Jagged Little Pill – 1995

Jagged Little Pill is the third studio album and international debut album by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, first released on June 13, 1995, through Maverick Records. Morissette had released two successful albums in Canada, after which she left MCA Records Canada and was introduced to manager Scott Welch. Morissette began work on her next album after moving from her hometown, Ottawa, to Toronto; she did not make much progress until she traveled to Los Angeles, where she met Glen Ballard. Morissette and Ballard had an instant connection, and began co-writing and experimenting with sounds.

The experimentation resulted in an alternative rock album that took influence from post-grunge and pop rock, and featured guitars, keyboards, drum machines, and harmonica. The album’s lyrics touched upon themes of aggression and broken relationships, while Ballard introduced a pop sensibility to Morissette’s bitter angst. The album went on to be a huge success, topping the charts in ten countries; it has sold more than 33 million units worldwide and ranks as one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Jagged Little Pill received acclaim from music critics and was nominated for nine Grammy Awards, of which Morissette won five, including Album of the Year, making her the youngest artist in history to win the honour—a record she held for 14 years, until country/pop singer Taylor Swift won Album of the Year at the 2010 Grammy Awards for her 2008 album Fearless. Rolling Stone ranked Jagged Little Pill at number 327 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

In 1991, MCA Records Canada released Morissette’s debut studio album Alanis, which went Platinum in Canada. Her second album Now Is the Time was a commercial failure, selling only a little more than half the copies of her first album. With her two-album deal complete, Morissette was left without a major-label contract. In 1993, Morissette’s publisher Leeds Levy at MCA Music Publishing introduced her to manager Scott Welch. Welch told HitQuarters he was impressed by her “spectacular voice”, her character and her lyrics. At the time she was still living with her parents in Ottawa. Together they decided it would be best for her career to move to Toronto and start writing with other people.

After graduating from high school, Morissette made the move. Her publisher funded part of her development and when she met producer and songwriter Glen Ballard, he believed in her talent enough to let her use his studio. The two wrote and recorded Morissette’s first internationally released album, Jagged Little Pill, and by the spring of 1995, she had signed a deal with Maverick Records. According to Welch, every label they approached passed on Morissette apart from Maverick.