"Thank U"
Single by Alanis Morissette
from the album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
B-side "Pollyanna Flower"
Released October 13, 1998
Recorded 1998
Genre Experimental rock
Length 4:19
Label Maverick
Writer(s) Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Producer Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Alanis Morissette singles chronology

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"Thank U"
"Joining You"

"Thank U" is the first single from Alanis Morissette's fourth album, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, released in 1998 (see 1998 in music). It was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

Background and writingEdit

Morissette wrote "Thank U" after returning from a trip to India in 1997. The song expresses the heartfelt gratitude which she felt at the time.[1] The lyrics, such as "thank you terror" and "thank you frailty," lend the song a sense lyrical reflection on cynicism, despair, personal triumph and hope.

"Thank U" is a pop rock song composed in the key of C major. It is written in common time and moves at a moderate tempo of 80 beats per minute. The song uses a simple chord progression alternating between a tonic C major chord, dominant G major chord, and the subdominant F major chord.[2]

Chart performanceEdit

The excitement generated sent the single to number two on the U.S. Hot 100 Airplay chart almost immediately and helped the song peak at number seventeen on the Billboard Hot 100; this was strong, but not as successful as the multiple hits from Jagged Little Pill (1995), Morissette's previous album. (The eligibility rules for the Hot 100 were changed midway through the single's chart run.) "Thank U" is Morissette's most commercially successful post-Jagged Little Pill single. The single was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

Music videoEdit

File:Thank U music video.jpg

The music video featured a nude Morissette, with long hair shrouding her breasts and her crotch blurred out, walking around and being embraced by strangers in a variety of public locations, such as in the street, at a supermarket, and on a subway car. Slight modifications to the video were made before broadcasting by MTV in India and certain other Asian countries. Subsequent replays, however, aired the video in its original format. In May 2001, the video was voted #66 on VH1's 100 Greatest Videos. [3] It was directed by Stéphane Sednaoui.

Cover versions and parodiesEdit

"Thank U" was covered by British musician Steven Wilson, of Porcupine Tree fame (who jokingly changed the line "How about them transparent dangling carrots" to "How about changing a line 'cause it don't make sense"). Blackfield, one of Steven Wilson's bands, has regularly played the song on tour.

On an episode of Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon appeared on the "Weekend Update" segment in which he sang various parody songs about Halloween. One such song was a parody of "Thank U", in which he thanks all of the candy he had received Trick-or-Treating.

On MadTV there was a parody, "Wash Me," starring Mo Collins which takes place in a laundromat.

On French & Saunders, Jennifer Saunders parodied Morissette with a song called "Bless U," a tribute to thesaurus, dictionaries, spell check and other word referencing methods. The clip showed Saunders as a singer called Aimless Morris Minor, dressed in a flesh-coloured body-suit to make it appear as if she were naked. At the end of the sketch Dawn French stuck the pubic hair of the suit onto Saunders's face. This clip was shown as a sketch on French and Saunders 1999 Bank Holiday Special.

"Weird Al" Yankovic debuted an unreleased spoof of "Thank U" entitled "Fast Food" on his 1999 Running with Scissors tour.

Track listingEdit

  1. "Thank U" (album version) – 4:19
  2. "Pollyanna Flower" (unreleased bonus track) – 4:07
  3. "Uninvited" (demo) – 3:04
Chart (1998) Peak
Australia[4] 15
Austria[4] 10
Canadian Singles Chart[5] 1
Netherlands[4] 8
New Zealand[4] 2
Norway[4] 3
Sweden[4] 49
Switzerland[4] 18
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5][6] 17
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[5][6] 12
U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40[5] 1
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[5] 2
UK Singles Chart 5


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