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Morissette signed a five-album production deal with Howe’s company, Ghettovale.
Two of those albums were made for MCA Records: 1991’s Alanis and 1992’s Now Is The Time. Howe produced both, churning out sub-Jam & Lewis dance-pop with incongruously adult lyrics for a teenager. Music Canada certified Alanis platinum thanks to 100,000 units shipped. Now Is The Time did half that. Pressure was mounting for a bigger return.
In an interview with Roberts, keyboardist and arranger Serge Côté, who has credits on those early Morissette records, paints Howe as an “intense” producer to work with. “He knows what he wants and he won’t hold back,” Côté is quoted as saying. This next line from Roberts sticks out: “At one point Howe’s credit cards were ‘maxed out’ in order to finance the Alanis recordings and Côté recalls him repeatedly saying, ‘This thing’s gotta work. It’s gotta work.’”
It didn’t work for long. Morissette, unhappy over the artistic direction and suffering due in part to the gross demands of an image-obsessed record company, wanted out. Despite owing Howe three more albums, she negotiated her exit, eventually releasing her smash 1995 16X platinum juggernaut Jagged Little Pill on Maverick Records. In order to not confuse record buyers keen on Morissette’s fiery alt-rock sound, “Maverick prevailed upon Morissette’s Canadian label to take her two previous releases out of circulation,” according to a Boston Phoenix article. That wasn’t the only bit of music business that tied up loose ends. Roberts writes that Morissette confirmed to biographer Cantin that Howe released her “in exchange for an undisclosed percentage of Jagged Little Pill’s revenue.”
In interviews, though, Reny and Howe took a more friendly tack. “It’s hard to believe or imagine that our buddy is like this huge star,” Reny said to the Detroit Journal. Howe pushed that both artists were looking for different things. “I made two albums with her, then she was a star in Canada at age 14,” he said to the Hollywood Reporter. “After that, I wanted to do my own thing.”
Once Bonaire, One To One’s label, went belly up, Howe and Reny recorded one more album as the redubbed One 2 One. 1992’s Imagine It reconfigured the duo’s sound once again and managed to score them their highest charting hit, “Peace Of