Ranking Shania Twain's 37 singles in honor of her 50th birthday
by Madison Vain
August 28, 2015
Shania Twain, country queen and the only current touring act holding a candle to Taylor Swift’s affinity for sequins and glitter, turns 50 today. Over the course of four albums and one greatest hits collection, she’s released 37 singles, from her defining “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?” off her sophomore effort—which sold 20 million copies and somehow still pales in comparison to her third album, Come On Over, which sold 40 million copies—to the sass-pot “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” and swinging stomper “Honey, I’m Home.” In honor of Twain’s birthday, here’s EW’s definitive ranking of all 37 singles.
37. “Ka-Ching” (2003)
Twain saucily preaches anti-consumerism on this 2003 release. It’s triumphant, true, and offers a side-eyed look at the U.S. while serving as a sonic precursor to Destiny’s Child (that is not a joke), but it doesn’t necessarily ring true to Twain.
36. “Today Is Your Day” (2011)
“Today Is Your Day” was recorded as a promotional single for the documentary TV series Why Not? with Shania Twain and was the singer’s first recorded work in over six years. It’s also the first thing she recorded without Mutt Lange, who she’d divorced a few years prior, in over 18 years. All of which makes its message of new beginnings feel warm and fuzzy.
35. “I Ain’t No Quitter” (2005)
Off her Greatest Hits album, “I Ain’t No Quitter” is good old fashioned country radio fun. It’s her lowest peaking single, ever, but as the title suggests, it’s not worth forgetting.
34. “Thank You Baby! (For Makin’ Someday Come So Soon)”
No thank you, Shania! “Thank You Baby!” is hardly required listening when it comes to Twain’s catalog, but it’s a mid-tempo ballad that swings just right for a lazy afternoon.
33. “I’m Holdin’ On to Love (To Save My Life)”
This was the 12th single off Come On Over. Did that ring loud and clear? This was the 12th(!!) single off Come On Over. Some artists today don’t even release albums with 12 tracks. But this is Shania and the year is 2000 and it’s a perfect mixed bag of her country roots—slide guitar accents are heavy-handed—and pop production sensibilities. Twain was never shy in admitting that she makes music to sell music, and after getting through 12 singles and 40 million albums sold, it’s safe to say, “Job well done.”
32. “God Bless The Child” (1996)
Putting a song out that has absolutely no instrumentation is something you might think only Beyonce has the bravado to do—but you would be wrong. On “God Bless The Child” it’s just Shania and her echo. EW gave the effort a B at the time of release, saying, “While her sentiments are pretty naive, her pipes sound plenty experienced. With a vocal boost from members of Take 6, Twain whispers and shouts on ‘God Bless the Child’ with enough passion to make us temporarily forget her pinup looks.’
31. “You’ve Got A Way” (1999)
If you recognize this song, but only sort of, that’s because it was remixed for the instant classic film Notting Hill. It’s hard to imagine a song being more immediately wedding-ready than this tune—what with her whispering, “I love you just the way you are”—but it falls short of Twain’s more gripping performances.
30. “Party for Two” (2004) – with Billy Currington
It’s hard to believe that if Shania Twain called you up and said, “Hey, I’m having a party, wanna come?” you would say no. But that’s exactly what Billy Currington does on this mid-tempo ditty—at first. Understandably, it’s not long before he’s putty in her hands, asking what to wear (Oh Billy!) and when to come over. Lucky for him, turns out Twain is just looking for a party where just the two of them will tango.
29. “Don’t!” (2005)
“Don’t!” is the second single off Twain’s Greatest Hits collection and it sounds absolutely perfect for middle of the night radio stations to play for truckers who want to get in touch with their softer side while rolling through Kansas. Which is to say, it’s fine and it has its time and place.
28. “You Lay a Whole Lot of Love on Me”
When you think about Shania Twain, there is absolutely no way this is the sound that’s most reminiscent: twangy, gussied, and ready for its debut at Incahoots. It can be jarring to go back, and while this tune is a remarkable display of Twain’s vocal talents, it’s not a whole lot else.
27. “When” (1998)
“When” was never released to the U.S. as a single but was the second song off Come On Over to release in the U.K., which shows how Twain and Lange figured out not only how to sell different music and mixes to different parts of the world, but also how Twain’s sound was changing to more crossover-friendly fare by ‘98.
26. “Rock This Country!” (2000)
This was the 10th single off Come On Over. As such, could it be perfect? No! Who could have ever anticipated how much space it would get to shine! (And also, how are you conceivably going to “rock this country out of this world”?) That being said, it’s fun and memorable enough that Twain is currently, 15 years later, on her Rock This Country! Farewell Tour.
25. “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”
It’s not like we don’t know Twain’s recipe for success—hair-flipping lyrics, indulgent mandolin backings, shimmering production—but this is probably where its most felt that she’s spooning you last night’s casserole rather than telling you what she actually thinks.
24. “Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is (Anymore)”
Before there were exclamation points in all her song titles, there were parenthetical phrases. (See songs above and below.) On “Home Ain’t Where His Heart Is (Anymore)”, Twain laments a love long gone. It’s simple and sad, and the male backing harmonies only make it more so. If “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” wasn’t still coming, this would be higher.
23. “The Woman in Me (Needs the Man in You)”
The title track off Twain’s 1995 album does something very few of her songs do: Bow to weakness. Twain is pleading with her man to take the reigns when she needs his strength. The chorus is nice—how wrong can you really go with pipes like hers?—but it falls flat elsewhere.
22. “You Win My Love” (1996)
How do you get a girl like Shania to take notice? Well, work for it! Rev up your (metaphorical) engine! Speed up your (metaphorical) approach! There’s no (metaphorical) speed limit! Get in there! “You Win My Love” was Twain’s third No.1 country radio tune and a nice taste of her sass that would define the rest of the decade.
21. “Love Gets Me Every Time”
Twain’s been bit by the love bug on this finger-snapping tune that sways real nice and purrs real sweet. EW reviewed the song at the time of release saying, “As with her other efforts, this one matches a creamy vocal, an infectious pop superstructure, and hoedown fiddle with a mindless country lyric. Why mess with a successful formula?” We’d like to second ourselves.
Twain recorded “Shoes” for ABC’s Desperate Housewives and it does a nice little trick. It pairs Twain-the-Man-Eater with a men-as-shoes metaphor (Some polish up real nice! Some are just everyday loafers!) for a tasty country-leaning pop tune.
19. “Dance with the One That Brought You”
Twain wants to impart some wisdom on this tune off her first album and if we can sum it up, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.” Nope, she wants you to stay with the guy who loves you true, constant, and kindly—don’t try to snag the life of the party! Which makes sense but is sort of ‘meh’ on the good advice scale. (Even if he’s boring? We have to stick around?) Its wonderful roll keeps it in the top 20 but that’s as far as it’ll go here.
18. “Endless Love” (2012) – with Lionel
Alright, this is originally Richie’s tune, and he first recorded it with the great Diana Ross, but Twain is an unforgettable addition on this version. With its gentle acoustic pluck and their honeyed harmonies, it belongs on the end credits to your favorite Disney princess tune.
17. “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face”
It’s not billed as such but “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face” is a nice companion piece to “That Don’t Impress Me Much”—if the latter is about all the things that won’t have Twain drooling, the former tells us a little bit about what the singer respects: Surviving with a smile. Twain had a rough upbringing — both her parents died in a car crash at 22 and she was left caring for her younger siblings — and this is really her only single that has ever conveyed she’s really singing about herself.
16. “Up!” (2003)
Instantly singable (“Up, up, up, can only go up from here!”), instantly quotable (“I wish that I could grow a beard!”), there’s probably no song that better demonstrates Twain’s effortless knack for good melodies, lyrical sass, and a winking delivery. (Also, her penchant for exclamation points.)
15. “Come On Over” (1999)
Come On Over, the top-selling album by a female ever (remember those 12 singles we mentioned?) topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for 50 weeks and its Grammy-winning title track is a standout on the collection—a charming, empowering tune about just trying to get by.
14. “When You Kiss Me” (2003)
Love songs aren’t new, love ballads are even less new, but between Twain’s pining and some seriously impressive mandolin and steel guitar layers, the familiar comfort of “When You Kiss Me” is a tale as old as time that we don’t mind hearing again and again.
13. “What Made You Say That” (1993)
Shania Twain’s first single! It didn’t move the needle much in ‘93 and it lacks much of the bravado she made her name on later in the decade but listen to that full-throated twang! Twain has said she retired after Up! because of a decreased vocal performance—which seems sort of ludicrous listening to it until you remember how round her voice used to be. (She’s back in perfect vocal health for her current tour.)
12. “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing”
“It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing” was released as the eighth single off her 2002 album Up! and it basks in welcome misery. She sings “My heart only breaks when it’s beating” over a howling choral backing, and tugs all your insides down to the doldrums.
11. “From This Moment On” (1998)
Between the sequins, steel guitar, and her sassy struts, it’s conceivable that somewhere in the mid-’90s you might have forgotten what a truly great vocalist Twain is. “From This Moment”, her understated and atmospheric ballad that features country singer Bryan White, was a swift reminder.
10. “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here!”
First, a few notes about “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here“?‘s music video: Shania, you are the original crop sweater-wearer! Second, between the overalls, flannel cutoffs, and amazing choreography (a classic body roll! disco arms! air guitar!) this is a ’90s baby’s dream. And just try to stop yourself from clapping along to this irresistible track.
9. “You’re Still The One” (1998)
“You’re Still The One” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Twain’s most successful crossover tune, and was sealed in the history books when VH1 included it on its 100 Greatest Songs of the ’90s. (Also, winning two Grammys didn’t hurt. The song took home hardware for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal, though it was robbed of Record of the Year and Song of the Year. “My Heart Will Go On” won instead.)
8. “Any Man of Mine” (1995)
Twain’s crossover appeal was solidified for the first time with this tune that became her first country radio No. 1 and also her first song to break the Top 40 on the pop charts.
7. “No One Needs To Know” (1996)
Luke Bryan isn’t the only artist who gets to cycle through six singles per album. “No One Needs To Know” is the twangy, jangling, third consecutive Billboard Hot Country Songs No. 1 off The Woman in Me that found itself on the soundtrack for the brilliant cinematic endeavor, Twister.
6. “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”
Talk about finding the sexy in monogamy. “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” is full of lyrics like, “You’re a fine piece of real estate, and I’m gonna get me some land” and diva swagger like, “Here’s how it’s gonna be / I’m gonna love you and you’re gonna fall in love with me” that has us reconsidering our usual pickup lines.
5. “Honey, I’m Home” (1998)
Another year, another album that Shania Twain cycled through six singles. “Honey, I’m Home” was Twain’s final No. 1 country radio tune. Here, Twain’s had a long day and getting pampered in the form of a brewski and a foot rub is the only cure.
4. “Forever and for Always” (2003)
Twain is a master at sass, but she’s no one trick pony. “Forever and for Always” was the third single off her last album,Up!, and it’s so fresh that even Febreze had to have it.
3. “That Don’t Impress Me Much”
Before there was “Man! I Feel Like A Woman”, there was the coy, seductive, stiletto stomper “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” In between trips through the slinking chorus, “Don’t get me wrong, yeah I think you’re alright / But that won’t keep me warm in the middle of the night” she pokes fun at gear heads who kiss their cars at night, the rare breed of dude more vain than your prom queen, rocket scientists, and even Brad Pitt. Which is to say, bow down, babes, you’re all found wanting.
2. “Man! I Feel Like A Woman”
Forget the line, “The best thing about being a woman / Is the prerogative to have a little fun”, by the time Twain saucily says, “Let’s go girls,” at the 3-second mark. Well, we’re ready to—wait what are you wearing, Shania? A top hat and satin trench? A leopard print body suit? Okay cool, me too! I’m ready! ANYWHERE WITH YOU SHANIA! Many agreed, the tune went top 10 in six countries and won a Grammy for Best Female Country Performance that year.
1. “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”
Jealousy has never been so jangly! “Boots” is the first single Shania wrote with then-husband Mutt Lange, her first Gold-certified tune, and also Twain’s first U.S. country radio hit—though somehow it only peaked at no.11. We got you girl, it’s No. 1 here.