You Oughta Know
|"You Oughta Know"|
|Single by Alanis Morissette|
|from the album Jagged Little Pill|
|Released||July 7, 1995|
|Format||CD single, cassette single, 12"|
|Genre||Alternative rock, post-grunge|
|Writer(s)||Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard|
|Alanis Morissette singles chronology|
"You Oughta Know" is a song originally performed by Canadian American recording artist and songwriter Alanis Morissette, for her third studio album, Jagged Little Pill. The song was written by Morissette along with Glen Ballard, who also produced it. The song was chosen to be released as the lead single from the album by Maverick Records on July 7, 1995. It was her first song in her change from bubblegum pop to the alternative rock sound she was later known for.
"You Oughta Know" was highlighted as an album track, and it received generally positive reviews from critics. It reached the top 10 in Australia and the United States, where it was a multiformat hit in several different genre charts, and made the top 20 in Canada and the top 40 in Sweden, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
In an August 2008 interview with the Calgary Sun, actor-comedian Dave Coulier admitted to being the ex-boyfriend portrayed in the song. In 1997 the Boston Herald reported that Coulier "admitted the lines are very close to home. Especially the one about 'an older version of me' and bugging him [Coulier] 'in the middle of dinner.'"
However, in October 2008, Morissette reiterated her refusal to identify the subject, commenting to a CanWest News Service journalist,
"Well, I've never talked about who my songs were about and I won't, because when I write them they're written for the sake of personal expression. So with all due respect to whoever may see themselves in my songs, and it happens all the time, I never really comment on it because I write these songs for myself, not other people."
Other celebrities have been rumored to be the lover in the song, including: Mike Peluso, hockey player for the New Jersey Devils; Matt LeBlanc, the actor who appeared in the video for Morissette's single "Walk Away" in 1991; and Leslie Howe, a musician and the producer of Morissette's first two albums in the early 1990s.
"You Oughta Know" received moderate to major success worldwide. Most notably, the song was a Top 10 hit in three different genre charts in the United States, peaking at #3 in the active rock charts, #7 in the contemporary hit radio charts and #1 at modern rock.
Unusually, however, the song was only a modest hit in Morissette's native Canada, peaking only at #20 pop and #21 rock in RPM. Music journalists have attributed the song's weak chart performance to resistance from Canadian radio programmers, because the aggressive, hard rock nature of the song marked a dramatic shift from Morissette's established image as a teen dance-pop star. Despite the song's weak chart performance, however, the video reached #1 on MuchMusic and #3 on MusiquePlus, and overall album sales of Jagged Little Pill were comparable to those in the United States even while the single's performance was faltering. It was the only single from the album not to hit #1 or #2 on the Canadian pop charts.
In addition, the song was a top ten hit in Australia, and reached the top 40 in Belgium, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The music video was directed by Nick Egan. It features Morissette running or walking through a desert and, in some scenes, sitting on a chair outside. During each chorus, the video shows musicians Flea and Navarro performing along with Morrissette, who is singing with a microphone.
Cover versions and samples
American singer-songwriter, musician, parodist, record producer, satirist, music video director, film producer, actor, and author "Weird Al" Yankovic utilized a portion of this song for The Alternative Polka, which appeared on his album Bad Hair Day, released the year after the song was released.
Britney Spears performed the song during her 2009 The Circus Starring: Britney Spears tour. Mike Bruno of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "[...] she rocked it. What better way to silence the critics than to step up to the mic, say to hell with it all, and spew some of that bile. Hot, confident Britney, live vocals, a dash of rebellion…". After a number of Jonathan Coulton's fans compared Morissette's cover of "My Humps" to his cover of "Baby Got Back", he covered "You Oughta Know" himself.
Scala and The Kolacny Brothers covered this song as a girls choir with piano accompaniment on their 2009 release, It All Leads To This.
In the season nine finale of Fox Network's American Idol, which aired on May 26, 2010, Alanis Morissette sang a duet of "You Oughta Know" with finalist Crystal Bowersox. Bowersox sang the line regarding oral sex, originally "Will she go down on you in a theater", but was re-written presumably to make it "family friendly" as "Will she go down with you to the theater."
The Glee Project season two had to perform the song in episode 5.
The 2013 episode of How I Met Your Mother, "P.S. I Love You" featured fictional 1990s Canadian pop star "Robin Sparkles" singing a song parodying "You Oughta Know" in musical style. Dave Coulier even made a cameo, commenting on the subject of the song, saying "It wasn't me. Why does everyone always think it's me!?"
The single has been listed in different polls for their greatest tracks ever lists. "You Oughta Know" was ranked at number twelve on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's in December 2007. Allmusic noted the track as a highlight of the album.
In 1996, the single was nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning the awards for Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance but losing the Grammy Award for Song of the Year to Seal's song "Kiss from a Rose".
The song is also a playable track in the music video game Rock Band 2.
- CD Single
- "You Oughta Know"
- "You Oughta Know" (The Jimmy the Saint Blend)
- "Perfect" (Acoustic)
- "You Oughta Know / Your House (a capella) [In some editions]
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||39|
|Canadian Alternative 30 (RPM)||21|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||17|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||25|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||22|
|US Billboard Hot 100||6|
|US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||3|
|US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks||1|
|US Billboard Mainstream Top 40||7|
"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2
|Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
July 22, 1995 – August 19, 1995
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- Navarro, Dave (April 26, 2010). "Sunday 10". 6767. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
- McCormick, Eugene. "Coulier Comes Clean: He Admits to Being the Muse Behind Alanis Morissette’s 'You Ought to Know'". The Cleveland leader. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "You Oughta Know". Urban Legends Reference Pages. January 10, 2000. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
- Saxberg, Lynn. "Alanis Morissette reveals secret self in songs". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- "Top Singles – Volume 62, No. 3, August 21, 1995". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. Retrieved 2011-06-14.
- "Rock/Alternative - Volume 61, No. 27, August 7, 1995". RPM. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
- "Alanis a hit everywhere except on hometown radio". Ottawa Citizen, August 19, 1995.
- Montgomery, James (February 1, 2010). "'You Oughta Know': The Story Behind Beyonce's Grammy Cover". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
- "Britney Spears covers Alanis Morissette: 'You Oughta Know,' it ain't half bad". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. September 6, 2009. Retrieved 2011-12-24.
- Coulton, Jonathan. "You Oughta Know". Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- Ganz, Caryn (June 22, 2009). "Beyonce Brings Hits, Jay-Z to "I Am..." Tour opener in New York". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- Rodriguez, Jayson (January 31, 2010). "Beyonce Covers Alanis Morissette At Grammys". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- "Beyonce covers Kings Of Leon and Prince at Glastonbury". NME (IPC Media (Time Warner)). June 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
- Padgett, Ray. "Corey TuT Brings a Little Trent Reznor to Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know"". Cover Commissions. Cover Me. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Watch Episode Two Performances Now!". Cover Me Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Top 100 Songs of the ’90s". VH1 Blog. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Australian-charts.com – Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Ultratop.be – Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know". Top 40 Singles.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know". Singles Top 60.
- "5, 1995/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
- "Alanis Morissette Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Alanis Morissette.
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