In hindsight, it seems obvious that Jewel’s 1995 debut album "Pieces of You" would be a massive hit.
But 25 years ago, the artist says there was nothing obvious about it.
“You know, I was discovered when I was homeless, which was crazy,” the singer-songwriter recalls. “I was not trying to get signed. I was living in my car … and I started singing in a coffee shop, really honest songs. I didn’t think I’d get discovered, and then the next thing I knew there was a bidding war over me.”
That bidding war led to a deal with Atlantic Records, which released "Pieces of You" in February of 1995. But it took many months of touring — including as an opening act for Bob Dylan — before the album finally took off.
“I was thinking about quitting the record and starting a second record, but he really believed in me,” Jewel recalls of Dylan. “He loved my lyrics. He would go over my lyrics with me, and be like, ‘What made you write that?’ And I was like, ‘I cannot believe Bob Dylan likes me! If nobody else likes me, I’m good with this!’”
Of course, people did like "Pieces of You" — a lot. Fueled by radio hits including “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games,” the album ended up selling an astonishing 12 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling debut albums in music history. And now it’s poised to sell even more, thanks to a 25th-anniversary edition filled with demos, outtakes, and live performances.
“I wanted to be really honest and kind of have this little archaeological capsule of who I really was at 18, which isn’t all perfect. There’s one live performance from The Inner Change where it’s an entire hour set and you hear all my talking between the songs that isn’t on the records," she said. "It’s like having your most awkward high school photo come to life and talk for an hour! It doesn’t make me super comfortable! But it’s honest, so I decided to include it.”
And speaking of live performances, the artist is planning a virtual live show for Friday at 8 p.m., during which she’ll sing the entire album from start to finish for the first time ever.
“I have to re-learn a lot of lyrics that I haven’t sung in a long time! But I’m really looking forward to it,” says the Grammy nominee. “I rented out a beautiful theatre. I’m doing a huge art installation — I drew a huge 30-foot-tall painting that’ll be behind me. We have three cameras, because I just didn’t want it to look like a Zoom concert, you know, where I’m sitting here.”
To purchase tickets for Friday's show or to order the "Pieces of You" 25th-anniversary collection (available in a 2-CD or 4-LP format, a deluxe box set, and as a digital download), click here.
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