“The early usage of the concept it in this meaning may be seen in a story by Rudyard Kipling: ‘It isn’t beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It’s just It.’
“Elinor Glyn lectured:
–from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_girl
I love the expression IT girl.
It fills the niche language requires for an often inexplicable phenomenon of desirability.
Shania Twain became the IT girl of country music in 1997 with the (pre-released sexy videos and the actual) album release of Come On Over.
Come On Over became the “best-selling studio album of all time by a female act in any genre,” the most popular country album ever with global sales of more than 40 million copies.
According to Wikipedia: “The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and stayed there for 50 non-consecutive weeks. It stayed in the Top Ten for 151 weeks.”
This is a video of Shania Twain describing the title song and the album:
Nothing Shania Twain has done since has equaled the commercial success of the Come on Over album and analysis of its success continues to be a source of considerable speculation.
There is, for example, the observation that the album’s success was largely a result of the brilliance of her producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange–called by everyone Mutt.
- Co-wrote the Come on Over songs
- Arranged for startlingly erotic videos
- Insisted on Shania’s especially effective and previously unequaled video wardrobe
I interrupt the thread by exposing you to more Shania message with the surprisingly static video:
“If you wanna to touch her, Ask” the number nine cut on Come on Over.
- Married Shania
- Fathered her son born (in all places for a country music performer) in Switzerland
- Left Shania for her best friend and she…
Here is the Wikipedia account:
“In August 2001, their son Eja (pronounced ‘Asia’) was born. On 15 May 2008 a spokesman for Mercury Nashville announced that Twain and Lange [Mutt] were separating after Lange had an affair. Lange began seeing Twain’s best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud. The couple divorced in June 2010, and Twain is now married to Thiebaud’s ex-husband Frederic.”
Here for the hell of it is another static video of what appears to me to be a feminist song, Shoes, co-written with Mutt.
“Men: have you ever tried to figure them out?
Huh, me too, but I ain’t got no clue: how ’bout you?
Men are like shoes, made to confuse.
Yeah, there’s so many of ’em,
I don’t know which ones to choose….”
To return to the consequences of Shania’s Coming Home success, when Mutt left questions remained,
- Did Shania have the song writing talent to succeed without Mutt?
- Could she wear clothes designed to look especially provocative in heavily marketed videos?
- Could she refine and foster her feminist message and encourage others to follow her lead?
After a two year hiatus between albums, Shania released Up, a good album with a dreadful cover song (the only bad song she has ever released).
Impatience in fans for a sequel to Coming Home reached the point where one Philadelphia Country Music Station (whose devoted listeners consisted primarily of fans who had never ridden a horse nor could tell the difference between a soybean and a corn field) ran a contest. The winner obtained a free trip to Switzerland for the purposes of hounding Shania and asking her when she would finish the new album.
The album Up was widely regarded as a failure selling only 20 million copies globally compared to 40 million for Come on Home.
Here is Shania Twain in 2003 demonstrating her post-Mutt star quality at the Michael Jackson spot at the Super Bowl, singing from both albums:
Shania Twain remains productive and exceptionally desirable as she continues unrivaled as the Queen of Country.
This leads one to ask: What is country music?
Shania Twain, whose first name was purchased by her former husband Mutt, never wanted to be a country performer. He goal was rock.
Now, a wide variety of singers have raised the crossover questions.
- Is it country?
- Is it rock?
- What kind of music is it?
The arbiter of course is Kris Kristopherson who declared definitely,
“If it sounds like a country music song, it’s a country music song.”
Now would be a good time to describe The pantheon of country royalty which includes Shania’s place in the pantheon and the role of Country Music as cancer therapy. You may have been wondering when I will get around to this subject.
In the next posting The pantheon of country royalty we will start with Tim McGraw, the undeniable current King of Country.
Here is Taylor Swift, undeniably country–her first solo performance was at a rodeo–, paying tribute to the King by singing the song that brought her fame:
Copyright 2013 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.