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124. Jagged little thrill
on 31 October 2015
For those who were around back in the day, over the years "Jagged little pill" has gained some sort of iconic status, as one of that decade's most seminal albums, and arguably the most celebrated angst-ridden album of recent times. Quite deservingly so, because this 13-track set proved to be a landmark for the '90s generation, who crowned Alanis Morissette as the voice of an era, who explored and expressed the emotional wreckage of youth and femininity in such an arresting manner, that her personal experiences became universal, rendering this album a contemporary classic. To celebrate the 20 years since its first release, this new, limited to 30,000 copies worldwide, 4-disc set seems like an essential purchase, being a spectacular package that further enhances the appeal of the original record.
CD 1 features the original album, newly remastered, overseen by Glen Ballard, producer and co-writer of "Pill". CD 2 contains 10 previously unreleased demos, that are either cut material in consideration for the record, or songs written after its release, all recorded between 1994-1998 (none of these are demos of songs from the album). This is the one of the most interesting aspects of this anniversary edition, as some of these tracks are pretty great, and could have been potential album tracks. It is historically significant, too, as on here is also included the first song Morissette co-wrote with Glen Ballard, the album producer, allegedly within an hour of their first meeting back in 1994 ("The bottom line"). CD 3 contains the acoustic re-recording of "Pill", released in 2005 to celebrate the album's 10th anniversary.
The set concludes with a previously unreleased, full live set from the Jagged Little Pill Tour, recorded in London at Subterranea, on 28 September 1995, on CD 4. Representative of AM's powerful and fragile performances, the set showcases her charismatic presence to the full. In addition to selecting music for the set, Morissette provides never-before-seen photos and other ephemera from the time, from hew own personal collection. She also contributes a fascinating new essay, reflecting back on this time in her life, along with stories behind the demos included on CD 2. Any fan of the album will absolutely love this, it is so insightful, enlightening, and revealing. And if you love Alanis as a personality, you'll admire how incredibly eloquent she is, as naturally expected.
As a longtime fan of Alanis' music, these songs sound so familiar, yet, still sound engaging, even 2 decades on. Listening to "Forgiven", for example, still makes me wish that it was graced with a video, although at the same time I'm enjoying it more as the hidden gem that it is. I can only find a fault in this excellent package. I wish this set was rounded out by an extra disc of B-Sides, to make this a fully comprehensive anniversary release. Other than that, everything about it is near perfect; the original songs, the bonus tracks, the brilliant remastering, the classy presentation and design of the set, the artwork (how great is this new version of the old cover?), the liner notes. "Jagged little pill: Collector’s edition" is the definitive edition of this inspired, inspirational and intellectual piece of work.
Jagged little facts:
- The album garnered great critical acclaim upon release, praising its thematic content, as well as Morissette's raw and arresting delivery
- It was released on June 13, 1995, through Maverick Records, which, according to her manager, Scott Welch, was the only label of all they had approached that did not pass on Morissette
- "Jagged little pill" was Morissette's first album released internationally. It produced 6 hit singles, and topped the albums charts in 10 countries
- Among its most prestigious accolades are 4 Grammy Awards, and 6 Juno Awards, awarded in 1996. It won a few more of both in the following year, too
- Due to the success of the album, Morissette toured worldwide for a total of 18 months. The video "Jagged little pill-Live", which chronicles the bulk of the tour, also won a Grammy Award for "Best Long Form Music Video"
- In 1996, it was the best-selling album worldwide, with 18.7 million copies sold, with 500,000 or more copies sold during more than 15 non-consecutive weeks. To date, global sales exceed 33 million
- It is the 4th best-selling album in Australian history, with 1+ million sales, certified 14× Platinum
- The album peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, helding the top spot for 24 weeks, and selling over 2 million copies, certified 2× Diamond
- The album topped the UK Official Albums Charts, and stayed in the charts for a total of 145 weeks, shipping more than 3 million copies, certified 10× Platinum
- It was No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 for 13 non-consecutive weeks, and certified 16× Platinum in the US for shipments of 16 million copies, and sales of 15 million copies