Behind The Songs – Blog 11

Alannis Morisette – You Oughta Know

Jagged Little Pill was the the third studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Alannis Morisette. Released in 1995 it became the album that burst Morisette on to the world scene selling an incredible 33 million copies worldwide making it one of the biggest selling albums of all time. The album marked a shift from her first two albums which were more “bubble gum” pop to an alternative rock style. “You Oughta Know” was the first single released from the album. It had a rawer, heavier sound to it than her previous material, no doubt helped by the guest appearances of Dave Navarro and Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers who provided guitar and bass to the track respectively. The song itself represents the raw anger and pain Morisette experienced from the breakdown of a relationship. The song contains some frank portrayals of female sexuality including the lines “would she go down on you in a theatre’ and ‘I’m sure she’d make an excellent mother”. Morisette has never publicly identified any particular real-life individual as having been the subject of the song. However the press constantly speculated on who the mystery man may have been. Some celebrities rumoured to be the ex-lover in the song include Mike Peluso , hockey player for the New Jersey Devils, Mat Le Blanc, actor from Friends who appeared in the video for Morisette’s single “Walk Away” and Leslie Howe, a musician and the producer of Morisette’s fist two albums in the early 1990’s. However, actor-comedian Dave Coulier, most famous for the TV show Full House has gone on record as suggesting he is probably the subject of the song. In 1997, the Boston Herald reported that Coulier admitted that some lines in the song were very close to home, particularly “I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner”. Coulier’s former TV co-star Bob Saget said in one interview he was having dinner with Coulier when the phone rang with Morisette on the end of the line.

“You Oughta Know” was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1996 winning the award for “Best Rock Song” and “Best Female Rock Vocal Performance”

 

 

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