Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is the fourth studio album by Alanis Morissette. Released by Maverick on November 3, 1998, the album was received positively by critics and broke the record for first week album sales by a female artist. With 17 tracks and a run-time close to 72 minutes, it’s her longest offering to date.
In addition to Uninvited serving as a single from the City of Angels soundtrack, the album spawned five singles – Thank U was released on October 13, 1998; Joining You was released on January 3, 1999; Unsent was released on March 18, 1999; So Pure was released on June 14, 1999; and That I Would Be Good was released on February 8, 2000.
Release date: November 3, 1998
Recorded: Spring & Summer 1998 at Royaltone Studios in Los Angeles, California
Genre: Alternative rock, hard rock, post-grunge, experimental rock
Label: Maverick, Reprise
Producer: Glen Ballard, Alanis Morissette
All lyrics are written by Alanis Morissette while all music is written by Alanis Morissette & Glen Ballard, except for Are You Still Mad, Sympathetic Character, Heart of the House and Your Congratulations, which are exclusively written by Alanis Morissette.
01. Front Row – 4:13
02. Baba – 4:29
03. Thank U – 4:18
04. Are You Still Mad – 4:04
05. Sympathetic Character – 5:13
06. That I Would Be Good – 4:16
07. The Couch – 5:24
08. Can’t Not – 4:35
09. 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 – 3:46
17. Your Congratulations – 3:54
Australian & Japanese Edition
18. Uninvited (Demo) – 3:02
Development & Production
Alanis Morissette wrote both Thank U and Baba after a 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 also means “father” in the Hindi language. Most of shows during the Junkie era opened with the song, and it was featured as an opener during her 2002 tours as well. It has been seldom played since then. Though Baba opened Morissette’s performance on the television show MTV Unplugged in 1999, it was excluded from the CD release Alanis Unplugged.
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 had never actually dated. His suggestion of naming the reasons they were not a couple became part of the lyrics.
Release & Reception
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie received positive reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusicawarded the album four stars, calling it a clear step forward and concluding that, though her idiosyncratic vocals and doggedly convoluted confessionals made her an acquired taste, the album confirms that she doesn’t quite sound like anyone else. Robert Christgau gave the album an A−, while Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly gave the album B+ and complimenting Morissette’s new style. Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine gave it a similarly-positive review, awarding it four-and-a-half stars out of five, but felt that the album was nearly 15 minutes too long. However, it was listed amongst the worst albums ever by Q magazine.
Though not as record setting as 1995’s Jagged Little Pill, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie was still a success. In the United States, the debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 469,054 copies sold in its first week. It broke the record for sales in its first week by a female act, which had been set just the prior year with Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hillat 423,000 copies. Alanis would hold onto this record for two years, until the release of Britney Spears’ Oops!…I Did It Againselling 1.3 million copies in its first week in 2000. Though the album remained at #2 for its second week, it slowly trailed off and was completely out of the Top 200 after 28 weeks. Ultimately, the album sold sold 2.2 million copies worldwide on its first week of release, and over 5.2 million copies worldwide during its first month.
In the New Zealand Albums Chart, it was her second consecutive number one album, and was certificated 2× Platinum by RIANZ after 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. As of March 2012, the album has sold 2,604,000 copies in the United States.
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. In Canada, the album won a Juno Award for Album of the Year.
- Argentina – Gold (30,000)
Australia – 2× Platinum (140,000)
Austria – Platinum (20,000)
Belgium – Gold (25,000)
Brazil – Gold (100,000)
Canada – 4× Platinum (400,000)
Chile – Gold (10,000)
Czech Republic – Gold (6,000)
Denmark – Platinum (50,000)
Europe – 2× Platinum (2,000,000)
Finland – Gold (20,846)
France – 2× Platinum (600,000)
Germany – Platinum (500,000)
Indonesia – Gold (10,000)
Ireland – 3× Platinum (45,000)
Italy – 2× Platinum (200,000)
Hong Kong – Platinum (30,000)
Japan – Platinum (200,000)
Mexico – Gold (100,000)
Netherlands – Platinum (100,000)
New Zealand – 2× Platinum (30,000)
Norway – Platinum (50,000)
Portugal – Platinum (20,000)
Singapor – 2× Platinum (20,000)
Spain – Platinum (100,000)
Sweden – Platinum (80,000)
Switzerland – Platinum (50,000)
United Kingdom – Platinum (300,000)
United States – 3× Platinum (3,000,000)
• Music videos were made for the first four singles, though Alanis was unhappy with the footage compiled for Joining You so the music video was never finished for it.
• The Junkie Tour was launched in support of the album, running in two legs – the first from January 1999 until July 1999; the second from October 1999 to December 1999.
- Both legs featured Garbage and Liz Phair as openers.
• In between the two legs, she performed at Woodstock ’99 in July 1999, and teamed up with Tori Amos for the double headlining 5 1/2 Weeks Tour from August to September of 1999.
• The summer of 2000 saw the One Tour; after two opening dates in North America, she visited new locations in Europe and Asia for support of the album. Her final stop was in the Najavo nation, where she spent time learning about the culture and traditions. This would eventually be released as the video album, Live in the Najavo Nation, and served as her final promotion for the album before she began working on the album’s follow-up.