Why is Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
I’d tell you, but don’t make me say it… Okay, you oughta know, right?
What does Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
If you’re old enough to remember the mid-1990s, you’ll know what an enormous deal Jagged Little Pill was in the U.S. in terms of radio airplay, MTV, and so on.
This album takes me to a very specific moment of time, which I think you’ll dig after reading the following.
I lived on campus for the first three years of my undergraduate years at Binghamton University in New York, the third year of which (plus a summer) I was a Resident Advisor. For my senior year, I finally moved off campus, which was quite exciting. I joined the rugby team and had one of the greatest years and adventures of my life.
But all that lay ahead right before the fall semester started. I was so excited to get started on the year, in fact, that I moved into my new off campus college house (good old 59 Leroy St., which soon became both infamous and legendary) as early as I was able to, and was the first of the eight or nine* of us to arrive.
* We had people living in our spacious attic from time to time, so the numbers get fuzzy in retrospect.
A number of friends and classmates of mine from high school also attended Binghamton U., and that group grew over the years as more people transferred over from other schools. Two of those high school friends had also moved up to school early, and we literally found ourselves with a few days with absolutely nothing to do.
It’s astonishing, in a way, looking back at a time in my life where there’s not at least something that you Should Be Doing (or even COULD BE doing) even when you’re doing nothing, but that’s part of the magic of one’s undergrad years, I think. (Oh, you’re replacing “magic” with “waste,” are you? Well, it was a really fun waste then.)
Okay, so let’s set the scene. At Chris’ place, one of us unfurled one of those thousand or two thousand piece puzzles that you might find at your grandparents’ place growing up. I remember that it had lots of boats in it, and probably a dock, and that it was enormous. Being college students, that plus a tonnage of beer set the scene for us to burn off the next few days in style.
Ah, but the music! I remember that there was one of those stereos with a three CD changer that, through the magics of technology, could “shuffle” between tracks on the three CDs. This was considered pretty tech-forward at the time. One of the albums was by White Zombie, another was Beastie Boys (probably either Ill Communication or Check Your Head), and yes, the other one was Jagged Little Pill, by Alanis Morissette.
For a solid two days, we joked around, we worked on that puzzle (and didn’t come close to finishing it, I’m pretty sure), let the stereo play through without changing the CDs out a single time.
I guess that’s an extremely long way of going about stating that Jagged Little Pill is a highly listenable album, even on a maximum number of repeats. It’s remarkably consistent, though I’d say that the “big hits” from the album – “You Oughta Know,” “Hand in My Pocket,” “Head Over Feet,” and “Ironic” – are the standouts.
“Ironic” will likely remain the song most closely associated with Alanis Morissette, and with good reason: it’s unironically really good.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill
It was a big deal back in 1999 when Alanis Morissette showed up in Kevin Smith’s Dogma, playing a small yet important role… that of God herself! She was excellent, even without having a speaking role if I remember correctly. As it turns out, Morissette began acting as a child on the iconic kids’ show, You Can’t Do That On Television, and has continued to work steadily to this day.
Some stats & info about Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Pop Music, Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Adult Alternative
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #69
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Jagged Little Pill released? 1995
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #735 out of 1,000
Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.