Single Stories: Alanis Morissette, UNINVITED

Thursday, February 24, 2022
FRANCE - DECEMBER 10: Photo of Alanis MORISSETTE; Alanis Morissette performing on stage at an Amnesty International concert (Photo by Diana Scrimgeour/Redferns)

By 1998, anticipation for new music from Alanis Morissette had reached a fever pitch. The young Canadian singer had turned the music world upside down with the release of 1995 full-length, Jagged Little Pill, packed with hit singles and selling in excess of 16 million copies. Anticipation was so high, in fact, that when she finally returned with a new single, the song was leaked to radio weeks before its actual release date.

The track in question: "Uninvited," a stand-alone single taken from the soundtrack to Meg Ryan/Nicholas Cage movie, City of Angels. Morissette penned the tune after watching a rough cut of the film: "I was going through certain thing of my own at the time, and it just sort of coincided at the same time that I could write it about myself and it could be something that Meg's character could be communicating throughout," the singer revealed at the time. 

"I believe in your intuition, or your gut, is the voice some might call angels and I just believe in that," the singer added. "There's all kinds of different terms and gods that we can use for it. But I believe in 'It.' You don't really know how amazing things are unless you have the contrast of things not having been amazing for a certain amount of time, and I happen to like that theory."

Released on February 24, 1998, "Uninvited" was a slow-burning epic of a tune, growing from quiet piano notes to a full-blown orchestra explosion, with a bombast not dissimilar to Led Zeppelin classic, "Kashmir."

"Uninvited" was a hit across the board, bombarding the charts to peak at #1 on the Billboard Top 40 Mainstream chart. The song reached the top five on the Adult Top 40 and the top 40 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. With "Uninvited" not released as a single to retail stores, the tune didn't chart on the Hot 100.

"Uninvited" was a popular choice during awards season, earning a trio of nominations at the 41st annual Grammy Awards in 1999: Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television, winning the first two categories.