Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is the fourth album and second internationally released album by singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, released by Maverick Records in the United States on November 3 1998 (see 1998 in music).
Morissette wrote "Thank U" and "Baba" after her trip to India. 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 seldomly 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. Additionally, the text on the album's cover refers to the The Eight Precepts of Buddhism.
The first single from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, "Thank U", was released to U.S. 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 U.S. 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 twenty-eight weeks, the album had fallen off the Billboard 200, and as of September 2008 it had sold 2.6 million copies in the U.S., a drop off from 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 forty on the U.S. 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.
"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".
In addition, Alanis decided to add "Can't Not" to the album. "Can't Not" had been composed during her tour for Jagged Little Pill. The lyrics had been re-written and re-produced and added to "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie".
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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".
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, 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", which has never been released.
Other songs include "Gorgeous", "London", "Pray for Peace" (a.k.a. "She Gave Me A Wink"), and two untitled songs that fans refer to as "The Weekend Song" (or "I Don't Know") and "A Year Like This One". "London" appeared as a b-side to the "Joining You" and "Unsent" singles.
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 R 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.
There were a couple other rumored song titles during the albums release, including a song called "Higher", which Morissette herself has never mentioned.
Over the past several years, demos of songs have leaked online. These demos include:
"Thank U": Alanis appears naked through a city's streets. This was an idea she says was conceived while showering. The video had modest play on MTV but was heavily criticized and its context was taken out of what she was trying to illustrate, which was a sense of freedom and belonging.
"So Pure": The video was directed by Alanis and featured her dancing with the same man throughout different eras.
Like 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.
This was the first time Morissette had performed any of the new songs for fans, with the exception of "Can't Not", which had been played live since 1995.
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 Novack. Morissette herself continued playing guitar (however moreso 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 1999's Woodstock 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 B-sides during the second half of the year.
In May, Morissette and Tori Amos announced the "5 1/2 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 had left the band and was replaced - and Gary Novack 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 in 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.
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