Home / Daryl’s Pop Music Hall of Fame: Alanis Morisette – “You Oughta Know”

Daryl’s Pop Music Hall of Fame: Alanis Morisette – “You Oughta Know”

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In the early and mid 1990s, the music world was fed up with Madonna and desperately sought for another angst driven female musical act to taker her place. The woman who took the crown, in 1995, was Alanis Morissette. She just happened to belong to Madonna’s then rising music label, Maverick. Isn’t that ironic?

“You Oughta Know,” from Alanis Morissette’s mega platinum album, Jagged Little Pill, became everybody’s favorite breakup song, with lyrics that included: “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.” The song was sung with vengeful feeling, sharply produced, and was hummed in supermarkets, churches, hospitals, etc. during the Summer of 1995. Further than being an outstanding song, “You Oughta Know” was downright addicting.

Jagged Little Pill would go on to produce several other hit singles, including “Hand In My Pocket,” “All I Really Want,” “Right Through You,” and “Ironic.” Unfortunately, Alanis Morissette suffered the well-known Grammy curse: like Lauren Hill and countless others, her career crashed faster than a head-on collision after winning multiple Grammy awards in one night.

While the success of Alanis Morissette prompted a multitude of jokes against Madonna in the mid-nineties, it was Madonna who would get her crown back in 1998 after releasing the mega-successful Ray of Light. During the same year, Alanis Morissette’s sophomore effort, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, debuted high and then fell off faster than President Clinton’s moral reputation at the same time.

It’s quite unfortunate that Alanis Morissette is often viewed as the woman who completely ruined alternative music. She is a talented singer, a great songwriter, and an electrifying performer. She’s the type of artist who will still be performing even if her latest album sells just two copies. Regardless of what became of her popularity, when somebody thinks of the mid 1990s, Alanis Morrisette’s face will always pop up with a vengeance.

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  • Rob

    I fell in love with Alanis the first time I heard this song. I listen to the Jagged Little Pill album today and it still gives me the goose bumps 10 years later. She really poured all of her emotions into that album; you can feel Alanis sucking you into her world of disillusionment, pain and self-discovery and then spitting you out into you’re own reality. Quite an accomplishment for a woman in her early twenties. I don’t think she’s been able to match that intensity since, although I still get a little mushy inside whenever I hear her sing anything.

  • daryl d

    thanks for the info on dave navarro and flea. I didn’t know that. Anyhow, eleven years later, this song still remains one of my all time favorites.

  • Though initially the overplay turned me against the song, I have really come to appreciate it. It is a great rockin’ song with a shitload of passion.

    Did you know that Flea and Dave Navarro are the musicians on that track? Knowing that, you can totally hear Flea’s sound when you listen. I don’t believe they were on any other tracks on that disc.