Shania Twain’s history of duet performances are unquestionably dwarfed by her sizable solo hits, yet her brief alliances with other singers on record have yielded some interesting results. In 2004, Twain released her first-ever Greatest Hits collection, adding three new tracks to the set, which included material from all but her 1993 self-titled debut. As had been the case with her previous LPs, an international version of the collection was compiled for the pop-heavy markets outside the U.S. and Canada.
With “Party for Two” – the video for which premiered today in 2004 – pegged as the first single from the album, the call-and-response vocals were recorded in two versions: a country take featuring Twain’s Mercury Nashville labelmate Billy Currington, and a pop-friendly one with Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath. Currington was enjoying the success of his 2003 debut album, but still a year away from his first Number One single, “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right.” Teaming with Twain raised Currington’s profile considerably, even garnering the chiseled singer some added (ahem) exposure with a Playgirl magazine cover in early 2005.
When taking their “Party” to TV screens with a music video, Twain and Currington – and Twain and McGrath for that matter – hit the streets of west London’s ritzy South Kensington neighborhood, where past residents included children’s author Beatrix Potter, writer Virginia Woolf and British comedian Benny Hill. In the clip’s opening shot, as Twain sashays down the street on her mobile phone, trying to entice Currington to join her sexy soiree, the rotunda of the iconic Royal Albert Hall can be spotted behind her. Once the celebration gets going, with Asian décor, lighting and their own personal waiter on call (played by British actor/writer/director Sebastian J. Brook), Twain and Currington cozily dance on a table before swinging together from a red rope tethered to a swaying chandelier. Not exactly what Roger Miller had in mind when he wrote “England Swings,” but Twain managed to pull off the same feat in the nearly shot-for-shot version featuring McGrath.
“Party for Two” was Twain’s 16th consecutive Top Ten country hit (and her last to date). It was also Top Ten in the U.K., Austria, Belgium, Demark and Germany and just missed the top spot in her native Canada. She and Currington performed the song (minus acrobatics) on the CMA Awards telecast in September 2004 and the duet was nominated for CMA Musical Event of the Year in 2005, losing to George Strait and Lee Ann Womack’s “Good News, Bad News.”