On June 13, 1995, singer and musician Alanis Morissette's breakthrough album "Jagged Little Pill" was released.
This is a classic "Cinderella" story in American or Canadian terms, depending on which side you look at it.
At just 17 years old, Alanis released her first album “Alanis”. A polished pop/dance album that was a huge success in Canada. It was compared to the American Debbie Gibson and she even was an opening act for Vanilla Ace, yes ... yes ... Vanilla Ace, not Ice-T. She won many awards in the dance scene in Canada and was considered a very promising star, but her second album “Now is the Time” was a resounding failure. Barely managed to sell half the amount of the first album, and the record company that ended Alanis' contract was not interested in renewing it. The star lost all the stardust she had. Just imagine what happens to an 18-year-old girl who has had such great success and suddenly she crashes like fragile glass. Alanis collected the fragments, graduated, completed her matriculation, and decided to look for her fortune elsewhere, in the US, matched by a major music distribution company.
Alanis arrived in Los Angeles and already in the first meeting with Glenn Bollard, there was electricity in the air and interesting musical pieces began to be woven for them. Alanis and Glenn did not exactly know where this whole story was going to and how things would work out, but they were confident in themselves. Rather, Glenn was very confident in Alanis, in her character, in her lyrics, and in her desire to create authentic music. She did not know exactly what she wanted to do, but she knew exactly what she did not want to do!
The two entered the studio as Alanis writes the lyrics and melody and Glenn completes it with an arrangement playing all the instruments, to create a skeleton for each song. They decided that every day they would record one song... and so it was. Alanis and Glenn worked 12-16 hour shifts and all the singing was recorded in one or two takes per song. (Then in the more professional studio they used those demos of the singing with the recording of the instruments). During the demo recordings, Glenn realized that this thing did not sound like pop or classic rock, in short, it did not sound like something he had encountered in the past. Alanis wrote all the songs for the album and even learned to play the guitar during the recordings.
(Photo: John Salisbury)
After the end of the demo recordings, Alanis looked for a record company to release the album, but was refused by everyone.
We said Cinderella ...
No one wanted to mess with the failed pop star who lost her way. Only one record company was willing to believe in Alanis, Maverick Records (which Madonna is one of its founders). They realized they had something good in hand (only good) and were willing to invest in this girl. After signing a contract, the two (Alanis and Glenn) took the demo material and came in with an entire cast of musicians to record the album.
Quite a few stars were involved in the recordings of this album: Dave Navarro and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Michael Landau (Michael Jackson, Johnny Mitchell), Benjamin Tank (Tom Petty), Matt Luag (Alice Cooper, Slash) and many more good ones.
The album as we already know, is years away from Alanis' previous albums in terms of musical style and lyrics. The record company expected to sell enough albums to cover the production costs and save money for the production of Alanis' next album which was supposed to be the most important.
The reality and the true story most of us already know, the American radio station KROQ played the first single from the album "You Oughta Know" nonstop, and the rest, how to say... is history.
Crazy singles, one after the other ... "Ironic", "Hand In My Pocket", "Head Over Feet" and more and more created a rock album that was perfect to the demand of the audience that year. The album became a milestone in the development of rock in the 90s and especially in female rock.
There is no doubt that a large part of the success of the album is related to the special personality of this amazing musician. Alanis managed to put into the songs her whole soul and essence and her revealing sensitive words that came out of the heart managed to penetrate deep into the hearts of the listeners.
Its success was meteoric and made it one of the most successful albums of the 90s, winning 6 Grammy Awards (96-98). It is one of the best-selling "female" albums in the US, and sales of 30 million copies have also made it the tenth best-selling album ever.
It is worth noting that this album also enters the list of the 500 best albums of all time, when in Israel the album also reached the 26th place in the all-time album chart of Ynet, the highest place for a female singer on the list.
The album's success led to Alanis' breakthrough into the global music market and grant her incredible success.
By the way, beyond the acoustic version released in 2015, there is also a musical on the album which called by that name, go check it out...