Monday, 10 May 2010

Countdown: Women Who Rock - #7, Alanis Morissette

"It was a slap in the face, how quickly I was replaced and are you thinking of me when you fuck her?" And with those lyrics, the highest selling female rocker of the 90s was born. 'You Oughta Know' became the ultimate break-up song, the perfect f*ck you to an ex and introduced the world to Alanis Morissette and her groundbreaking debut album Jagged Little Pill, released in 1995.

Jagged Little Pill captivated the world, selling over 30 million copies and quickly became the highest selling debut album by an artist EVER. It would earn Morissette four Grammy Awards; Album of the Year and Best Rock Album, as well as Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for 'You Oughta Know.' Far from a one-hit album, follow up singles 'Hand In My Pocket,' 'Ironic,' 'You Learn' and 'Head Over Feet' all achieved commercial success.

Morissette's second album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (1998), didn't fare as well as her debut. It was a modest success and received positive reviews but everyone was looking for angry Alanis who was nowhere to be found. The lyrics were just as honest and probably more insightful but few of the songs were as addictive to the ears as those on Jagged Little Pill. 'Thank U' became the only international hit on the album and 'So Pure' would garner a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

Under Rug Swept (2002), So-Called Chaos (2004) and Flavours of Entaglement (2008) moved further towards an adult-contemporary pop sound and are basically afterthoughts in the mainstream consciousness, although there are some gems hidden within. If Alanis had produced the sophomore album that everyone wanted to hear, then I'm sure that she would have been closer to #1 on this list and still a huge star today. Alanis has been a huge influence on many stars of today including (fellow Canadian) Avril Lavigne, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Shakira and even Beyonce Knowles who keeps 'You Oughta Know' in her set list for live shows!

Key Tracks: 'You Oughta Know,' 'Mary Jane,' 'Ironic,' 'All I Really Want,' 'Head Over Feet,' 'You Learn' and 'Hand In My Pocket' (Jagged Little Pill); 'Thank U,' 'Unsent,' 'So Pure' and 'That I Would Be Good' (Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie); 'Uninvited' (City of Angels OST); 'Hands Clean' (Under Rug Swept); 'Underneath' (Flavours of Entaglement).


  1. OMG I so need to see if I can track down Beyonce doing 'you oughta know' on youtube! I watched a doco about Alanis the other day and it was a great reminder of how awesome she is. I had her acoustic cd but I lost it years ago!

    Oh yeah and just wondering if you're planning on adding Deborah Harry aka Blondie to the list of rock chicks??

  2. haha debbie harry? nah... don't think you'll be seeing her on the list. or will you?

    beyonce's version isn't the best and she usually screws up all the lyrics but it's worth a listen... if you can't find it, look up beyonce at the grammys 2010 because she performed part of it there...

    and jagged little pill acoustic was really good... the version of mary jane on it was awesome!!!

  3. I know this isn't facebook but... like.

    Have you already planned your last four (three?) winners?

  4. dan, i never even saw this comment til now - boo! but yeah, it was all done in advance! i know you've been on the edge of your seating these last couple of months waiting to know.


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