July 29, 2011
1995 | Peak: #1
By now, “Any Man of Mine” has become such a familiar Shania classic that it’s easy to take for granted what a bold artistic move it was at the time.
Though feminist viewpoints previously had surfaced in country music at times through the likes of Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells, they were the exception rather than the rule in 1995. In the early to mid-nineties, it was more common for female artists like Reba to be topping the charts with sad songs that often cast the woman as the victim.
Then here comes Shania with a rousing, fiddle-burning, boot-stomper in which she firmly proclaims that a man should strive to be worthy of his woman’s affections, and that a woman accepts nothing less. Her point was delivered through clever, witty lyrics that ranged from “Any man of mine’ll say ‘It fits just right’ when last year’s dress is just a little too tight” to “When I’m cookin’ dinner and I burn it black, he better say ‘Mmm, I like it like that.’”
Releasing a song like “Any Man of Mine” had to take some guts. Shania had already seen her first album flop, and had just previously scored her first significant hit with “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under.” One could easily understand if she wanted to keep up her newfound momentum, and groom her relationship with country radio by releasing some safe, middle-of-the-road bit of nineties schmaltz.
But she didn’t. She stayed true to herself, and made a genuine artistic statement of her own. And what do you know? It worked! With “Any Man of Mine,” Shania kicked, turned, and stomp-stomped all the way to the top of the charts, with “Any Man of Mine” becoming her first U.S. number-one hit. Since then, the tune has deservedly gone on to become one of Shania’s most enduring, best-loved hits.
It’s just so unmistakably Shania. No wonder this song is so fondly remembered by her fans.
Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and Shania Twain
Listen: Any Man of Mine