back to top

13 Perfect Songs From Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill"

We celebrate 20 years since this iconic album's release with 13 of its most perfect tracks. Oh, that's every song on the album? How ironic.

Posted on

Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill was released on June 13th, 1995 and it was an instant hit, going on to sell over 30 million records.

To celebrate the *important* anniversary, here are 13 perfect songs (literally the tracklist) in the form of music videos and live performances. Buckle up, 'cause it's an emotional roller coaster and we're going on this ride together. You're gonna love it.

1. All I Really Want

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Why are you so petrified of silence
Here can you handle this?

 
 
 
...
 
 
 
...
 
 
 
...
 
 
 


Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines
Or when you think you're gonna die
Or did you long for the next distraction

2. You Oughta Know

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

This song launched Alanis, a Canadian child actress and pop star, into a full-on international rock goddess (but you know that by now).

In Canada, this was the only single to not reach the top of the pop music charts, but then it won two Grammys in the US, so I guess that's not a bad consolation prize.

3. Perfect

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

4. Hand In My Pocket

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Q. I've got one hand in my pocket and the other is...

A.✋

B. 🚬

C. 🎹

D. All of the above

5. Right Through You

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

6. Forgiven

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

7. You Learn

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Halfway through!

You Learn featured the actual "Jagged Little Pill" lyric that became the album title, but there are still six (SPOILER: actually seven) more perfect songs that encapsulated everything you were feeling at the time (and maybe still are).

8. Head Over Feet

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Head Over Feet charted at #1 in Canada for eight consecutive weeks, though it was already the fifth single from the album (of six total). Alanis co-directed this simple and very personal music video herself.

9. Mary Jane

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

10. Ironic

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Yeah, yes, sure, OKAY, maybe the exact definition of "ironic" is a little off here, but that only provided a catalyst for learning. Maybe that was the point all along. This song remains a favourite for many, and it's her most played song on Spotify by a margin of 12 million plays.

In later performances (and in the rerecorded version for 2005's Jagged Little Pill Acoustic), Alanis switched a lyric from "meeting his beautiful wife" to "meeting his beautiful husband" to show support for marriage equality.

11. Not The Doctor

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

12. Wake Up

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

13. You Oughta Know (Alternate Take)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

This song is so perfect it's included twice. Since we've already practiced once, let's belt it together this time.

I want you to know, that I'm happy for you
I wish nothing but the best for you both
An older version of me
Is she perverted like me
Would she go down on you in a theatre
Does she speak eloquently
And would she have your baby
I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother

'cause the love that you gave that we made wasn't able
To make it enough for you to be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me you'd hold me
Until you died, till you died
But you're still alive

And I'm here to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It's not fair to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know

You seem very well, things look peaceful
I'm not quite as well, I thought you should know
Did you forget about me Mr. Duplicity
I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced
Are you thinking of me when you fuck her?

'Cause the love that you gave that we made wasn't able
To make it enough for you to be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me you'd hold me
Until you died, til you died
But you're still alive

And I'm here to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It's not fair to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know

'Cause the joke that you laid on the bed that was me
And I'm not gonna fade
As soon as you close your eyes and you know it
And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back
I hope you feel it...well can you feel it

Well, I'm here to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It's not fair to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know

14. Your House (Hidden Track)

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Just when you think we're done, when you've cried and smiled and screamed your way through the album, Alanis hits you with this shockingly bare hidden track. Watch her perform live, alone in a cave, above.

Adam J. Kurtz / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

I'm not the doctor, but I know that you live, and you learn. So swallow down a jagged little pill, and take another if you need one. It'll be here waiting.

Twenty years later, Alanis Morissette still understands you perfectly.

What does this album mean to you? Do you remember the first time you heard it? Share your personal Jagged Little Pill stories in the comments (and maybe bring a tissue).