On this day in 1995, Alanis Morissette released Jagged Little Pill. The album went on to sell over 30 million copies world-wide and made Morissette the first female Canadian to score a U.S. #1 album.
Amazingly, the majority of the tracks on the finished album contain the original demo recording of her voice, most of which were recorded in one or two takes. Flea and Dave Navarro (then Red Hot Chili Peppers bandmates) happened to be working at the same studio and, on hearing Morissette’s work, offered to play on the track “You Oughta Know”.
It was the fourth U.S. single, “Ironic”, that was to become Morissette’s biggest hit. Written in just fifteen minutes by Morissette and Glen Ballard, the track peaked at #4 in the US. The simple but highly effective video, which had Morissette driving a dark blue 1977 Lincoln Mark V through a winter landscape, also featured the singer playing multiple roles as her passengers. MTV nominated the music video for six MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, winning three of them. The song received two Grammy Award nominations in 1997, for Record of the Year and for Best Short Form Music Video, and the video was listed amongst MTV and VH1’s “Greatest Music Videos”.
Jagged Little Pill became the best-selling international debut album by a female artist, with more than 16 million copies sold in the U.S.; it’s now sold 33 million copies worldwide, making it the third biggest selling album by a female artist, and the biggest selling debut album.
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