ARIA)[133] 14× Platinum 1,020,000[132]
Austria (IFPI Austria)[134] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[135] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[136] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[137] 2× Diamond 2,000,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[138] Platinum 10,000[138]
France (SNEP)[140] Platinum 411,600[139]
Germany (BVMI)[141] 2× Platinum 1,000,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[142] 4× Platinum 400,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[143] Platinum 15,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[144] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[145] Gold 50,000*
Sweden (GLF)[146] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[147] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[149] 10× Platinum 2,780,000[148]
United States (RIAA)[150] 16× Platinum 15,000,000[44][45]
Europe (IFPI)[151] 7× Platinum 7,000,000*
Worldwide 33,000,000[54]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  • In the US, previous to December 5, 1998, songs were not allowed to appear on the main Billboard Hot 100 chart unless a physical single was issued. Maverick Records only physically released "Ironic" and "You Learn" in the American market, thus they were the only singles from Jagged Little Pill to chart on the Hot 100.
  • A Following Morissette's performance of "You Oughta Know" at the 38th Annual Grammy Awards, Maverick Records physically released the live version as a B-side to "You Learn", therefore the chart performance of the latter is often referred as "You Learn/You Oughta Know" as a double A-side single.

See also


  1. ^ Fournier, Karen (January 16, 2015). The Words and Music of Alanis Morissette. ABC-CLIO – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette". AllMusic. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  3. ^ Barclay, Michael; Jack, Ian A.D.; Schneider, Jason (2011). Have Not Been the Same The Canrock Renaissance 1985-1995 (10th Anniversary ed.). ECW Press. p. 18. ISBN 9781550229929.
  4. ^ "38th Annual Grammy Awards – 1996". Rock On The Net. February 28, 1996. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Women Who Rock: The 50 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone.
  7. ^ "Alanis Morissette Has Written a Musical Based on 'Jagged Little Pill'". The New York Times. May 30, 2017. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  8. ^ "Search Certification Database" Archived April 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Canadian Recording Industry Association.
  9. ^ a b c d "Transcript: Profiles of Alanis Morissette, Margaret Cho". CNN People in the News. January 4, 2003.
  10. ^ Wild, David. "Adventures Of Miss Thing". Rolling Stone. November 2, 1995.
  11. ^ a b c d "Interview With Scott Welch". HitQuarters. August 6, 2002. Retrieved April 10, 2011.
  12. ^ "Billboard Magazine – June 30, 2001". Billboard. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  13. ^ Wild, David (November 2, 1995). "Alanis Morissette: The Adventures of Miss Thing". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  14. ^ "Alanis Morissette Shares Unreleased 'Jagged Little Pill' Track "The Bottom Line" [LISTEN]". Music Times.
  15. ^ Walsh, Christopher (June 30, 2001). "Boutique Distributors Make Noise Under The Radar". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 113 (26): 38. ISSN 0006-2510.
  16. ^ Navarro, Dave (April 26, 2010). "Sunday 10". 6767. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  17. ^ "Jagged Little Pill Review | Alanis Morissette | Compact Discs | Reviews". Ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  18. ^ "Ironic – Alanis Morissette". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  19. ^ "Ironic – Alanis Morissette Digital Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Universal Music Publishing Ltd. Musicnotes Inc. MN0072613. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  20. ^ Waltonen, Karma; Du Vernay, Denise (2010). The Simpsons in the classroom: embiggening the learning experience with the wisdom of Springfield (XVIII ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc. Publishers. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-7864-4490-8. OCLC 492091426.
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External links

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Nadine Morissette (; born June 1, 1974) is a Canadian-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Known for her emotive mezzo-soprano voice, Morissette began her career in Canada in the early 1990s with two mildly successful dance-pop albums. Afterwards, as part of a recording deal, she moved to Holmby Hills, Los Angeles and in 1995 released Jagged Little Pill, a more rock-oriented album which sold more than 33 million copies globally and is her most critically acclaimed work. Her follow-up album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998.

Morissette assumed creative control and producing duties for her subsequent studio albums, including Under Rug Swept (2002), So-Called Chaos (2004), and Flavors of Entanglement (2008). Her eighth studio album and most recent to date, Havoc and Bright Lights, was released in 2012. Morissette has sold more than 75 million records worldwide and has been dubbed the "Queen of Alt-Rock Angst" by Rolling Stone.

Alanis Morissette discography

The discography of Alanis Morissette, a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, comprises eight studio albums, two live albums, six compilation albums, one extended play, 33 singles, twelve promotional singles, six video albums, and 29 music videos. She has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide.With the stage name of Alanis, she signed a record deal with the Canadian division of MCA Records for two dance-pop albums. The label released her self-titled album (1991), which was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association and earned her a Juno Award, and Now Is the Time (1992), which was less successful. These albums, released only in Canada, are often not mentioned in the media, which tend to consider Jagged Little Pill (1995), released on Maverick Records, as her debut album. Jagged remains one of the most successful albums in music history, holding the record as the best-selling debut album worldwide, the second best-selling album by a female artist (behind Shania Twain's Come On Over) and having sold more than 33 million copies worldwide. Such hits as "You Oughta Know", "Hand in My Pocket", "Ironic", and "Head over Feet" helped Morissette become the first Canadian woman to top the Billboard 200. Jagged stayed there for 12 weeks and remained in the Top 10 for a year and a half (72 weeks). Between 1996 and 1997 Morissette won four Grammy Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Juno Awards. In addition, Jagged Little Pill, Live earned her another Grammy Award in 1997.Morissette contributed to the City of Angels soundtrack, writing and performing "Uninvited". The song was the winner in two categories at the 41st Grammy Awards. Her second album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, was released in 1998 and debuted at number one in the Billboard 200, becoming Morissette's second consecutive number-one album and, at the time, the fastest-selling album by a female in the United States. Supposed produced four singles: "Thank U", "Joining You", "Unsent" and "So Pure". Morissette herself directed all music videos from the album, except for the controversial "Thank U". Shortly afterwards, MTV Unplugged (sometimes titled Alanis Unplugged) was released in 1999.

Under Rug Swept (2002), her following release, debuted at number one in 12 countries, including the United States (where it was her third consecutive number-one album), and produced the hit single "Hands Clean". The album helped Morissette get the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Award. Having many leftovers from the Under Rug Swept recording session, Morissette released Feast on Scraps, a CD/DVD package, the same year. So-Called Chaos (2004) debuted at number five on Billboard 200 and was less successful. In 2005, Morissette released The Collection, her first and so far the only greatest hits compilation, and Jagged Little Pill Acoustic, which marked a 10-year anniversary of the original album. Her seventh studio set, Flavors of Entanglement, was released in 2008 and became her last album on Maverick Records.Morissette's most recent album release, Havoc and Bright Lights, was released on August 28, 2012 through Collective Sounds. The first single, "Guardian", was made available for digital download on May 15.

All I Really Want (Alanis Morissette song)

"All I Really Want" is a song written by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, and produced by Ballard for Morissette's third album, Jagged Little Pill (1995). In the United States it was released as the album's third single in 1995 (see 1995 in music), and outside the US it was released as the album's sixth and final single in 1996 (see 1996 in music). The song was one of the first written for Jagged Little Pill and originated from a song called "The Bottom Line", which was the first song Morissette wrote with Glen Ballard.

The single peaked at number 14 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, number 40 on the ARIA Charts in Australia and number 59 on the UK Singles Chart in December 1996.

Can't Not Tour

The Can't Not Tour (also known as Jagged Little Tour or Intellectual Intercourse Tour) is the debut concert tour by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette. The tour supported her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill (1995).

Head over Feet

"Head over Feet" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, taken from her third (and first outside Canada) studio album Jagged Little Pill (1995). Written by Alanis and Glen Ballard, and produced by Ballard, it was released as the album's fifth single (sixth in the United States) in 1996 (see 1996 in music) and presented a softer sound than the previous singles from the album. "Head over Feet" talks about a couple who are best friends as well as lovers, with Alanis thanking a friend for his manners, love and devotion.

It received positive response from critics, who described it as soft and light. The song became Morissette's first number-one hit on Billboard's U.S. Adult Top 40 chart and also topped the Mainstream Top 40 chart. In the United Kingdom, it was her first top ten single, and it reached the top 20 in Australia. In Canada, the song spent eight weeks at number one on the RPM Singles Chart, the most of any of her four number-one songs from Jagged Little Pill. The single also peaked at number 1 in Iceland. A live version of "Head over Feet" is featured on the album Alanis Unplugged (1999), and an acoustic version of the song was recorded for the album Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (2005).

Ironic (song)

"Ironic" is a song by Canadian-American singer Alanis Morissette. It was released in February 1996 as the third single from her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill (1995). It was written by Morissette and Glen Ballard, and was produced by him. "Ironic" is a song written in the key of B major, and includes a moderate tempo of eighty-two beats per minute. The lyrics present several situations that are described as "ironic"; this has led to debate as to whether any of these actually match the accepted meaning of irony. However, some have argued that it does match what is known as situational irony.The track topped the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart for six weeks, and reached the top five in Australia, New Zealand and Norway. In the United States, the song reached number four on April 13, 1996, and currently is her highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100. "Ironic" was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song won the Juno Award for Single of the Year, and received two Grammy Award nominations in 1997, for Record of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video. French director Stéphane Sednaoui filmed the music video. In it, Morissette drives through a winter landscape, and she plays multiple roles as her passengers. MTV nominated the music video for six MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, winning three of them. The music video was listed on VH1's "Greatest Music Videos" list and was parodied by DBA Flip, Allison Rheaume, Rusty and "Weird Al" Yankovic.

In 2004, Morissette changed the lyrics of "Ironic" to denote her support for same-sex marriage at the fifteenth GLAAD Media Awards. This version was included on her albums iTunes Originals (2004) and Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (2005), and was performed at the House of Blues in 2005, along with Canadian singer Avril Lavigne. "Ironic" was included on the set list of her Jagged Little Pill World Tour (1995), and her compilation albums MTV Unplugged (1999), The Collection (2005), among others. The song was covered by Mexican duet Jesse & Joy for their album Esta Es Mi Vida Sesiones (2007), and by American band Four Year Strong for their cover album Explains It All (2009).

Jagged Little Pill, Live

Jagged Little Pill, Live is a video chronicling Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill world tour from 1995 to 1996. It was primarily filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, but it features clips from various other tour stops, including Morissette's hometown of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The video won a 1997 Grammy Award for "Best Long Form Music Video".

Jagged Little Pill (musical)

Jagged Little Pill is a rock musical with a book by Academy Award winner Diablo Cody, music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard and lyrics by Morissette. The musical is inspired by Morissette's 1995 album of the same name. It premiered at the American Repertory Theater in May 2018, directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

The show will premiere on Broadway in fall 2019.

Jagged Little Pill Acoustic

Jagged Little Pill Acoustic is a studio album by Alanis Morissette. It is a largely acoustic retrospective version of her highly successful third album, Jagged Little Pill (1995); the songs are stripped-down versions of the originals, though producer Glen Ballard has augmented them with studio production effects to create an alternative pop album. The album was released by Maverick Records in the United States on June 13, 2005, available only at North American Starbucks outlets until July 26, 2005, when it was made available in other retail stores. This limited availability led to a dispute between Maverick Records and HMV Canada, who retaliated by removing from sale Morissette's other albums for the duration of Starbucks' exclusive month-long sale. The album's single in the U.S. was "Hand in My Pocket". The cover artwork is a sepia-toned tribute to the cover of the original Jagged Little Pill.

List of awards and nominations received by Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette is a Canadian rock singer-songwriter and musician from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Morissette has released five studio albums internationally through Maverick Records: Jagged Little Pill (1995), Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998), Under Rug Swept (2002), So-Called Chaos (2004), and Flavors of Entanglement (2008). Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, and Under Rug Swept debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and were among the top five on the Canadian Top 50 Album Chart. After leaving Maverick, Morissette released her most recent album, Havoc and Bright Lights (2012) independently via Collective Sounds.Morissette has won and been nominated for numerous awards; she has won seven Grammy Awards and twelve Juno Awards. She was nominated for Best New Artist at the 38th Grammy Awards, and won Best New Artist at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards for her song, "Ironic". Morissette has been nominated four times for Songwriter of the Year at the Juno Awards, winning two in 1996 and 1997. Her international debut album, Jagged Little Pill, became the second-best-selling album of the 1990s, with over fifteen million copies sold by 2000 in the United States. In October 2002, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Jagged Little Pill number 31 on its Women in Rock – The 50 Essential Albums list, and in 2003, the album was ranked number 327 on the magazine's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Jagged Little Pill was also featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Overall, Morissette has received 26 awards from 56 nominations. She was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 2005.

List of number-one albums of 1996 (Canada)

These are the number-one albums of Canada in 1996.

identifies Canadian musical acts.

List of songs recorded by Alanis Morissette

This is a list of songs sung and written by musician Alanis Morissette.

Space Cakes

Space Cakes is an EP by Alanis Morissette, released only in Japan in 1995 (see 1995 in music). It comprises acoustic recordings of some of the songs from her third album Jagged Little Pill. In other countries, the recordings have been released as B-sides.

The recordings were made in the NOB studios in Hilversum, the Netherlands, on 9 June 1995 for Jan Douwe Kroeske's radio program, "2 Meter Sessies". A seventh recording, "Hand in My Pocket", was never released (at the time), though it has been aired. All seven tracks of the EP were included as bonus tracks on the Target-exclusive Deluxe Edition of Jagged Little Pill, released on Oct. 30, 2015.

The Collection (Alanis Morissette album)

Alanis Morissette: The Collection is the greatest hits compilation album by Alanis Morissette, released in the United States on 15 November 2005. It comprises material from 1995 to 2005, with some soundtrack selections and a cover of Seal's "Crazy". A limited edition release, which included a DVD, followed on 6 December 2005.

Morissette's singles that are not on the album include "All I Really Want", "Joining You", "Unsent", "So Pure", the live track "King of Pain" (a cover of The Police song), "Precious Illusions", "21 Things I Want In A Lover", "Flinch", the American single "Utopia" and the European single "Out Is Through". Additionally, none of her eight dance-pop single releases under MCA Records' Canada imprint are present.

As of March 2012, the album has sold 401,000 copies in the United States and more than 1,000,000 worldwide.

The Diamond Wink Tour

The Diamond Wink Tour (also known as Jagged Little Pill Acoustic Tour), was the fifth concert tour by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette. The tour celebrates the 10th anniversary release of the Jagged Little Pill album. Alanis took the commemorative date to re-record the album in an acoustic version, which was named Jagged Little Pill Acoustic. The 1st Leg consisted of electric performances for big audiences throughout Europe, and the 2nd Leg of acoustic performances at intimate venues throughout North America to promote the re-release of the album.

The Singles Box

Alanis Morissette – The Singles Box, commonly abbreviated as just The Singles Box, is an Alanis Morissette box set that includes five of her six singles from 1995's Jagged Little Pill: "Ironic", Hand in My Pocket, Head over Feet, You Learn and "You Oughta Know", as well as live tracks and alternate versions of JLP tracks spread across five maxi-CDs. Also included in the box set is a short booklet of Alanis photos and other extras, including a note to her fans written by Morissette herself.

The Singles Box was released only in Europe & Australia and in very limited quantities.

Morissette's sixth single, "All I Really Want", is the only single that wasn't given a disc in The Singles Box. "All I Really Want" and "Mary Jane" are the only tracks from Jagged Little Pill that didn't appear in the set in any form.

You Learn

"You Learn" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette from her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill (1995). It was written by Morissette and Glen Ballard, who also produced the entire album. Maverick and Warner Bros. Records released the song as the album's fifth single. Musically, the song speaks of the importance of poor decision making in life by explaining that these decisions can teach valuable lessons. The album title is taken from the line "Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)".

The song received generally positive reviews from most music critics, many highlighting the song as an album standout. The song was a commercial success globally, only charting in North America and the Oceanic regions. A music video was shot for the single, showing Morissette walking through the streets.

You Oughta Know

"You Oughta Know" is a song by Canadian-American singer Alanis Morissette, released as the lead single from her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill (1995) on July 7, 1995. After releasing two commercially successful studio albums through MCA Records Canada, Morissette left MCA Records Canada and was introduced to manager Scott Welch. Morissette began working on new music after moving from her hometown of Ottawa to Toronto, but did not make much progress until travelling to Los Angeles, where she met Glen Ballard. Morissette and Ballard co-wrote the song with the latter producing it. L.A. producer and friend, Jimmy Boyle, recorded and engineered the track in addition to recruiting musicians Flea and Dave Navarro of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to play bass and guitar on the track.

The song was the first released track that saw Morissette's departure from bubblegum pop to the alternative rock sound she was later known for. Released to positive reviews from critics, the single managed to outperform the label's initial expectations. KROQ-FM, an influential Los Angeles modern rock radio station, began playing "You Oughta Know", leading to the single receiving commercial success, reaching the top ten in Australia and the United States, where it was a multiformat hit in several different genre charts, and making the top forty in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

In order to promote the song, an accompanying video was directed by Nick Egan. The single was added in the set list for Morissette's concert tour, Jagged Little Pill World Tour (1995); since then, it has been included in her albums MTV Unplugged (1999), Feast on Scraps (2002), and The Collection, as well as 1997 Grammys and the MTV Unplugged compilation albums. The song went on to receive numerous accolades; in 1996, the single was nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning the awards for Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

Studio albums
Compilation albums
Other releases
Live releases
Concert tours
Related articles
Now Is the Time
Jagged Little Pill
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
MTV Unplugged
Under Rug Swept
So-Called Chaos
The Collection
Flavors of Entanglement
Havoc and Bright Lights
Soundtrack songs
Other songs
Awards for Jagged Little Pill

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