Tuesday, February 27, 1996

Alanis Morissette released “Ironic”


Alanis Morissette

Writer(s): Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard (see lyrics here)

Released: February 27, 1996

First Charted: January 6, 1996

Peak: 4 US, 3 CB, 14 RR, 28 AC, 5 A40, 7 AA, 18 AR, 13 MR, 11 UK, 16 CN, 3 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.6 US, 0.66 UK, 1.3 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 195.5 video, 330.83 streaming


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About the Song:

Alanis Morissette was a minor pop star in her native Canada in the early ‘90s, but exploded worldwide with her third album, Jagged Little Pill. “Ironic” was the third single from the album – and the third song for Alanis to top the alternative rock chart. It was one of five songs from the album to top the Canadian charts and her highest charting on the Billboard Hot 100.

The won the Juno Award for Single of the Year and was nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video. It was also nominated for six MTV Video Music Awards, winning three of them. The iconic video features Alanis driving through a winter landscape with three passengers – all played by Alanis.

The song garnered attention for what some considered a misuse of the word “ironic.” The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as “a figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the oppositie of that expressed by the words used,” WK which meant situations described in the song such as “rain on your wedding day” and “a traffic jam when you’re already late” weren’t irony, but bad luck. In a 2008 interview with The London Times, Alanis said “the dictionary now says [irony is also] a coincidence and bad luck – not that I don’t deserve a little slap on the writst for malapropism. I always tell people that I’m the smartest stupid person you’ll ever meet.” SF

The song’s co-writer, Glen Ballard, explained that he has a degree in English and knew their examples of irony weren’t “technically right, but I think it’s wonderful that everybody sort of jumped in on it and wanted to really define it as a literary term.” SF Salon.com’s Michael Reid Roberts defended the song as using situational irony, in which “the state of affairs…that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects.” WK

Ultimately, the song – whether or not it is technically accurate in its portrayals of irony – is an observation that “life has a funny…way of helping us out – in spite of all the bad stuff that we have to go through.” SF


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First posted 2/3/2021; last updated 11/1/2022.

Saturday, February 24, 1996

Oasis “Champagne Supernova” charted

Champagne Supernova


Writer(s): Noel Gallagher (see lyrics here)

Released: May 13, 1996

First Charted: February 24, 1996

Peak: 20 BA, 10 GR, 9 RR, 33 A40, 13 AA, 8 AR, 15 MR, 11 CN, 26 AU, 7 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 1.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 172.61 video, 342.32 streaming


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About the Song:

In 1995, Oasis and Blur went head-to-head with competing singles released on the same day in what the British press proclaimed “The Battle of Britpop.” Blur won the battle with their “Country House” song outselling “Roll with It” but Oasis won the war. Their second album, What’s the Story Morning Glory? produced four hits which reached #1 or #2 on the UK charts and made the album one of the top 100 best-selling in the world.

While Oasis were treated as a second coming of the Beatles in their native UK, they were competing with multiple alternative rock juggernauts in the United States. Interestingly, though, they found some success in the U.S. with songs that weren’t even released as singles in the UK. One of those was “Champagne Supernova.” While it didn’t chart in the UK, it topped the alternative rock charts in the U.S.

“Noel Gallagher’s stab at psychedelic songwriting might not be up there with ‘I Am the Walrus,’… but no one ever went to him when they wanted great lyrics. ‘Champagne Superova’ is still up there with the very best of his tunes, thanks in large part to an epic vocal performance from his brother Liam and a crashing guitar guest spot from Noel’s dad-rock hero Paul Weller. Though the song has no distinct meaning, it works best as an escape fantasy.” XFM Noel has acknowledged that he hasn’t even made up his mind what the song is about, saying, “It means different things when I’m in different moods.” WK

“When Noel bought his house in Hampstead he changed the name (from number nine) to Supernova Heights. The song provided an epic finale to their record-breaking Knebworth gigs of 1996.” XFM


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First posted 8/25/2023.

Monday, February 19, 1996

Oasis “Don’t Look Back in Anger” released

Don’t Look Back in Anger


Writer(s): Noel Gallagher (see lyrics here)

Released: February 19, 1996

First Charted: March 2, 1996

Peak: 55 US, 41 BA, 33 CB, 24 GR, 32 RR, 10 MR, 11 UK, 24 CN, 19 AU, 13 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 3.0 UK, 3.35 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 416.9 video, 734.82 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

With their second album, 1995’s What’s the Story Morning Glory?, Oasis produced not just a staple of Britpop, but one of the most successful albums of any genre. It ranks among the top 100 of all time according to Dave’s Music Database, having sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and spending 10 weeks atop the UK charts. The album generated six chart hits, including four which peaked at the top or runner-up position on the UK charts. “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” the fifth single from the album, was one of the chart-toppers. It was the group’s first single to feature Noel Gallagher, the band’s chief songwriter, on lead vocals instead of his brother Liam.

“Oasis have always been accused of being musical magpies, with critics likening them to a hip-hop producer sampling his tunes from bits of other people’s records… ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ is comprised of the intro to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ some scrapbook lyrics by the same author and a hint of their own ‘Whatever.’” XFM Noel acknowledged that he took lines such as “Trying to start a revolution from my bed / Because they said the brains I had went to my head” from memoirs Lennon had put on tape. WK He also said the song “reminds me of a cross between ‘All the Young Dudes’ and something the Beatles might have done.” WK

Noel explained that the song is “about not being upset about the things you might have said or done yesterday…It’s about looking forward rather than looking back. I hate people who look back on the past or talk about what might have been.” WK Regarding the night he wrote the song, he said, “If I’d have known what I know now about people playing it at fucking funerals and weddings, I’d never have finished the song. Too much pressure.” WK

In 2020, listeners of Absolute Radio 90s voted this the greatest song of the 1990s. WK “It was this track and ‘Wonderwall’ that came to define Oasis’ ascension to the status of Britain’s favourite band and their ultimate victory over Blur in the Britpop wars.” XFM


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First posted 8/25/2023.

Monday, February 12, 1996

Fugees released The Score

First posted 3/16/2008; updated 10/12/2020.

The Score

The Fugees

Released: February 12, 1996

Peak: 14 US, 18, 2 UK, 12 CN, 5 AU

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 1.5 UK, 20.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: hip-hop


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Red Intro
  2. How Many Mics
  3. Ready or Not (3/30/96, 69a US, 1 UK, 22a RB, 1 UK, 24 AU)
  4. Zealots
  5. The Beast
  6. Fu-Gee-La (12/30/95, 29 US, 13 RB, 21 UK, 43 AU, gold single)
  7. Family Business
  8. Killing Me Softly with His Song (3/2/96, 2a US, 1a RB, 30 AC, 1 UK, 1 AU)
  9. The Score
  10. The Mask
  11. Cowboys
  12. No Woman No Cry (6/15/96, 38a US, 58a RB, 2 UK, 20 AU)
  13. Manifest/Outro

Total Running Time: 60:52

The Players:

  • Wyclef Jean
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Pras Michel


4.379 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Quotable: “One of the most distinctive hip-hop albums of its era” – Steve Huey, All Music Guide


About the Album:

“A breath of fresh air in the gangsta-dominated mid-‘90s, the Fugees’ breakthrough album, The Score, marked the beginning of a resurgence in alternative hip-hop. Its left-field, multi-platinum success proved there was a substantial untapped audience with an appreciation for rap music but little interest in thug life. The Score’s eclecticism, social consciousness, and pop smarts drew millions of latent hip-hop listeners back into the fold, showing just how much the music had grown up. It not only catapulted the Fugees into stardom, but also launched the productive solo careers of Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill, the latter of whom already ranks as one of the top female MCs of all time based on her work here.” AMG

“Not just a collection of individual talents, the Fugees’ three MCs all share a crackling chemistry and a wide-ranging taste in music. Their strong fondness for smooth soul and reggae is underscored by the two hit covers given slight hip-hop makeovers (Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly With His Song and Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry).” AMG

“Even when they’re not relying on easily recognizable tunes, their original material is powered by a raft of indelible hooks, especially the great Fu-Gee-La; there are also touches of blues and gospel, and the recognizable samples range from doo wop to Enya.” AMG

“Their protest tracks are often biting, yet tempered with pathos and humanity, whether they’re attacking racial profiling among police (The Beast), the insecurity behind violent posturing (Cowboys), or the inability of many black people in the Western Hemisphere to trace their familial roots (Family Business).” AMG

“Yeah, the Chinese restaurant skit is a little dicey, but on the whole, The Score balances intelligence and accessibility with an easy assurance, and ranks as one of the most distinctive hip-hop albums of its era.” AMG

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