Watch Shania Twain Sing 'What Made You Say That' in 1993 - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: Shania Twain Asks ‘What Made You Say That’ in 1993 Debut

Singer guests on TNN’s ‘Music City Tonight’ nearly two years before ‘Any Man of Mine’ breakthrough

By the time Canadian Eileen Twain (née Edwards) signed with Nashville’s Mercury Records in 1992, she had been singing at a Huntsville, Ontario, resort called Deerhurst for two years, while taking care of her two younger brothers after the deaths of her mother Sharon and stepfather Jerry Twain in a 1987 car accident. But other than gaining a new first name – Shania – the singer who first moved to Nashville 25 years ago can scarcely be considered the same one now recognized as a global pop-country icon.

Having recorded her self-titled debut LP for the label, the 10-track album contained just one co-writing credit from Twain, and zero Top 40 country hits. Yet the marketing ploy conceived by label head Luke Lewis, a tour called Triple Play featuring Twain and two other new Mercury acts, Toby Keith and John Brannen, put the singer in front of audiences, if not on top of the charts as it had for Keith and his debut hit, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” (Brannen, meanwhile, would disappear without even so much as a minor hit, later resurfacing as a rock act and as co-writer of “Somebody,” recorded in 2007 by the Eagles.)

Released 24 years ago today, on April 20th, 1993, Shania Twain did feature songs penned by veteran writers, including Gretchen Peters, Stephony Smith and Mike Reid, but it would be the last studio LP by Twain to not be co-written entirely by her, in collaboration with her producer and now ex-husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange. It is also the only Twain studio album (of all-new material) to not hit Number One on the country chart, stalling at the 67th spot and selling just over one million copies in the U.S., unlike her massive breakthrough, The Woman in Me, and the follow-ups, Come on Over and Up!, which have sold a staggering 44 million-plus copies in the United States alone.

In late 1993, Twain was one of the earliest guests on TNN’s Music City Tonight. Hosted by Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase, the live music-and-talk show replaced the long-running Nashville Now, hosted by Ralph Emery. Although she was still more than a year away from her first Number One smash, “Any Man of Mine,” Twain’s sexy and splashy music video for “What Made You Say That” would give viewers their first peek at the singer’s controversial bare midriff. But for this live appearance, where even her arms are covered, Twain’s electrifying stage presence had to suffice.

Twain told Rolling Stone that the songs on her upcoming album, which was rumored to be released in May but now looks likely to come out this fall, underwent a number of changes during the writing process. “Most of them started off quite melancholy and a lot darker,” she revealed.

Twain will headline the Stagecoach Music Festival on April 29th.

In This Article: Shania Twain


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