Head over Feet

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"Head over Feet"
Head over Feet single cover.jpg
Artwork for European and Australian releases
Single by Alanis Morissette
from the album Jagged Little Pill
ReleasedSeptember 16, 1996
FormatCD single
RecordedSummer 1994–Spring 1995[1]
LabelMaverick
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Glen Ballard
Alanis Morissette singles chronology
"You Learn"
(1996)
"Head over Feet"
(1996)
"All I Really Want"
(1996)
Music video
"Head over Feet" on YouTube

"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 described it as soft and light. The song became Morissette's first number-one hit on Billboard's U.S. Adult Top 40 chart and also topped the Mainstream Top 40 chart. In the United Kingdom, it was her first top ten single, and it reached the top 20 in Australia. In Canada, the song spent eight weeks at number one on the RPM Singles Chart, the most of any of her four number-one songs from Jagged Little Pill. The single also peaked at number 1 in Iceland. 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[edit]

Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard wrote "Head over Feet", one of the several tracks they collaborated on for her breakthrough album, Jagged Little Pill (1995). Ballard met Alanis on March 8, 1994, after 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.[2] 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."[3]

"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.[4] For Jason Radford of Pop'Stache, "It speaks of love beyond the lines and attraction regardless of inhibitions."[5] Yahoo! Voices's Joanna Lopez wrote that the song "is about realizing you've fallen in love with your best friend."[6][unreliable source?] "You are the bearer of unconditional things, you held your breath and the door for me, thanks for your patience," she sings.[7]

"Head over Feet" is performed in the key of C major, shifting to D major for the verses and middle-eight section of the song. The song is performed in common time at a tempo of 80 beats per minute.[8] Morissette's vocals span from G3 to B4 in the song.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

"Head over Feet" was released on February 3, 1996 as the album's fifth single.[10] The song received mostly positive response from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic chose the song as a standout track on the album.[11] Likewise, Erlewine also picked it as a highlight on her compilation, The Collection (2005).[12] 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."[5]

John Weathered of Sputnikmusic wrote that on 'Head over Feet' "she sound[s] quite sweet, where she goes on about a friend who becomes her lover."[13] Joanna Lopez of Yahoo! Voices simply called it "a great song," praising the music, however feeling "the words are better than the music." [6] Melissa Minners of G- Pop called it "a pretty song," but admitted she prefers "the angry Alanis."[14]

Chart performance[edit]

"Head over Feet" was a major commercial success in Canada and the United Kingdom, peaking at number one and seven, respectively. In Canada, the song debuted at number 94 on the RPM Top Singles chart[15] and later peaked at number one for eight weeks (the longest reign of the year), becoming her fourth consecutive number-one single from Jagged Little Pill.[16] The song spent 14 weeks in the Top Ten and was the number ten song for 1996, even though its last week at number one and last four weeks in the Top Ten spilled over in 1997. In the United Kingdom, it became the only single from the album to reach the top ten and remains her second most successful single in the UK after "Thank You" which peaked at number five in 1998.[17] In Australia, it was her third most successful single from the album on the ARIA Singles Chart, peaking at number 12,[18] while in New Zealand, it was her least successful, reaching number 27.[19]

In the United States, the song was released as a radio-only single, effectively making the song ineligible to enter the Billboard Hot 100. On the Mainstream Top 40 (Pop Songs) chart, it was another major radio hit, reaching the number one spot, becoming her third consecutive single to do so. The song reached number three on the Hot 100 Airplay (Radio Songs)[20] and number one on the Adult Top 40, her first single to achieve this.[21] On the Modern Rock Tracks, it debuted at number 36 on the issue of September 28, 1996 but only peaked at number 25, the least successful single from Jagged Little Pill.[22]

Music video[edit]

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 locked-off camera that never changes its angle of vision.[23] 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).[23]

Released in September 1996,[22] 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.[24] In November, the video was already among the top-twenty on the most watched videos list compiled by Billboard Magazine.[20] On the November 23, 1996 issue of Billboard, the video was the most played video on VH1.[25]

Track listing[edit]

CD Single[10]

  1. "Head over Feet"
  2. "You Learn" (live)†
  3. "Hand in My Pocket" (live)†
  4. "Right Through You" (live)†

† recorded on March 6, 1996 at Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://archive.org/stream/Entertainment_Weekly_October_9_2015/Entertainment_Weekly_October_9_2015_djvu.txt
  2. ^ "Billboard Magazine - June 30, 2001". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Wild, David (November 2, 1995). "Alanis Morissette: The Adventures of Miss Thing". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  4. ^ "Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill - Plugged In". Plugged In. Focus on the Family. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Radford, Jason (March 31, 2011). "Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill | Old 'Stache Review". PopStache. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Lopez, Joanna (April 9, 2009). "Classic 90's Review- Alanis Morissette- Jagged Little Pill". Yahoo! Voices. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  7. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Top 10 Alanis Morissette Lyrics". About.com. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  8. ^ "BPM for 'head over feet' by alanis | songbpm.com". songbpm.com. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  9. ^ Ballard, Glen. "Alanis Morissette "Head Over Feet" Sheet Music in C Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  10. ^ a b "Amazon.com: Head Over Feet: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morissette | AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  12. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (November 15, 2005). "The Collection - Alanis Morissette: Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  13. ^ Weathered, John (August 15, 2006). "Review: Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  14. ^ Minners, Melissa. "G-Pop: Jagged Little Pill". G-Pop. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  15. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks – September 2, 1996". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9851." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Billboard - November 9, 1996 Issue". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  21. ^ "Billboard - December 7, 1996 Issue". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  22. ^ a b "Billboard - September 28, 1996 Issue". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Jagged little Pill live". Death of Cinderella. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2014.
  24. ^ "Billboard - October 19, 1996 Issue". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  25. ^ "Billboard - November 23, 1996 Issue". Billboard Magazine. Google Books. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  27. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9920." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  28. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  29. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (NR. 194 Vikuna 31.10. - 6.11. '96)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved July 22, 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  30. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Head Over Feet". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  31. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 38, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  32. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  33. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c "Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill - Charts". Allmusic. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  35. ^ "Alanis Morissette - Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved August 23, 2006.
  36. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1996". Imgur.com (original document published by ARIA). Archived from the original on November 2, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  37. ^ "RPM Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  38. ^ "RPM Year End Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  39. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  40. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 13, 2018.

External links[edit]