You don’t need me to tell you about this album. Even if you weren’t a fan back then, or aren’t now, or never were, you’ll have heard most of this damn thing everywhere and at every opportunity. It sold over two million copies (2x Diamond) in Canada alone (we only have 35 million people), and she toured the world for 18 months on its back.
It spawned 6 singles, all of which you’ll know by name: You Oughta Know, Hand In My Pocket, Ironic, You Learn, Head Over Feet, All I Really Want… See what I mean? And the rest of the songs could/should have been singles as well: Perfect, Right Through You, Forgiven, Mary Jane, Not The Doctor and Wake Up. There’s even an alternate version of You Oughta Know tacked onto the end, with a hidden track [Your House (A Capella)] too!
So rarely in Canadian music history (Bryan Adams’ Reckless comes to mind, there will be a few rare others) has a pop/rock album come so packed to the gills with perfectly conceived and packaged songs and that absolutely exploded as these rare records do. This was aimed at the charts, and it hit them. A lot.
OK, so it was popular (and still is). What did I think of it now, in 2014? It’s still damned good. These are solid songs. I still knew every word – proof that they are permanently lodged in my brain. And I always liked that, despite being a damned-near perfect record, there are still imperfections. Her voice… well, she can sing… but then sometimes she can’t. Her harmonica playing… yeah. But those are its charms, the rough bits that, in tandem with the perfection of the rest of it, make this Diamond (Record) shine.