"Eight Easy Steps"
Single by Alanis Morissette
from the album So-Called Chaos
Released October 19, 2004
Format CD maxi single 12"
Genre Post grunge
Length 2:52
Label Maverick
Writer(s) Alanis Morissette
Producer Alanis Morissette, John Shanks, Tim Thorney
Alanis Morissette singles chronology

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"Out Is Through"
"Eight Easy Steps"

"Eight Easy Steps" is a rock song written by Alanis Morissette for her sixth studio album So-Called Chaos. The album's opening track, it was released in 2004 as the So-Called Chaos's third single. The song may be seen as discussing self-help, with the message that it is the "course of a lifetime",[1] but the help that is actually "offered" in the song is ironical throughout, with lines like "How to lie to yourself and thereby to everyone else" or "How to control someone to be a carbon copy of you".

The song reached number nine on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play and number twenty-seven on the Adult Top 40.[2]

Music and structureEdit

"Eight Easy Steps" is a pop rock song composed in the key of A♭ major.[3] It is written in common time and moves at a moderately fast 132 beats per minute.[3] Its verses are set to a Middle Eastern beat.[4] Morissette's vocal range spans nearly an octave and a half, from A♭3 to C5.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Stylus Magazine gave the song a negative review, finding it a "flaccid and innocuous" attempt to recreate the hard rock sound of her 1995 single "You Oughta Know".[5] PopMatters disagreed, commenting that the chorus's "one shining moment of Alanis Anger" was one of the album's few energetic moments.[4] The New York Times called the song "triumphant",[6] and The Guardian found the song's distortion effective, as well as its "Nine Inch Nail-like metallic rage".[7]

Music videoEdit

The song's music video was directed by Liz Friedlander.[8] The video opens with a scene of Morissette performing with her backing band. It then presents sequences from Morissette's previous music videos, television appearances, and home videos in reverse chronological order. The scenes are digitally edited to create the appearance that Morissette had sung "Eight Easy Steps" in them.[9] It took Morissette over 16 hours, to recreate her facial expressions from the clips.[9] Friedlander commented that "It was eerie to watch the footage of present day Alanis run side by side with the early footage…Her ability to match her old actions was uncanny."[9] The video peaked at #11 on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown.

Track listingEdit

  1. "Eight Easy Steps" (Thick Dick Filter Mix) – 6:56
  2. "Eight Easy Steps" (Jez Colin & Flipper Dalton Remix) – 6:35
  3. "Eight Easy Steps" (The Orange Factory Remix) – 6:58
  4. "Eight Easy Steps" (Smitty & Gabriel D. Vine Remix) – 7:03

A second acoustic single was planned with more tracks from the Vancouver Sessions. However, it was scrapped before it was released.

Charts Edit

Chart Position
Billboard Adult Top 40 (U.S.) 27
Billboard Hot Singles Sales (U.S.) 37
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play (U.S.) 9
Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales (U.S.) 3
Spanish Singles Chart 40
World Dance / Trance Top 30 Singles 9

Credits and personnelEdit


  1. Vineyard, Jennifer. "Alanis Says She's Still Grappling With Self-Image Issues". MTV News. June 30, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  2. "So-Called Chaos > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Sheet music for "Eight Easy Steps". BMG. 2002.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Klunk, Christine. "Alanis Morissette: So-Called Chaos. PopMatters. September 9, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  5. R. S. Ross. "Alanis Morissette - So Called Chaos - Review". Stylus Magazine. June 16, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  6. Pareles, Jon. "MUSIC; The Solipsisters Sing Out Once Again". The New York Times. May 16, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  7. Sullivan, Caroline. "Alanis Morissette, So-Called Chaos". The Guardian. May 14, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  8. "For The Record: Quick News On Nicky Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nelly, Jessica Simpson, Coldplay, Mike Shinoda & More". MTV News. August 16, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Cohen, Jonathan. "Alanis 'Steps' Back Into The Past In New Video". Billboard. August 13, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2007.
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