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Shania Twain
It is possible that Shania Twain is the most misunderstood woman in music. To country traditionalists sheís too pop, to critics her music is overproduced, to pretentious music listeners sheís too fluffy, and, believe it or not, to some sheís too good looking to be taken seriously! So ten years after she first burst on to the scene, when Shania celebrates her success by having the best selling female album of all time, a lot of people are left scratching their heads.
But to the millions of people who truly listen to her songs, there is no misunderstanding. For them, Twainís music is an energetic and positive body of work that could never be Ďcoolí, but has proved to be timeless and crossed barriers of genre, age, nationality and even language to make her success unparalleled. Just when you thought she was done, she came back with something bigger. And now with the release of the first Greatest Hits album in her whirlwind career, Shania Twain finally slows down to smell the roses.

Why did you decide to release a greatest hits album now?
Shania: We probably could have had the greatest hits after the second CD, but that just felt too early. There were so many successful singles in a short period of time but doing it too early would have seemed a bit weird, even though we had enough songs. Itís been 10 years since Iíve had my first hit and I think it now feels right to put it all into a collection so that people can have all the key songs together.

Each of your albums has almost been a greatest hits because they all have so many big singles on them!
Shania: They loaded up the CDís thatís for sure, but thatís another reason why you just canít wait forever, because you have to catch up at some point. It feels good to have this collection because it takes me back a little bit, looking at all the songs. Basically itís a decade of my musical history.

Your first American hit Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under was in January 1995. Thatís a long time!
Shania: In my concerts I will watch a four year old kid singing a song like Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under. They werenít even born when that song came out and so it tells me, ĎMy God! That kid has to listen to a CD from 10 years ago, to hear that song!í I think for that generation who have started listening to me now it would be good if they had something that they could listen to with all the key songs on.

We caught up with you internationally in 1998, and we really caught up fast.
Shania: Absolutely, yes. I think Man I Feel Like A Woman and That Donít Impress Me Much opened up my whole international career. My career has had a very nice graduation of development. You can see the growth and the change throughout time as opposed to everything happening at once then going away. Iíve been very very lucky.

Your international breakthrough song was Youíre Still The One.
Shania: That was the first cross-over in the sense of going from being known as a country artist to a pop artist. That was the song that did that Ė absolutely.

How did you decide to use Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray for your latest song Party For Two?
Shania: On the song we have all these raunch guitars that really rock and we needed a voice like that and of course again we looked, not just for a poppy voice, but for a voice that was a contrast with mine. Mark McGrath was perfect for that, because heís got so much attitude and heís got that gravel in his voice.

Donít is also a new songÖ
Shania: Donít is very emotional and itís not a very full production. Itís very intimate. Itís not really lush Ė the vocals are lush. Muttís voice is very lush in it Ė itís a really beautiful part of the song but the production is quite sparse. We had a melody and a title. We were going to drop the title because ĎDonítí is so negative and we played around with a lot of different things and we came back to ĎDonítí thinking that we can make this into a positive, and we just worked around it like a puzzle. Obviously the song is all about forgiveness and making up and making things work.

You can read the rest of our exclusive with Shania Twain in the December 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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