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Post Info TOPIC: 'Come On Over' Turns 20: Shania Reflects on Going From Country Sweetheart to Best-Selling Pop Superstar


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'Come On Over' Turns 20: Shania Reflects on Going From Country Sweetheart to Best-Selling Pop Superstar

Shania Twain's 'Come On Over' Turns 20: The Singer Reflects on Going From Country Sweetheart to Best-Selling Pop Superstar

By Taylor Weatherby | Billboard | November 2, 2017

By 1997, Shania Twain was already at a point in her career that most artists can only dream of: Her sophomore album, 1994’s The Woman in Me, had spawned three No. 1 country radio singles and sold more than 7 million albums in the U.S., an exceptional level of crossover success for an artist from her genre.

While the now 52-year-old admits she was shocked by the second LP's success, it gave her confidence to really dive deep into her songwriting for the album to follow. "I felt more grounded, and I’d made a lot of discoveries in what I wanted to do and try out,” she tells Billboard over the phone. “I just felt freer to experiment."

Twain’s creative liberation -- which she also attributes, in part, to Robert “Mutt” Lange, her then-husband and regular co-writer/producer -- resulted in a follow-up that practically made its predecessor look like a warm-up record. On Nov. 4, 1997, Twain released Come On Over, a 16-track, genre-bending album that pushed boundaries in both a musical and visual sense, with some of its music videos becoming as instantly iconic as the hits they accompanied (see, for example, the leopard-print cloak in "That Don't Impress Me Much").

The album was such a brilliant fusion of country, pop and rock that it quickly solidified Twain’s legacy, with 11 of the 16 songs hitting the top 30 on the Hot Country Songs chart (8 of which were in the top 10, including three No. 1s). What’s more, Come On Over has sold 15.7 million copies in the U.S. to date – the top-selling country album and the best-selling album by a female artist in any genre in Nielsen music history.

Certified Diamond on April 7, 1999, Come On Over sent Twain around the world touring for a year-and-a-half straight, with the album’s final single being released in 2000. Though Come On Over’s success was legendary, Twain today admits, “the album was outlasting me,” which partially accounted for the eventual 15-year break the singer-songwriter took before picking things up where she left off earlier this year with her fifth LP, Now, which topped the Billboard 200 albums chart.

In honor of the album’s 20th anniversary, Billboard chatted with the superstar about how she approached following up her first Diamond record, why she wanted to push the limits with Come On Over, and the impact the album had on her career from 1997 to Now. Below, see an edited transcript of her look back.

*     *     *     *     *

We were very surprised by how big The Woman in Me became in the first place. So that was already something that went beyond my expectations. I really just felt very lucky, and wasn’t sure that it was even possible to get another Diamond album off the back of that one.

I didn’t tour off The Woman in Me, and that was partly because I really felt I needed more powerful music under my belt to get out and do a really powerful show, and one where I wasn’t doing any covers -- I’d spent my whole career up until then doing covers to make a living. It was important to me to focus a lot on the songwriting, and not be touring at the same time.

One thing I learned [from] the gap between the first two [LPs] was that you can’t rush writing good songs -- you’ve got to take your time, you can’t be distracted doing other things. I can only speak for myself, but I was looking around me and noticing a lot of other artists were putting out a lot more records. They were putting out a record once a year, or once every two years, and they were getting one song hit off the album, and then that was pretty much it. And it just felt like it was a trend for me in the way I was working, and the way Mutt was also working, that it just takes longer to make a truly great album, if you want it to be that great.

My mindset was, “Right now, I’m a songwriter. I’m not a performer. I’ve got to put my performance side on hold and focus on being the best songwriter that I can be.” So I put my head down, focused on the songwriting and went to work. I was kind of pragmatic about it, to be honest. It was just time to make an album that was my best in that moment.

I was a bit more nervous with this record because… a song like “Any Man of Mine,” that song really made a huge statement in country music. And I’m thinking to myself, “How am I ever gonna top [that]?” -- to me, that was the perfect female country [song], it was everything I wanted to say. It had all the attitude that I love about a great country song, and I just wasn’t sure I was going to be able to capture some of that in this next album.

But [Mutt] had a lot of confidence in my songwriting, and after the success of The Woman in Me, I felt more grounded and I’d made a lot of discoveries in what I wanted to do and experiment with. I felt even more liberated going into the making of that album.

There were key moments in writing [Come On Over] that felt like I was really getting somewhere deep in my maturity of songwriting. “You’re Still the One,” that felt like it was going to be an amazing song. I can never anticipate when a song is going to be a hit when it’s my own song, ‘cause I’m just too close to the music and I’m not always objective about that. But I was very excited about “You’re Still the One," and ‘From This Moment On" as well.

One of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written is “The Woman in Me,” and that song didn’t get the appreciation that I was hoping it would. So I knew I had something powerful there with [“You’re Still the One” and “From This Moment On,”], I just thought nobody was gonna be interested in my ballads. But both ballads became so huge! It’s just interesting how you just don’t know what the reception is going to be, so that was a very unexpected and wonderful surprise.

“You’re Still the One” is a very typical type of song that I would be comfortable just sitting around writing. But “From This Moment On” was a real departure that I never anticipated singing myself. I wrote that song without an instrument; I just wrote it in my head. I was writing that song, to be honest, thinking about Celine Dion -- and dreaming in my wildest dreams that she would record that song.

And it was Mutt at the time that felt really, really strongly about it being on the album, and that I had to be the one to record it. And I did argue about it. I thought, “This really isn’t a song for me. I’m not that type of singer.” I didn’t write it for myself. I was writing it more as a power ballad thing and thinking of it more as a balladeer singing it.

[But] my voice is very adaptable; I have a versatile voice. I’m not complimenting myself in that sense, just that I’d spent so many years singing so many different styles of music, genres, singing every Top 40 hit under the sun, singing classics. So I’ve adapted every singing style since I as a child, and that’s been my singing job until I got my record contract.

Once you find your own place as a singer/songwriter, you sort of come into your own and take ownership of who you are as a singer/songwriter, and what that sounds like. This album was very diverse, much more diverse than The Woman in Me in the sense that it was rock, it’s country and it’s pop. There was just everything in there. I opened up a little bit more, feeling a little bit more confident to express more of my background. I thought that had already started with The Woman in Me, because I was having such a hard time at country radio, because a lot of those elements already in there -- a rocking, country-type influence and folk influence. But Come on Over went more in that direction.

A lot of diversity came out, so songs like [the soft, poppy] "I Won’t Leave You Lonely" just had a whole other feel to it that I wouldn’t maybe have felt confident enough to put out on the first album. "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" was a lot of fun, I was real tongue-in-cheek in that one, and just musically very different from the rest. "Black Eyes, Blue Tears" as well.

Image-wise, I paid no attention to boundary. And that was my goal, for sure. I was going to just ignore whatever the boundaries were, or whatever the expectations were -- they weren’t relevant to me. I was very defiant that way, and thankfully I had a record label head that said, ‘Okay, if you want, you just go ahead and take whatever risks you want to take, and I’ll do my best to stand behind you.’

I wanted to have fun experimenting with fashion, and working with people that weren’t even in the music industry, they were just in fashion. I thought that was a really fresh way to make something original.

There are a lot of artists that come to me, or just say in their interviews and stuff, that Come on Over made them feel more confident in exploring that diversity. Or they tell me in person, and it’s always really a great compliment. I think it did inspire some artists to have the courage to not feel so limited. Taylor Swift -- and she was able to tell me in person as well -- she’s always talked about me being an influence. Miranda Lambert [too].

There’s been several pop artists as well, but if we’re talking specifically about country -- especially female country artists -- it does take a lot of courage to show your diversity and to be artistically expressive and unique. Because you might just cut yourself out of the loop that way, which definitely was a risk that I took. You have to take that risk, and I think doing that myself inspired their confidence in doing that too.

What changed mostly of any of the songs on the album, for me, is more just what the songs have meant to the public, and how the songs’ meanings evolved once they belonged to the fans. "From This Moment On" became a huge wedding song. Brides and grooms come to the shows over the years still dressed in their wedding clothes. It took on a whole new meaning for me -- it wasn’t just a love song anymore, it was a song of commitment and it had such a deeper meaning.

But there was also a woman that told me that she played "From This Moment On" on repeat during the delivery of her child. – it was her inspiration during her delivery. And I thought, "Wow! What an interesting way of looking at that song." But of course, it makes total sense. "From this moment on, life has begun." Same thing with "Honey I’m Home." A lot of people have had a lot of fun with the liberated-woman spirit, and I always feel it when I do that live.

"Man! I Feel Like a Woman" never gets old. The audience entertains me more than I entertain them, I think, on that song [Laughs]. There’s a lot of gay men out there that just sing that song from the bottom of their heart, and they take it on as an anthem -- it’s got such a beautiful spirit in that sense. I just love it. Everybody gets into it in their own way, and it’s got an anthemic quality to it that is so beyond what I ever could have imagined it would develop into. For men, for women. For women, it’s their party song. It comes to life every night, and I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of it.

The only thing that I would say [about] Come on Over is that I didn’t expect it to end bigger than The Woman in Me, because it just wasn’t likely. Not because I didn’t believe in the album, but it was just an unlikely scenario, especially for a female. It was gonna be almost a miracle to have two Diamond albums in a row. Because sometimes you hear a lot of things -- like if you’re off a very successful album, and there was a gap between albums, there was anticipation felt -- so I’m using my logic, thinking, ‘People are a little bit excited, and it’ll do well for a little bit, then it’ll flatten out and come down.’ I had no idea that it was gonna be single after single after single after single.

It really opened up a lot of work. I thought making the album was a lot of work, but it was the follow-up [2002's Up!] that ended up being the most work of all [Laughs]. Just trying to keep up with the success, to be honest, was really exhausting. The album had more stamina than I did, which is a really good problem.

It took a lot of confidence for me to just make [Now], and I didn’t put my expectations on how successful it would actually be. I was so focused on just getting my voice back, wading through that whole ordeal -- which was a very long, arduous, painful process. So to me, it was a huge success to get through that. And then next making the album, to dive into that commitment of taking the chance of putting my voice back on a record again.

I wrote everything myself, so I knew I was taking on a huge responsibility. And it was going to be a huge ask, period, to expect success from it. I had to make it my own personal journey, and you can imagine how amazing I feel that I was welcomed back so well, and it actually went No. 1. I’m just really grateful.

I fell back into it very easily, like I had never been gone. And it’s also a lot of fun to be able to share new music, and [the next] tour is now gonna have new songs for us all to sing together. I love that, and I look forward to it.


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Shania Twain on Confidence, Consent, and 20 Years of 'Come on Over'

"It's not a sense a pride, it's a sense of independence. I can't think of anything worse than not being self-sufficient."

By Sarah MacDonald | Noisey | November 2, 2017

There is a photo I think about quite a lot—more than any reasonable person ought to, probably. It's from the 1998 VH1 Diva's show and, left to right, it features Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Shania Twain, and Celine Dion. Everyone is wearing glitter or velour or both with a hint of lavender radiating off of the image. It captures a particular shift of the 90s; a pop tide turning. The picture celebrates women, of course, both rookies and legends, bringing together Franklin, Estefan, and King with the, then, quaintness of the "new" being Twain, Carey and, to a certain extent, Dion. By that point, Shania Twain would have released Come On Over, which turns 20 years old this weekend, crossing over from a country music act into the pop world.

As predictions go, this photo isn't really that strong of a fortune to tell of the future because you know, and knew then, that all of these women were on track to be famous and integral to pop culture. Twain created a bridge between pop and country—genres that were, at the time, seemingly worlds apart. Country music has its legends like Dolly Parton, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, and The Dixie Chicks, to name a very brief few. All are monumentally successful performers in their realm. But Come On Over and Twain were different; she can be placed in an entirely separate, ascended spot on her own. The fact remains that now, at this very moment, looking back at that photo, Shania Twain is an icon.

Speaking to me on the phone from Los Angeles, I ask Shania Twain how she feels when words like legacy or icon are attributed to her and her career. Twain answers thoughtfully, yet with complete honesty that doesn't trip over her enormous success. "It makes me feel accomplished intellectually because I, like everybody else, am influenced by what those things mean and they mean something." She continues: "I don't take them lightly. I think that it is an honour to be considered those things."

Shania Twain was born Eilleen Regina Edwards in Windsor, Ontario in August 1965. She is both Eilleen and Shania, the woman in that photo surrounded around actual divas and the one who lived in Timmins, Ontario, chopping up wood for her family. She is also the one who, at eight-years-old, sang in bars; who worked in reforestation (managing a crew of all men); and the one who consumed literature and music as though they were the real nutrients she needed in life. Twain's Come On Over is in the top ten of best selling albums of all time; she has lived in Switzerland; written a book; toured the world; and is one of the few Canadians we will forever claim as our own and always be supremely proud of.

Shania Twain has—plainly— lived a life.

Twain is currently promoting her latest album, Now, which, if you hadn't heard, is her first release in 15 years. The driving narrative of every piece about this record is that she hasn't been part of music for the last decade and a half and this record marks her return. (But does a legend ever really go away?) Now is Twain's pivot into, well, now. "The whole reason I called the current album Now is because, with all of this time that has gone by, it's inevitable that I am different. I have evolved," she says. Twain assumed command on the record, something that she is proud of. In an industry that has historically more or less given performative measures of control to female pop stars, Twain actually took it. "It was very empowering to, you know, take that plunge and have faith in myself and… trust in my own ability," she says. "And, also, to brave the risk of taking responsibility on myself. To not rely on anybody else sharing that with me." The material is a balance of light and dark; of strength and vulnerability (and how those can be both at the same time.)

It's a coincidence, she says, that Now's release came during Come On Over's 20th anniversary year. To put it into perspective, 20 years later, Twain is still an essential part of pop culture canon. She recently appeared on this season's Broad City and over Halloween weekend, you could find people born long after Come On Over's initial release donning leopard print outfits, dressed as Twain from the "That Don't Impress Me Much" video—a track dedicated to every single woman who has ever come across a mediocre man who thought we should care about him. Her influence on pop culture is remarkable specifically because of this album. "I feel like I'm celebrating two incredible things in my life," she says. "I feel so gifted those years were as incredible as they were. It was an awesome time. It would be an awesome time in any artist's right to be looking back 20 years later on such a huge success."

Not only did this record give us "That Don't Impress Me Much" and "You're Still the One," it also gave us "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!", which is probably Twain's most well-known and successful track on any album ever. You'll never again be able to hear "let's go, girls" on it like you did the very first time you heard it. It's not necessarily revolutionary—even as an adlib—but, at the time, whether in 1997 or whenever it is you heard it, the song and its blink-and-you'll-miss-it legendary intro does feel extraordinary. It is all at once a command and a refuge; a pop "girls to the front" gesture for whomever needs a rallying cry and it is extended far beyond women, simply, as a group. What follows is a pulsing guitar riff for an electrifying and cheeky country song wrapped up in the gloss of pop with positive, affirming lyrics about how being sure of yourself is one of the best things possible.

Come On Over, like all of Twain's albums, works through stories of heartache, empowerment, love, defiance, and cheekiness. To a mainstream audience back then, her moves were bold. The capital F feminist signifier wasn't ever slapped on her music as a means of promotion—not like it is today, at least. But those values, and the rights of women, were integral to her work and are part of her personal belief system. "In a lot of those songs, [I'm] expressing a liberated perspective—a liberated woman's perspective on things with a sense of humour. You know, I'm not a man-hater or anything like that at all," she says. "I just wanted to say a lot of things that were true with a good spirit and still get my point across."

Nevertheless, there is one track on the record that, dishearteningly, holds weight 20 years later. On "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" Twain sings over synths and a slow ripping guitar, "You must start from the heart and then/ If you wanna touch her/ Really wanna touch her/ if you wanna touch her, ask!" While the lyrics focus on a traditional concept of love (starting from the heart, taking it slow before sex, etc.) its underlying meaning is that consent is real and important. "'If You Want To Touch Her, Ask' could absolutely be a song released today. That is so fitting for the time but sad that it's fitting. And to think that 20 years later, we're still dealing with these things on such a grotesque level," Twain says. "It's a real eye-opener for me. When I was younger, it felt quite common to have gender domination problems or intimidation. Not that it was ever acceptable to me, which is why I wrote songs like that. It wasn't acceptable to me. It was awful and it needed to be said. I guess I sort of felt like we had come such a long way and I'm not sure we have."

Despite the barriers she has faced in the industry, and as a human woman existing in the world, she has persevered. Who she is as an artist is who she is as a person; she puts forth an assertion of her truth, she tells me, that is sincerely authentic and fans and critics have responded to that, including her as a universal staple of female independence. "It's not a sense a pride, it's a sense of independence. I can't think of anything worse than not being self-sufficient," she says. "To depend on someone monetarily or depend on someone for your own strength, I think is a mistake. I've always vowed to never do that. It's probably because I had very unreliable men in my life," she says. "I just figured: you know what? If I'm going to get anywhere in life, I'm going to have to do it myself. I'm not going to rely on any man to make that happen."

And that unwound something in me.

When I was 7 years-old, the first album I ever received—gifted to me by my mom—was The Woman In Me. I've written about it, and Shania, before and how important she is not simply as a female pop star but as a woman who has worked exceptionally hard for her success. Receiving that album for Christmas when I was so little had a far heavier weight than just new music. My estranged father ruled over our house. Still, in her resolve and reluctance, my mom taught my sister and me to be strong and that we didn't need to rely on others for strength (read: most men.) And she did it with strategic moves such as this. I don't know what she felt when she saw how elated I was to see this cassette or if she noticed the hours I spent perfecting a lip sync to "Any Man of Mine." When Come On Over was released, I remember my mom and I watching the video for "That Don't Impress Me Much" and singing along. It was our code, this pop music; our language of being in this together, and that we could rely on each other. In seemingly small ways, both women left this huge impression on me. I imagine there are numerous stories like mine from women who have sought comfort in a pop star like Shania Twain.

Of the last words Twain says to me, she imparts a wisdom that speaks to when Come On Over was released 20 years ago as much as it does today with her record Now. "I've expressed a lot of sentiments in past and current songs [of] the strength of pulling yourself up and moving forward... risking whatever is necessary to get past them and face them," she says. Strength and courage and kindness are key to Twain's ethos—past, present, and certainly her future.

Shania is, by all counts, still the one.


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Looks Like We Made It, Still Going Strong: 20 Years Of Shania Twain's Come On Over

By Courtney E. Smith | Refinery29 | November 2, 2017

Shania Twain is a bonafide country music superstar, with more awards and sales than most people could even imagine. She's an icon, who has played Vegas and inspired many a drag tribute. She's also one of the most progressive, pro-woman, and fascinating figures in the history of country.

Refinery29 spoke to Twain about the 20-year anniversary of her landmark album, Come On Over, which happens to come just a little over a month after her latest album, Now — which is the first album she's released in that time. Looking back, we were struck by the number of enduring hit songs that came from Come On Over, as well as how relevant it is to what women are going through today. Our friends at Pandora tell us that her stations have 497.5 million plays, with Come on Over's crossover hit single, "You're Still The One" as her top song with 68.9 million plays.

In the years between those two albums, Twain took time off to recuperate her voice after being diagnosed with X, which is related to Lyme disease. Her return to country, on Now, finds her writing all the songs on the album (a feat unheard of for most female musicians) and getting personal.

Twain spoke to us about how her songs reflect the culture of harassment and empowerment that women are looking to address today, why she hasn't ever felt beholden to anyone's ideas about how to make country music, and gave us the scoop on her Broad City cameo.

Refinery29: Let's talk about your amazing 20-year anniversary. Did you know that 'You're Still the One' is the most streamed song on Pandora of your catalog? I remember it being your big pop/country crossover song when it was released. Why do you think that one has been so enduring?
Shania Twain: "I think that song resonated on a lot of a lot of levels with people. I think people enjoyed it musically, and it was something that they could sing along to very easily — it's not a complicated song. The sentiment was something a lot of people could relate to, especially for anybody that was falling in love. It became a huge wedding song and anniversary song. On so many levels, it was powerful."

Looking back at the songs on Come on Over now, some of them are classics from your catalog, but some have a strong relevance today. Going back and reading the lyrics to "If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!" or "Black Eyes, Blue Tears," they speak to the national conversation women are having about harassment and the political climate. Has the world just not changed that much in the last 20 years?
"The world, certainly from my point of view, has not changed as much as I would have liked it to in the last 20 years. The fact that we are still having to talk about these issues as if they haven't always existed. They have always existed. Why are we still having these problems? What are we waiting for to address them? To me, 20 years ago, writing songs is my way of addressing issues like harassment and assault. These problems have always been there, and of course they're going to keep resurfacing if we're not addressing them all together. One little voice here and there, it all helps. I'll always be bold about whatever my little part in talking about these issues is, but I think we're a lot stronger unified. A song like, 'If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask!' takes on an age-old problem. It's certainly nothing new to me. I have to say, it does surprise me a little bit that the song could be released right now and make total sense."

Another of your iconic songs from Come on Over is "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" — it's also another of your most streamed, at number 3 from your catalog on Pandora. What is it that made you want to record it?
"Well the hook of the song seems like a very obvious hook that any songwriter would recognize is a good one. I like a play on words and 'man, I feel like a woman' is obviously that — the double entendre and all. You're always hunting for great ideas, and then when you stumble on one it's a great feeling. I had that feeling when I came up with this hook. Other people obviously relate to it and they seem to feel the same way I do about it. People relate to it whether they're men, women, or trans. On a lot of different levels, everyone has their own fun with the song, and it means something to them in their own gender. Such a broad spectrum of people like it, it's almost on an anthemic level."

Have you seen any Shania tributes from that song that have really impressed you?
"There have been many, I've witnessed a lot of really spectacular performances of that song. But the one that caught me the most was totally unsuspecting. I was in my tour bus, just driving down the street, and we'd come to the stoplight. Next to the bus is a man in a pickup truck who has his window down and he's singing along to 'Man, I Feel Like a Woman' on the radio. He looks like this a real rough, rock, macho guy and he's just singing with all his heart. He didn't know that I was there, of course, because you can't see inside the bus. I thought, this is the moment; this is my best 'Man, I Feel Like a Woman' moment ever. I was genuinely a fly on the wall and it was awesome."

Do you think "That Don't Impress Me Much" as a song has held up better than Brad Pitt, who famously doesn't impress you in the lyrics?
[Laughs] "You know, he still looks pretty damn good. He's had a very long-lasting acting career. I think he's held up pretty good!"

I understand you wrote every song on your new album, Now. That pretty much never happens happens in country music.Were these songs you'd been working on for the last 20 years or did you just uncork a bottle and it all came out?
"I'm one of those writers who is always writing. I'm always coming up with ideas, I'm always inspired by things and jotting them down. So over the last 20 years I've been writing things, but it was only two years before I started recording the album that I focused on narrowing my ideas down and corralling them into an album. Once I decided to do that, the floodgates opened and it all seemed to come quite quickly after that. I had a lot of life to live in the last 15 years, and it was almost like a collecting phase. I've just got more albums in me now, and it's nice. It's nice to be back in the studio, expressing all of this on a microphone."

When you decided to record this album, did you have to consider what gets played on country radio and the on-going difficulties women have being played on country radio?
"No. I always had problems with that anyway, all through my career. My biggest song never made it to #1 on country radio. I would be lying to say I didn't think I would have that problem, because I've always had that problem. I relied on the fans' support to get radio behind me, always. With my new album, I'm at the point in my life, not just my career but my life, where I feel unapologetic for expressing myself honestly. I needed to be as pure and honest as I can be to get satisfaction out of [making music]. I have to be personally satisfied with the work to do it and it takes a lot of courage to do that. You put your heart into it and, this album particularly more than any of the music I've ever written, is really from my heart. But in the end, you still have to write things that are relatable and not so self-serving that nobody gets it. I do like it most when the listener relates to what I'm saying, that is my intention."

I would love to hear about your experience on the set of Broad City this season. What did they pitch you to get you to be on the show?
"I was told they had a running joke about this lie that I had been training with Abbi. They told me on set, they thought it would be amazing if they could get me on the show to make the lie a truth. I just loved that idea. First of all, it was a compliment that I was even unwittingly part of this fun riff. I thought to myself, I should show up for it! I loved their sense of humor. They're all so talented and it's like a real work from the ground up team of thinkers, writers, and actors. I was totally into it. It was one of the most fun things I've ever done."


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Pandra @pandoramusic

It's been 20 years since the album "Come on Over" was released, and @ShaniaTwain is definitely still the one.

12:00 PM ET - 2 Nov 17


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Article that I posted in the other thread a couple weeks ago. Shania posted it on her social media pages this morning.

‘Now’ and Then: Shania Twain on Chasing Love and Fun, 20 Years After ‘Come on Over’

By Chris Willman | Variety | October 19, 2017

Shania Twain’s new album “Now,” released Sept. 29, arrived 15 years after she sang “Can only go up from here!” Those words — from her 2002 chart-topper “Up!” — proved not to be so prophetic, as Twain had some downturns to weather before she would return to recording, including a few nearly career-ending vocal problems and the end of a long relationship with her producer and co-writer, who had also happened to be her husband.

By coincidence, 2017 also marks the 20th anniversary of “Come on Over,” not only her biggest album — with 20 million in U.S. sales, and possibly double that globally — but close to being anyone’s biggest album. It ranks No. 8 on the Recording Industry Assn. of America’s list of all-time American bestsellers, but if you leave out double albums where each individual disc doubles the total, Twain’s album would be at No. 4. With a track record that includes that and two other diamond-certified albums — 1995’s “The Woman in Me” and “Up!” — Twain, 52, would clearly never have to release another lick of music to go on as an arena act, but the real fans want to hear the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would have said.

“On a business level, touring is key to most major artists,” says her manager, Maverick’s Scott Rodger, “but it’s by no means their first priority. Artists are driven by creating and releasing new music and that’s the most important thing in their careers. For Shania, we know that sales-wise we won’t be able to compete [with the catalog], as no artist will ever do in the current musical landscape, so you have to remove any concept of selling 40 million albums. It won’t happen ever again. Also, for a female in her early 50s, it presents challenges at radio, especially country radio, which is so heavily dominated by male artists. Our options are extremely limited for exposure there — thus the reason we have focused a lot on TV performances and appearances in order to create awareness around the album release. Releasing new music also stimulates the back catalog and increases awareness for licensing opportunities as well as streaming.”

Rodger notes Twain is “completely driving the ship here” by writing the entire new album herself and taking the guiding hand with co-producers, unlike the three big albums on which Robert “Mutt” Lange shepherded her. Critics have been surprised by how much “Now” seems a continuation of that classic run, albeit with some verses that make pit-stops at some darker places than “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”

Variety spoke with Twain about putting her bittersweet past decade and a half into song, her upcoming return to the road, and how she felt 20 years ago when “Come on Over” really did make tens of millions of fans want to stop by.

A few years ago, you announced a farewell tour. Now you’re getting ready for another outing. What changed your mind about retiring from the road?
It all really came down to voice problems and the vocal issues. I had been pushing my limits coming out of the Las Vegas residency after two years. But I had done better than I expected there, and that gave me the boost I needed to get in a touring environment one more time. I was willing to take a chance and end that part of my career on a touring stage and not in the comfortable environment [of Vegas]. It was a bit of a challenge, and a personal decision as an artist, to end that part of my career in fans’ towns, so they weren’t coming to me but I was going to them. But that (farewell tour) went better than expected. So now my thinking is, well, I’ll just take it one day at a time, and if it’s working, then I just keep doing it till it doesn’t work any more.

Some years back Taylor Swift wrote an entire album by herself, partly to prove wrong the detractors who thought others did the heavy lifting. In writing “Now” by yourself, was there any similar aspect of feeling like you had something to prove?
It was definitely a matter of proving things, but proving it to myself. I was stepping out for the first time in a long, long time without Mutt as my producer and my co-writer. In that relationship I was also writing all the time by myself, but then I was taking that material to Mutt and we were bouncing it off each other and collaborating from that. But before I met Mutt, I had been writing entirely alone. Once that relationship was over, I needed to get reacquainted with that songwriter that I had been before I met Mutt, and get back to that isolation that I actually love. I enjoy the independence. I enjoy not necessarily having any feedback, to be honest. I like having no inhibitions and having no one to interfere with what I was thinking or feeling before I had a chance to assess it later. I just needed to know that that (solo) writer was still there, intact. Mutt always did respect me as a songwriter and was always drawing (certain things) out of me anyway. But then there were other things that I hadn’t been in touch with for years. On my own, I love going to the minor chords. I love my two-bar chiming thing — just a lot of signature things that I’d gravitated to more as a younger writer. Without anyone else involved, this is really the purest music I’ve ever recorded.

The only new music that people had heard from you in recent years had been a single called “Today is Your Day.” I wondered whether all of the new album would be in that inspirational a vein, or whether you would let yourself go dark, a little bit. And you did.
I did write even darker songs than the ones that are on the album, or darker versions of some of these songs. Songwriting’s my therapy. In some cases I just ended up abandoning certain lyrics or even certain grooves. I would go into a happier groove, just to take it somewhat lighter. I was raking through all kinds of crap in my mind and in my heart, and then in the end, I just felt better, so the songs ended up being more optimistic than where I started, generally. It’s a record of a personal journey more than an album-making exercise. I don’t know if I’ll ever write an album quite like this again, because this is very unique to what I was going through

Did you ever feel like you needed to work up some courage to share some of the more vulnerable material on this album?
I don’t find it painful. I find it helpful to talk about it. It’s healing to share.

You said recently, “This is not my divorce album.” But most of us listening to it will think that a lot of the songs have to do with divorce and remarriage and finding yourself again. You’ve said a lot of it is autobiographical. So where does it fit on the confessional scale?
I will say it’s definitely not the divorce album. The divorce album would have been a very different album. [She laughs loudly.] There are a few that are absolutely about my divorce experience. This album is really about a period of transition and evolution for me, and the divorce is absolutely one of the cornerstone experiences of that journey. But there are so many other things in there, and a lot of references where listeners wouldn’t really know what part of my life I’m referring to, so maybe they would just assume that it was divorce.

Can you name one that people might assume is about the divorce that isn’t?
“Where Do You Think You’re Going” is more about my own parents leaving me, dying. Or loss in general, about when you lose something or someone and there’s just nothing you can do about it — that helplessness that you feel… There are so many things about my day-to-day life and my really personal, journalistic-type views on things. “Kiss and Make Up” just came from my current husband and I having a little argument, and I went and wrote that song, and that song got it out of my system.

“Soldier” has been licensed for a new movie that is actually about soldiers, “Thank You for Your Service.” But it doesn’t seem like you were necessarily thinking about that in the literal sense when you wrote it.
When I wrote “Soldier,” I was thinking of my son, and the anxiety of separation, and thinking of him soldiering his way through life. I have my son here with me, but even just saying goodbye to go to school, I feel that. And I think a lot of that just comes from losing my own parents so suddenly, without being able to say goodbye. And I thought of other families that have a military member going off to serve, and when they say goodbye, they really may never see that person again. In the times right now where we’re always having discussions on TV about military and wars here and there, I’m affected, like everybody else. I’m concerned… That song starts with “Don’t close the door when you leave.” Normally you would tell someone, when it’s cold, to close the door. But this is: Don’t close the door behind you, because I don’t care if it’s cold, I may never see you again, and I just want you to promise me that you’ll be back … I’m crying, I get so emotionally wrapped up in that. And when I saw the movie, it such a perfect fit. I cried a lot when I wrote that song, so I’m happy that the song has found such an appropriate home.

“More Fun” is on the opposite end of the scale, tone-wise. I imagine the song must be about your younger self, because I don’t see you hanging out in parking lots much these days. Or maybe you do—what do I know? [She laughs.] But it seems to be reminiscing.
Well, I was reminiscing. I was actually sitting in a hotel room on an upper floor watching thousands of fans going to a baseball game, while I had the flu, and I was so jealous—I really wanted to go. I was really feeling sorry for myself and thought, “Oh, man. I have to get out more.” I was working very hard during the promo tour, and that looked like more fun. It’s reflecting back on the years when fun was just an everyday thing that you considered a necessity.

Speaking of less fun, your memoir makes it sound like the period surrounding “Come On Over” was not such a fun time for you. The mania over that album really did not die down for years. You had eight singles off it, and it broke in Europe two years after it broke in America, and it broke in pop after it broke in country. In the book, you say, “I was exhausted, and although I was thrilled by the success, I feared it would never end: the work, the travel, the loneliness.” It’s hard to be grateful when you’re exhausted by the juggernaut. Did it take a number of years to grasp what had happened?
There was no real one-moment impact for any one of those songs, almost. Everybody was picking up on things at different times in different ways. So it was just a really long, big, incredible moment, I guess, for 12 years straight. I didn’t have perspective; I wasn’t very objective in it, because I became isolated. I do like to be isolated when I’m creative and writing or in the studio, but otherwise, it’s very hard to cope with. Loneliness is a terrible thing. And the workload was outrageous. And not a lot of people were that gracious all the time with me. I think I didn’t always feel welcome. It was just tough. It was an exciting period in my life, but it wasn’t the most fun period in my life. Looking back on it now, I’m enjoying it more from where I stand more than I ever did while it was happening. But it was hard to escape, then. Normally, if you’re in a high-stress career, you can take a vacation and cut yourself off and get a break. When you’re a celebrity at a high level, there almost isn’t anywhere you can go, anywhere, in the world that will give you that real break, where there’s not a trigger somewhere that will take you back to your professional frame of mind. There is security and logistics and you can never truly check out. That affects you, especially if you’re a younger person. But I was already in my 30s by the time this even started.

So you feel that helped a little, that you were better equipped to handle becoming a superstar in your 30s than someone who was fresh off the boat?
Yeah. I didn’t totally go mad. [Laughs.]

In your book you wrote, “Breaking records is not why I got into music. This is an artform, not a sport like hockey.” But for those of us who do keep score, there are so many staggering stats about “Come On Over.” It’s the biggest selling album ever by a female artist. The fourth biggest album of all time. The second biggest of the Soundscan era. It set a record for the longest stay in the top 20 of the top 200 on Billboard. And then an additional, weird factoid: For all that elongated success, it was never actually No. 1 on the Billboard chart. That suggests that, when it came out, you weren’t quite at superstar level yet.
The biggest artists at that time, the ones that were leading the pack, were selling 3 million albums. That was a dream in itself, if I would even have imagined being up in that category. So I had to stop counting after that. I was like, “I’ll leave the counting to you guys; I’ll just go out there and do what I do.” I never followed those things. And a lot of my biggest hits didn’t go No. 1 on certain charts. So it just seemed to me that it’s kind of not really relevant in the end. I don’t know about everybody else, but in my case, anyway, it’s the public that have made me as big as I am, and not necessarily an internal thing from me. It wasn’t a contrived thing. It was just the fans, at their own pace and in their own time, grabbing onto particular songs or particular albums of mine. It was almost a little bit random, the way things ended up tallying up. But it’s fun now for me to look back on it all and see how impactful it was.

Do you have a favorite song from “Come On Over” 20 years later, or one you think was underrated?
Mmm, that’s a good question, because sometimes I don’t even remember which songs were on which albums. I know they came out far apart, but they ran together in so many ways. Sometimes I had ideas that made it onto “Come On Over” that I started writing during “Woman in Me.” So to me, what album what songs went on is not that clear. So I’ll probably say something that was on “Up!” [Laughs.] I know we’re talking about the 20-year anniversary of “Come On Over.” But I think of “The Woman in Me” — which, obviously, was on “The Woman in Me.” I always thought was a song that should be re-recorded (as a cover by someone else). And “From This Moment On” is a song I’d definitely love to hear redone, with a voice that’s much more of a power-style voice, and there’s so many of those right now. Maybe I didn’t do those songs the justice the justice that they deserved, or at least the way I heard them when I wrote them. I remember when I wrote “From This Moment On,” I said to Mutt, “You know, I don’t think I should sing this song. Let’s call up some great power singer and get her to record it.” He was pretty insistent on me doing it.

Especially in country, people look back fondly on the late ‘90s as an idyllic period, in which women seemed the strongest artists of all. We think of that being an era when the window was open for powerful women to catch an equal break, and for the barriers between country and pop to dissipate, too. But maybe you don’t remember it as an open window. Maybe you shattered it.
No, the window was definitely not open, at all. It was a real struggle at the time. And the only thing that worked was the fan demand. That was it. If I hadn’t had that, it would never have worked. So it was really just more a question of, how do I reach them? That was the real difficulty at the time, way more than it is now, because now there are all these other immediate accesses to music and to artists that nobody has control over, which is really amazing. You did not have that 20, 25 years ago. (Gatekeepers) can’t filter to the degree that they were able to filter years ago. The fans in the end decided that they wanted to hear me, and how often, and that determined everything. There was no other way I ever would have gotten to this point.


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Coming Around Again Podcast: When Shania Twain's 'Come on Over' Ruled the World

By Andrew Unterberger | Billboard | November 3, 2017 

Welcome back to the Coming Around Again podcast, part of the Pop Shop family, where host Andrew Unterberger and a variety of guests discuss notable anniversaries being celebrated in the music world.

This week, we're talking all things Shania Twain and Come on Over. The album, released 20 years ago on Nov. 4, experienced crossover success previously unheard of in the SoundScan era, not only going on to sell over 15 million copies, but spawning six Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits -- including three top 10s -- and essentially dominating pop culture through the turn of the millennium.

Billboard Associate Editor Taylor Weatherby comes by the pod to discuss her Shania superfandom, recently capped by an excellent interview Taylor did with the singer-songwriter, in which she dove deep back into her two-decade-old memories surrounding the album. We talk about how Shania was actually intimidated by the idea of following up the album she assumed would be her career-definer -- 1994's similarly Diamond-certified The Woman in Me -- and actually ended up leaving that album practically in the dust with the classic, endleslsy single-spawning Over. And of course, we discuss our favorite tracks on the album, and how Shania seems more beloved now than ever 20 years later.

Listen below, and if you haven't already, make sure to read Taylor's discussion with Shania. And be sure to check back every week, to see which classic artists, albums and songs are Coming Around Again!

Click Link Below To Listen To The Podcast.


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Today marks Shania Twain's iconic album, Come On Over, 20th anniversary.

With 40 million copies sold, Come On Over is the best-selling country album and the best-selling album by a female artist in any genre.

The album gave us the No. 1 hits "You're Still The One", "Love Gets Me Everytime" and "Honey, I'm Home". Plus the timeless classics "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!", "From This Moment On", "That Don't Impress Me Much" and many more.

Happy 20th Birthday, Come On Over!


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Shania Twain

20 years ago today, I released 'Come On Over' 😭 I can't even believe it's been 20 years!! This year I celebrated releasing my new album 'NOW' too and I'm loving being back with you guys. Tag the person you'd invite to come on over for a Shania listening party, for the chance to win this signed Come On Over NOW vinyl bundle 😘

Video loop of Shania holding her Come On Over and NOW albums -

11:00 AM ET - 4 Nov 17


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Happy Birthday Come On Over! This is the album that I fell in love with Shania! ❤️



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From the Record Crate: Shania Twain – “Come On Over” (1997)

By Katie Gill | The Young Folks | November 4, 2017

There are very few albums that you can say definitively changed the face of a genre. Shania Twain’s Come On Over is one of them.

Released in 1997, Come On Over was a massive success, selling over 15 million copies. The album featured twelve singles, most of which managed some form of radio play, and a few now iconic music videos. And, most importantly for the genre, Come On Over is one of the first examples of the country-pop genre to blow up on such a national scale. Twain takes the country music sensibilities of her previous album, The Woman in Me, and interjects top 40 stylings and arrangements, giving the songs near-pop perfection.

Arguably, the two songs most people would recognize off the album are its powerhouse singles: “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” and “That Don’t Impress Me Much”. Both songs are fun, bright, punchy girl power anthems that have become girls nights songs and almost obligatory karaoke jams. The girl power movement flourished in the late 1990s/early 2000s and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” is a beautiful jam in that vein. A bright pump-you-up song, “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” is about going out with the girls, having a good time, and just reveling and celebrating in utter femininity. Twain’s lower register is put on wonderful display here, as she belts, charms, and grins her way through the entire song.

“That Don’t Impress Me Much” is a brilliant take down of all the egomaniac men that every woman has had to deal with at some point. Twain’s dismissals are kind of cheesy, but in a short and pithy way, a beautiful kiss off to puncture egos: “Okay, so you’re Brad Pitt / that don’t impress me much.” The song is light-hearted and fun, as Twain dismisses all her potential suitors with a smile on her face and a laugh in her voice. Both songs also have equally iconic videos, from “Man’s” Robert Palmer riff to the leopard print bonanza of “Impress Me Much.”

Though Twain’s biggest songs off the album are arguably these sassy ‘we don’t need men’ songs, Come On Over gives her plenty of a chance to show off her softer side. The album features multiple love songs, slower and more tender ballads that would fit on adult contemporary radio or playing over the credits of a romcom. One of them actually did play over the credits of a romcom: “You’ve Got A Way”, featured in Notting Hill. That song, as well as others like “From This Moment On” and “You’re Still the One” show just how multifaceted Twain is as a performer and how she manages to sell the hell out of any song or mood.

I really can’t overstate just how much of a cultural juggernaut this album was and how it effortlessly launched Shania Twain into the public consciousness. I doubt her 2003 Super Bowl performance would have happened had it not been for the masterpiece that was Come On Over. And even today, twenty years later, the impact of Come On Over is still felt. From HAIM covering “That Don’t Impress Me Much” to various album-themed jokes Twain made during her appearance on Broad City, Come On Over still holds a tight grip on the public consciousness and a firm place in the music loving world’s mind.


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