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That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain

Like many of Shania’s up-tempo numbers, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek affair…

That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain

Mercury 088172118 (USA) / Mercury 8708032 (UK)

Music tracks recorded at Masterfonics, Nashville, TN, with additional

recording at various studios in Nashville, Toronto and New York

Released April 1999

Writers Shania Twain & Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange

Producer Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange

USA #7  5/1999   UK #2  6/1999

During the 1990s, three of the most successful women in popular music were Canadian. Alanis Morissette covered the rock arena, Celine Dion’s pop album sales of over 100 million put her in a class of her own, while country diva Shania Twain sold getting on for half that number with just one album, Come On Over. Twain’s rise to fame and fortune has often been described as a rags-to-riches story – it certainly has all the ingredients of a Hollywood screenplay. Born Eilleen Regina Edwards in Windsor, Ontario in 1965, and raised in relative poverty, she was the second of three daughters of Clarence and Sharon Edwards. By the time she was four her parents had divorced, and her mother moved to the small community of Timmins, north of Toronto, where she married Jerry Twain, who adopted Eilleen and her sisters. Singing from an early age, Eilleen was raised on the music of Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette and Willie Nelson, earned $25 for her first performance as an 8-year-old and began writing songs at 10. Continuing to perform and write through her teenage years, she was struck a tragic blow when her parents Jerry and Sharon Twain were killed in a head-on collision with a logging truck in November 1987.

 

Eilleen was left to raise her younger sister Carrie-Anne (18) and half-brothers Mark (13) and Darryl (14). Making sure they attended school, cooking the meals, paying the bills and buying a house, it seemed that her dreams of music stardom were lost forever. However, when her siblings grew up and went their own way, she suddenly realised that she had regained her life and decided to make her move. A demo tape of original country material won her a contract with Mercury Records in Nashville at which point she changed her name to Shania. (Following her breakthrough, some earlier demo recordings of pop/rock material made in 1989/90 with producer Paul Sabu in Toronto have surfaced under various titles – Beginnings, On The Way and Wild And Wicked.) Though there was only 1 self-composed song, ‘God Ain’t Gonna Getcha For That’, on the first Mercury album, Shania Twain (1993), her life was about to change forever. Over in London, veteran rock writer/producer Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange, a long-time country fan who liked to watch the cable channel, Country Music Television, caught a video of Shania and was immediately smitten. Twain says now that for Lange, Tammy Wynette will always be “The Queen Of Country“, while she herself will remain “Princess“.

Lange was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) in 1948, the son of a mining engineer, and had a musical career in South Africa before settling in London in the mid- 1970s, where he was briefly a member of the Arthur Brown Band. Turning to record production he produced the early Boomtown Rats albums before forming a highly successful association with heavy rockers AC/DC on their albums Highway To Hell, Back In Black (19 million sold in America alone) and For Those About To Rock. These albums made Lange a highly in-demand producer and he later worked with Foreigner (‘Urgent’, ‘Waiting For A Girl Like You’), Def Leppard (on the multi-platinum Pyromania and Hysteria – 3 years in the making, 15 million sold), Billy Ocean (‘When The Going Gets Tough’) and perhaps most successfully with Bryan Adams. Lange produced Adams’ Waking Up The Neighbours album and co-wrote and produced the mega-selling, ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’. Other credits include Michael Bolton, the Cars (‘Drive’), Celine Dion, XTC, the Corrs, Heart (‘All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You’), Britney Spears, Huey Lewis and the Backstreet Boys.

When Lange first telephoned Shania Twain out of the blue in early 1993, she had absolutely no idea who he was. However, they soon began writing songs over the phone (the first was ‘Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is Anymore’) and once they met in Nashville in June, romance blossomed and the couple were married six months later. With Lange’s track record, Mercury must have been over the moon when he came on board, particularly since he reportedly invested much of the $500,000 cost of Shania’s 2nd album, The Woman In Me, out of his own pocket. Released in 1995 and consisting entirely of Twain/Lange songs written all over the world while the couple were on a protracted honeymoon, the album was an instant success, established Shania Twain as a huge country star and also won her a Grammy® Award for Best Country Album. However, while The Woman In Me (which replaced Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits as the best-selling country album ever) sold 12 million copies, mainly to country fans, the blockbusting follow-up, Come On Over, was to break into the world pop market and make Shania Twain an international star.

Released in America in late 1997, Come On Over dominated charts throughout the world for the following two years with a slew of Twain/Lange originals including, ‘You’re Still The One’, ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman’, ‘From This Moment On’, ‘Don’t Be Stupid’, ‘You’ve Got A Way’ (featured in the Notting Hill movie) and ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’. Following the album’s original release, Lange created a new “de-countryfied” version – removing the fiddles and slide-guitars – for the international market, and Shania Twain was soon all over the pop charts and on the covers of magazines worldwide. Shania won the Country Music Association Entertainer Of The Year award in 1999, while ‘You’re Still The One’ won a Grammy® as Best Country Song.

In addition she was voted Pop Songwriter Of The Year by American songwriting organisation BMI in both 1999 and 2000. Come On Over is approaching sales of 40 million (20 million in the US alone), and is the biggest selling album ever by a female artist. In 2005 Shania was made an officer in The Order of Canada, allowing her to use the initials O.C after her name. Under somewhat unusual romantic circumstances, in 2010 Twain and Lange divorced after Lange had an affair with Twain’s best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud – the following year, Twain married Thiebaud’s ex-husband!  ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’, like many of Shania’s up-tempo numbers, a somewhat tongue-in-cheek affair, was a huge hit in the massive line-dancing explosion of the late 1990s and also the most played song on British radio in 1999 with a total of 46,371 airings. Played consecutively that would add up to 126 days non-stop! Now that really is impressive.

 

Copyright © 2017 SongStories/Tony Burton

 

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