Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

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Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
Alanis Morissette - Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie.png
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 3, 1998
RecordedJune 1997-August 1998
StudioRoyaltone Studios, Los Angeles
Genre
Length71:50
Label
Producer
Alanis Morissette chronology
The Singles Box
(1997)
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
(1998)
MTV Unplugged
(1999)
Alanis Morissette studio album chronology
Jagged Little Pill
(1995)
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
(1998)
Under Rug Swept
(2002)
Singles from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
  1. "Thank U"
    Released: October 13, 1998
  2. "Joining You"
    Released: January 3, 1999
  3. "Unsent"
    Released: March 18, 1999
  4. "So Pure"
    Released: June 14, 1999
  5. "That I Would Be Good"
    Released: February 8, 2000

Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is the fourth studio album and second internationally released album by singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, released by Maverick Records in the United States on November 3, 1998. The album was positively received by critics and performed well commercially, breaking the record for album sales in its first week by a female artist. The first single from the album, "Thank U", reached the top 20 of the US Billboard Hot 100. Morissette promoted the album with worldwide touring.

Background[edit]

Morissette wrote "Thank U" and "Baba" after her trip to India in 1997. The protagonist of "Baba" goes on a spiritual pilgrimage to India where she encounters a guru who, like many spiritual teachers in India, is referred to as "Baba". The word "Baba" means "father" in the Hindi language. Morissette opened most of shows during the Junkie era with the song, and it was featured as an opener during her 2002 tours. It has been seldom played since then. "Baba" opened Morissette's performance on the television show MTV Unplugged in 1999, but it was excluded from the CD release Alanis Unplugged. Another live version of "Baba" was released on the No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees CD. In a 2012 interview with fans, director Kevin Smith confirmed that "Front Row" was partially inspired by a phone conversation he and Morissette once had. They were mutually attracted to each other but never actually dated. His suggestion of naming the reasons they were not a couple became part of the lyrics.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[3]
Los Angeles Times4/4 stars[4]
NME6/10[5]
Q3/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[7]
Slant Magazine4/5 stars[8]
Spin7/10[9]
USA Today3.5/4 stars[10]
The Village VoiceA−[11]

Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie received generally positive reviews from critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic called it a "clear step forward" and concluded that "Morissette is a weird acquired taste, due to her idiosyncratic vocals and doggedly convoluted confessionals – but [the album] certainly confirms that she doesn't quite sound like anyone else, either."[2] The Village Voice's Robert Christgau commented that he felt "privileged to listen along with all the young women whose struggles Morissette blows up to such a scale."[11] Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly complimented Morissette's new style and wrote that "Morissette has used her year-plus recording hiatus and newfound star status wisely, in pursuit of a way to make a vulnerable, openhearted album in the face of intense commercial expectations."[3] Slant Magazine critic Sal Cinquemani complimented Morissette's songwriting and concluded that while the album "is nearly 15 minutes too long (did an ode to her mother, the sweet 'Heart of the House,' really need to be made public?)... not one moment of Junkie's 70-plus minutes is less than captivating."[8] However, it was listed amongst "the worst albums ever" by Q magazine.[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 469,000 copies sold in its first week. The album broke the record for sales in its first week by a female act, surpassing Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill which opened with 423,000 copies. This would be later surpassed once again in 2000 by Britney Spears with the release of her second album Oops!...I Did It Again selling 1.3 million copies in its first week. In the New Zealand Albums Chart, it was Morissette's second consecutive number one album, and was certificated 2× Platinum by RIANZ, selling over 30,000 copies. The album also debuted at number one in Switzerland, and stayed in the charts for thirty-one weeks. It was certified Platinum in that country. The album entered at number one in Norway, staying there for three weeks. It was certificated platinum there as well. It also peaked in the top ten in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Sweden, and other European countries. The album has sold 2,604,000 copies in the United States as of March 2012.[13] The album sold 2.2 million copies worldwide on its first week of release and over 5.2 million copies worldwide within a month.[14]

Accolades[edit]

"Thank U" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and "So Pure" was nominated in the category of Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

The album itself won a Juno Award for Album of the Year.

Promotion[edit]

As with the previous album, Morissette did an extensive amount of touring in support for this record. In the fall of 1998, she embarked on a club tour across North America with select appearances in Europe, Asia and Australia. The North American leg of the tour included opening act Chris Whitley.

Guitarist Nick Lashley and bassist Chris Chaney remained for this album's touring from the previous years, although there were several new band members. The band now incorporated a keyboardist, Deron Johnson, and welcomed guitarist Joel Shearer (from the Jagged Little Pill recording sessions) and drummer Gary Novak. Morissette herself continued playing guitar (however more so than previous tours) and harmonica. She also started playing the flute in concerts, during the song "That I Would Be Good".

In January 1999, "The Junkie Tour" kicked off, and lasted through July, then returned in October up until the end of December. Opening acts included Garbage and Liz Phair, among others. The worldwide tour had alternating setlists for every leg, but included the usual set openers and closers. The concert introduction music was a track from DJ Shadow, entitled "Building Steam with a Grain of Salt".

During the tour, Morissette wrote the song "Still" for the Kevin Smith film, Dogma. This song was performed live for the first time in July at Morissette's VH1 Storytellers special. After that special, she performed in front of thousands during the Woodstock '99 concert festival in New York. Unlike the previous tours, Morissette focused mainly on performing songs that had been released and didn't perform any new songs, aside from a couple of B-sides during the second half of the year.

In May, Morissette and Tori Amos announced the "512 Week Tour" which filled the touring void in August and September before "The Junkie Tour" re-commenced. The tour would be a joint venture, as they both co-headlined the bills. Toward the end of the tour, Morissette recorded her MTV Unplugged concert special. During the final weeks of "The Junkie Tour", keyboardist Deron Johnson left the band and was replaced, and Gary Novak took a temporary leave and was replaced as well.

Morissette announced a summer tour in 2000 called "The One Tour" which kicked off with two dates in North America, before continuing in places she had never toured (or rarely toured) before across Europe and parts of Asia. In each city, she selected an ambassador through a website contest on "Z.com", to show her around and teach her the culture. It was after this tour that Morissette kicked off MSN and DirecTV's concert series, Music in High Places where she performed acoustic on the Navajo Nation in Arizona, and also learned the cultures, practices, traditions and songs from the natives in the area. This was Morissette's final performance and release that tied into promotion for Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie before she started writing her follow-up, Under Rug Swept.

Singles[edit]

The first single from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, "Thank U", was released to US radio in October 1998. It charted considerably high in initial airplay because of the anticipation for the album, but many critics and listeners who had pigeonholed Morissette as an angry woman were surprised by the song's calm and serene feel. Released in November, the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with the highest first-week sales for a female artist at the time, selling 469,054 copies in its first seven days. She held this record for two years, until being outsold in first week sales by Britney Spears' Oops!...I Did It Again which sold 1.3 million copies in 2000. It held the number-one spot for an additional week, before falling to eighth place in what is generally a busy shopping period because of the holiday season. Over the next few weeks sales for the album slowly declined, and then faltered drastically. After 28 weeks, the album had fallen off the Billboard 200, and as of September 2008 it had sold 2.6 million copies in the US,[15] less than a fifth in sales of that of Jagged Little Pill.

Though not an official single release in the US, "Joining You" became a modest hit on the Modern Rock Tracks chart; it was released as the album's second single in the UK and Europe. "Unsent", the second US single, peaked outside the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The third single "So Pure" made the top 40 in the UK as well as certain airplay charts in the US, though not the Billboard Hot 100. None of the singles revived significant interest in the album.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Alanis Morissette; all music is composed by Morissette and Glen Ballard, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Front Row"4:13
2."Baba"4:29
3."Thank U"4:18
4."Are You Still Mad" (Alanis Morissette)4:04
5."Sympathetic Character" (Alanis Morissette)5:13
6."That I Would Be Good"4:16
7."The Couch"5:24
8."Can't Not"4:35
9."UR"3:31
10."I Was Hoping"3:51
11."One"4:40
12."Would Not Come"4:05
13."Unsent"4:10
14."So Pure"2:50
15."Joining You"4:24
16."Heart of the House" (Alanis Morissette)3:46
17."Your Congratulations" (Alanis Morissette)3:54
Japanese and Australian bonus track
No.TitleLength
18."Uninvited" (demo) (Alanis Morissette)3:02

Unreleased songs[edit]

B-sides and unreleases[edit]

There had been many songs performed live during the tour in support of Jagged Little Pill, and during festivals in between albums that did not appear on the album. It was never specified if those songs were supposed to be included or not, but one of the songs did make its way through, "Can't Not" which was first performed live on January 12, 1996 along with "King of Intimidation" & "No Pressure Over Cappuccino". This version of "Can't Not", however, was slightly more mellow—and differed from the demo version previewed on the home video, Jagged Little Pill, Live. The song "King of Intimidation" (also previewed on the video) was never released on any album until the Jagged Little Pill 2015 deluxe edition, but appeared in a live clip along with the original "Can't Not" live clip on 2005's The Collection DVD.

"No Pressure Over Cappuccino" was another song that popped up from the previous tours, but not until 1999's live album, Alanis Unplugged. This song was previewed on the above-mentioned video, but only in acoustic form. That version is mistakenly believed to be a studio demo, but it is merely an acoustic version performed with the band. The final song previewed on Jagged Little Pill, Live is "Death of Cinderella"; Alanis debuted the song live on December 6, 1995. It had never been released until the Jagged Little Pill 2015 deluxe edition. Other songs include "Gorgeous", "London", "Pray for Peace" (a.k.a. "She Gave Me a Wink") which has never been released but she played it for the first time in concert on October 18, 1997, and two untitled songs that fans refer to as "The Weekend Song" (or "I Don't Know") which debuted in concert on February 4, 1996 and "After A Year Like This One" on July 12, 1996. A live version of "London" appeared as a B-side to the "Joining You" and "Unsent" singles. The studio version was later released on the Jagged Little Pill 2015 deluxe edition with "Gorgeous" as well. Both songs debuted in concert on June 8, 1997.

Aside from the songs written and performed during concerts 1995–1997, there were songs specifically written for Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. "Pollyanna Flower" was released as a B-side to "Thank U", while "These Are The Thoughts" appeared on the single to "Joining You" (and later on Alanis Unplugged). "Can't Not" was originally intended to be a B-side, but Morissette and Ballard decided to put it on the record. Another song left off the album was "Princes Familiar", whose studio version has yet to surface. It has only been released in live, acoustic form on both Alanis Unplugged and The Collection

Demo versions[edit]

Over the past several years, demos of songs have leaked online. These demos include:

  1. "Thank U" (with additional verses and lyrics, as well as a more upbeat drum track).
  2. "Unsent" (not available in high quality, but features two extra verses, and different names).
  3. "That I Would Be Good" (including Morissette clearing her throat in the beginning, a slight lyric change in one of the verses and a slightly longer flute solo).
  4. "Can't Not" (30 second clip)
  5. "Uninvited" (just vocals and piano, officially released on the "Thank U" single and the Japanese and Australian releases).
  6. "These Are the Thoughts" (features backing vocals and lyric changes, officially released on the Jagged Little Pill Deluxe edition release).

Personnel[edit]

  • Alanis Morissette – flute, harmonica, piano, vocals, producer, photography
  • Glen Ballardsynthesizer, guitar, piano, programming, producer, engineer, string arrangements
  • Benmont Tench – organ, chamberlin
  • David Campbell – string arrangements
  • Scott Campbell – engineer
  • Gary Novak – percussion, drums
  • Joel Shearer – guitar
  • Jolie Levine – production coordination
  • Nick Lashley – guitar
  • Chris Bellman – mastering
  • Chris Fogel – programming, engineer, mixing
  • Kevin Reagan – art direction, design
  • Roger Sommers – engineer, second engineer
  • Dash Mihok – photography, loop
  • Regina Thomas – photography
  • Chris Chaney – bass guitar
  • Stefan G. Bucher – design
  • Shad T. Scott – programming
  • Heather Stanley – photography

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[48] Gold 30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[49] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[50] Platinum 50,000*
Belgium (BEA)[51] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[52] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[53] 4× Platinum 400,000^
Chile (IFPI Chile)[48] Gold 10,000 
Czech Republic (IFPI Czech Republic)[48] Gold 5,000 
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[48] Platinum 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[54] Gold 20,846[54]
France (SNEP)[55] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[56] Platinum 500,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[48] Platinum 20,000*
Indonesia (RIAI)[48] Gold 35,000 
Ireland (IRMA)[48] 3× Platinum 45,000^
Italy (FIMI)[48] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[48] Platinum 200,000^
Malaysia[48] Gold 25,000 
Mexico (AMPROFON)[48] Gold 100,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[57] Platinum 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[58] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[59] Platinum 50,000*
Philippines (PARI)[48] Gold 20,000*
Portugal (AFP)[48] Platinum 40,000^
Singapore (RIAS)[48] 2× Platinum 20,000 
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[48] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[48] Platinum 80,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[60] Platinum 50,000^
Taiwan (RIT)[48] Gold 20,000*
Thailand[48] Gold 10,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[61] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[62] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[63] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*
Worldwide (IFPI) N/A 8,000,000[64]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

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