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Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill engineer Chris Fogel: “Flea was surprisingly way out of time on You Oughta Know”

The studio world is full of stories about performances being corrected, or sometimes replaced altogether by session players, but while we might expect to hear accounts of less experienced musicians having their parts ‘fixed in the mix’, it’s rare to hear the same of an icon of their instrument.

However, Chris Fogel, engineer and mixer for Alanis Morrissette’s Jagged Little Pill has revealed in an interview with Produce Like A Pro’s Warren Huart that he had a surprising amount of work to do in order to snap Flea’s guest-performance on the album’s hit single, You Oughta Know, back into time.

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During the interview, which you can watch above, Huart asks whether Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, and then-guitarist, Dave Navarro worked together on the song. 

“They did. They were recorded at the same time, one day sometime in ‘95.” Fogel answers. 

“I don’t remember when that was. I did not record them, that was recorded by another engineer. They [the tracks] were brought back to me and then we had to really time a lot of it. Particularly Flea. Flea was surprisingly way out of time on this. And if he’s watching then I apologise! But, that is not your performance, that’s your performance timed quite a bit through the genius of the ADAT and the BRC [Big Remote Control].” 

"Did you have to push him back, was he a little bit more on top?"

“He was way on top, that’s exactly what it was. Glenn figured at some points he was a good quarter-note on top, in some cases.”

Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill is one of those records - inescapable at the time - and so popular that it went on to sell a combined 33 million copies worldwide, placing it as the 11th best-selling album of all-time globally. For context, that’s more copies than Guns ‘N Roses - Appetite For Destruction, Nirvana - Nevermind, The Beatles - Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Adele -21…you get the point.

Chris Fogel went on to have an extremely successful career, working with the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Justin Timberlake, Sheryl Crow, St. Vincent and more, and has since racked-up almost 200 credits in music production for blockbuster TV and Film scores.