On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know (1995)
” You Oughta Know” is a song by Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, released as the lead single from her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill (1995) on July 7, 1995. After releasing two commercially successful studio albums through MCA Records Canada, Morissette left MCA Records Canada and was introduced to manager Scott Welch.
We’re leaving the UK today, dear reader, and making our way over to Canada. Alanis Morissette began her career in the late 1980s with recording demos. We join her in 1995 though with the release of her third album, Jagged Little Pill, which would be one of the biggest albums of the year. 1001 Songs have gone with the track and leading single – You Oughta Know.
You Oughta Know is an angry and bitter account of a failed relationship from the perspective of a spurned lover now having to look on as her ex has moved on with his life. We hear of how this guy now has a new woman and the narrator wonders whether he still thinks of her and comprehends the damage he has done by moving on as quickly as he has. The guy here is clearly doing okay, moving on with his life, but the narrator is still deeply hurt and furious at how badly she has been treated. Morissette has never publicly stated who the song is about but there have been rumours over the years.
I remember Alanis Morissette’s breakthrough with Jagged Little Pill and songs such as You Oughta Know, Hand in My Pocket and Ironic. 1995 was a glorious year for the young Canadian with her album selling millions and producing 6 singles as well. You Oughta Know was not Morissette’s biggest hit but it remains one of her best. It is raw, angry and emotive, a brilliant depiction of a scorned lover not content with being cast aside so coldly. Morissette’s later career could never reach the heights of Jagged Little Pill but how many artists can claim to have had an album do this well?
Favourite songs so far: