Head over Feet
|"Head over Feet"|
|Single by Alanis Morissette|
|from the album Jagged Little Pill|
|Released||September 16, 1996|
|Genre||Pop rock, alternative rock|
|Writer(s)||Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard|
|Alanis Morissette singles chronology|
"Head over Feet" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, taken from her third (and first outside Canada) studio album Jagged Little Pill (1995). Written by Alanis and Glen Ballard, and produced by Ballard, it was released as the album's fifth single (sixth in the United States) in 1996 (see 1996 in music) and presented a softer sound than the previous singles from the album. "Head Over Feet" talks about a couple who are best friends as well as lovers, with Alanis thanking a friend for his manners, love and devotion.
It received positive response from critics, who deemed it for being soft and light. The song became Morissette's first number-one hit on Billboard's U.S. Adult Top 40 chart and topped the Top 40 Mainstream chart. In the United Kingdom, it was her first top ten single, and it reached the top 20 in Australia. It failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100 unlike the rest of Morissette's previous hit singles that charted. A live version of "Head over Feet" is featured on the album Alanis Unplugged (1999), and an acoustic version of the song was recorded for the album Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (2005).
Writing and composition
"Head Over Feet" was written by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, being one of the several tracks their worked on her breakthrough album, Jagged Little Pill (1995). Ballard met Alanis in 1994, when his publishing company matched them up. According to Ballard, the connection was "instant", and within 30 minutes of meeting each other they had begun experimenting with different sounds in Ballard's home studio in San Fernando Valley, California. Ballard also declared to Rolling Stone that, "I just connected with her as a person, and, almost parenthetically, it was like 'Wow, you're 19?' She was so intelligent and ready to take a chance on doing something that might have no commercial application. Although there was some question about what she wanted to do musically, she knew what she didn't want to do, which was anything that wasn't authentic and from her heart."
"Head Over Feet" tells a tale of a couple who are best friends as well as lovers, in which the protagonist thanks a friend for his manners, love and devotion. For Jason Redford of Pop'Stache, "It speaks of love beyond the lines and attraction regardless of inhibitions." Yahoo! Voices's Joanna Lopez wrote that the song "is about realizing you've fallen in love with your best friend." "You are the bearer of unconditional things, you held your breath and the door for me, thanks for your patience," she sings.
"Head Over Feet" was released on February 3, 1996 as the album's fifth single. The song received mostly positive response from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic chose the song as a standout track on the album. Likewise, Erlewine also picked it as a highlight on her compilation, The Collection (2005). Jason Radford of Pop'Stache praised the track, writing that the song "words itself brilliantly, providing the words that shaped a generation. Its metaphors are young, but mature, simple, but detailed."
John Weathered of Sputnikmusic wrote that on 'Head Over Feet' "she sound quite sweet, where she goes on about a friend who becomes her lover." Joanna Lopez of Yahoo! Voices simply called it "a great song," praising the music, however feeling "the words are better than the music."  Melissa Minners of G- Pop called it "a pretty song," but admitted she prefers "the angry Alanis."
"Head Over Feet" was a commercial success in Canada and the United Kingdom, peaking at number 1 and 7, respectively. In Canada, the song debuted at number 94 and later peaked at number-one, becoming her fourth consecutive number-one single and the fourth of the same album, while in the United Kingdom, it became the one and only single from the album to reach the top-ten, while also being one of her most successful singles and her only second top-ten single. In Australia, it was her third best single from the album on the ARIA Charts, peaking at number 12, while in New Zealand, it was her lowest.
In the United States, while failing to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song was a success in other Billboard component charts. On the Mainstream Top 40 chart, it was another radio hit, reaching the top spot, becoming her third consecutive single to do so. On the Modern Rock Tracks, it debuted at number 36 on the issue of September 28, 1996. The song was even better on the Hot 100 Airplay (Radio Songs) chart, reaching number 3, on the issue of November 9, 1996, and on the Adult Top 40 Tracks, reaching the top-spot on the issue of December 7, 1996.
The music video for "Head Over Feet" was directed by Michelle Laurita and Alanis Morissette herself. The video is simple, showing a close-up of Alanis with a steady cam. There are two versions of the video: the "Head" version and the "Feet" version (played in Europe and Asia). The 12th take version finishes with Alanis laughing at the end, while the other version shows Alanis and the band playing with children running and playing the harmonica around them. Both videos are featured on the DVD Jagged Little Pill, Live (1997).
Released in September 1996, the video received heavy rotation on MuchMusic, VH1, MTV and other music video channels. In October, the video was the third most played video on VH1 and the 22nd on MTV. In November, the video was already among the top-twenty on the most watched videos list compiled by Billboard Magazine. On the November 23, 1996 issue of Billboard, the video was the most played video on VH1.
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||10|
|Germany (Media Control Charts)||73|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||24|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||27|
|UK Singles Chart||7|
|US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay||3|
|US Billboard Adult Contemporary||27|
|US Billboard Adult Top 40 Tracks||1|
|US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks||25|
|US Billboard Mainstream Top 40||1|
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