On this day in 2002, Alanis Morissette released ‘Hands Clean’ as the lead single from her ‘Under Rug Swept’ album, which got its name from the song’s lyric “What part of our history’s reinvented and under rug swept?”.
‘Hands Clean’ was written and produced solely by Alanis herself.
The song autobiographically speaks of a secret “relationship” between a 14-year old Alanis and a much older music executive mentor, with many of the lyrics sung from the man’s perspective. More recently, Alanis has explained that it took years of therapy to accept that this was in fact statutory rape.
‘Hands Clean’ became Alanis’ sixth #1 hit in Canada and her first #1 in New Zealand, and was a successful chart hit around the world.
One of the cast members of television show ‘Cougar Town’, Ian Gomez, plays a music executive in the ‘Hands Clean’ video, and this was referenced in a Season 4 episode (‘You Tell Me’), as if his character was the one in the video. The same episode also shows part of Alanis’ ‘Unsent’ video, where another ‘Cougar Town’ cast member, Josh Hopkins, makes a cameo appearance.