BEE:- l Pills, thrills
In! heartaches 1
Child stars who can reinvent themselves as adult artistes are thin on the ground: reinventions as successful as Alanis Morisette‘s are even rarer. Craig McLean profiles the Canadian singer who‘s massive in North Americ'c and is already doing rather well over here.
Already in America there is a cover of ‘You ()ughta Know’ surfing the airwaves. (‘outtesy of a minor- league yank pnnk-rawk outfit. the new version is a riot. the song's savagery and irony cranked up by the removal of the orginal‘s drtnn loop and the insertion of said punks' hellacious yelling. Radio loves it.
By all accounts the song's tnotn loves it too. Of course. she does. Alanis Morissette wrote the song to I lance the boil left by an ex-boyfriend. to binge on ' bile and purge the pain -- and in so doing. to bury the . past and btrild a future one revolving round Alanis Morissette. 2 | -ycar-o|d artist. not Alanis .‘vlorissette. erstwhile teenie pop star and tnoppct babe. Now that ‘You ()ughta Know" ~ both versions 7- has overrun MTV and radio. and the albtrtn .lrregt'tl Little l’ill has reached Number One in Atnerica ~ selling two tnillion copies along the way she can congratulate
Alanis Morissette: watch your back, bastard ex herself on a job well done.
As a ten-year-old in her native Canada. Morissette secured a part on a kids‘ TV show. You ('u/r 't I)“ llltll ()n 'I'vlm'isimr. Then she released her first single. ‘liaith Stay With Me'. embarking on a fast-track career as a chit'py starlet peddling bubblegum for bubbleheads. By the age of fourteen. she had set tip her own record company and signed a publishing deal. Three years later. her debut album. Ala/it's. had gone platinum and won a Juno (Canada's version of
The Brits). Two years later. the follow-up, Now Is The Time. was. not untypically. the child-star's last
screechy hurrah. How did that Tiffany song go'.’ ‘I Think We're A (‘lone Now'. ‘I never allowed myself to go off the path when l
was youngch she said earlier in the summer. en route from Vancouver to Seattle as part of the long- haul tottring that accompanied the release of Jagged Little I’ill. When Morissette does something. she does it rigorously. without distraction Hence the precocious drive behind her early success. her relocation to Los Angeles in an attempt to bury that success. and the subsequent hook-up with hired hit- rnan Glen Ballard (a sometime cohort of Michael Jackson. Ballard eo-wrote ‘Man In The fvlirror').
Hence. natch. the bouts of therapy and counselling. Retttrning to Canada one Christmas. she experienced what she has called ‘a head-on anxiety attack. ljusl bawled my eyes out and started shaking and wanted to faint. It scared the living shit otrt of me.‘
Hey. who wouldn't be screwed-up after that kind of non-childhood'.’ Whether (.ilen Ballard had any helpful hints. courtesy of his stint with The Boy In The Bubble. is unrecorded.
And now ta-ra -« Alanis Morrissette is pals with Madonna and records for her label. It‘s all so peachy.
Still. we should hold the sarky malarkcy. since
substantial chunks of .lrre‘eet/ Little l’r'll are excellent.
Elements of whiney American (‘omplaint Rock there are. bttt mostly these are crowded out by sharp. sassy lyrics: boo to you. Mr Fat (‘at record company man.
' who wanted to ‘wine. dine. 6‘) me' (‘Right 'l’hrough
You'): watch your back. bastard ex (‘You ()ughta Know‘ ); well done. gutter—stuck bttt star-staring gal (‘Hand In My l’ocket').
This. after all the years and tears. is the real deal. ‘The old reeords.‘ she reckoned. ‘were tnore pop. I
.held back a lot and only about 30 per cent of my true
personality was on the record. The stream-of- consciousness. l()() per cent personal delivery on this record I only tapped into this year. and now there's no turning back.‘
Alan/Iv ill()l'l.8‘.\‘(’ll(’ plays lllf’ (ht/tree. (ilusymr on Fri
to approach McCartney to collaborate l
on a work for the 150th anniversary
celebrations of the RLPS in 1991.
. Officially entitled Paul McCartney’s
Liverpool Oratorio it is, in part, the story of McCartney’s own life. It tells
of the birth of Shanty, a Liverpudlian
Not normally thought of as a classical composer, Paul McCartney has done precisely that with his Liverpool Oratorio, which the Royal Scottish National Orchestra with the RSNO Chorus and Junior Chorus perform in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Like so many good things, it was born out of chance and coincidence. McCartney had happened to read an article about composer/conductor Carl Davis and was struck by his remark, ‘If it moves, I’ll score it’. When the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra was preparing
own life, although the Beatles bit is
to note that he failed his audition for
war baby who suffers the loss of his father. It traces his schooldays, meeting his wife, the birth of their
child and, finally, ends with a message ,
for the survival of peace and love. It l does, of course, echo McCartney’s '
not part of the piece, but in it Shanty becomes Everyman and Liverpool, torn by war, could be any city.
McCartney is quick to admit he has no classical training — and it is ironic
to perform Davis’s Pilgrim’s Progress, McCartney sent a message of good luck, a gesture which must have struck Oavis, because he then went on
the choristers of Liverpool Cathedral j with whom he was to be found so i drew without training,’ he says. many years later rehearsing the i I oratorio. ‘I prefer to think of my l
approach to music as primitive, rather j
like the primitive cave artists who
‘Hopefully, the combination of Carl’s classical training and my primitiveness will result in a beautiful ;
Macca feels the pull of the ’Pool
piece of music. That was always my ! intention.’ (Carol Main)
; Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio, Fri 27 Oct, Usher Hall
The List 20 ()ct-2 Nov HMS 35