Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties: Shania Twain, “You Win My Love”

“You Win My Love

Shania Twain

Written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange

Billboard

#1 (2 weeks)

May 4 – May 11, 1996

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

April 26, 1996

Shania Twain’s only No. 1 hit that she didn’t write.

The Road to No. 1

At this point, The Woman in Me had produced two No. 1 hits on its way to becoming the top-selling country album by a female artist.  After “I’m Outta Here!” came two more No. 1 hits.

The No. 1

“You Win My Love” has enough hooks to make ABBA blush.

It’s a deliriously catchy record, using country elements to twang up a great pop production just enough for it to fit on genre radio.  It has the typical “Mutt” Lange obsession with cars, written with a gender swap to make it more palatable for Shania to sing.

Her vocal performance is key here, as it provides some distinctive character to a smoothly polished backing track.  Grit isn’t usually a word used to describe Shania’s singing, but it certainly applies here. It’s her delivery of an essentially ridiculous lyric that gives it a little bit of the substance it lacks on paper.

You could drop this on to country radio today and it would simultaneously be too country, too pop, and too female for them to handle.

The Road From No. 1

Arguably her best No. 1 single from The Woman in Me is on deck next.

“You Win My Love” gets a B+.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

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Next: John Michael Montgomery, “Long as I Live”

10 Comments

  1. Sometimes Mutt Lange pre-choruses are interminable, and this is a perfect example. I really don’t need to hear “if you wanna win it/babe there’s no speed limit” three times.

    A- for Shania’s performance, D for the song. She did the best she could with something that should have stayed an album cut at best.

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  2. Doesn’t the sexual intensity and raunchiness of the video warrant mention alongside the grittiness of her vocals? This is a deliciously fun and dirty song.

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  3. This song is still so much fun today, and it fills me with both joy and nostalgia whenever I hear it! When that fiddle kicks in after the drum and guitar intro, it always gets me excited and feeling like an eleven year old kid in 1996 without a care in the world once again. I love how the pop sensibilities of this record blend perfectly with the fiddle and steel, and once again I love Shania’s joyful, charming, and enthusiastic performance. I can hear that “grit” y’all are talking about. I always heard it whenever she sings “There’s no speed limit.” I also really love the key change during the final chorus, which also puts a smile on my face every time. The steel always sounded great to me during that part, as well. Finally, I’ve always liked all the car/racing references in the lyrics, and to this day, whenever I see NASCAR on TV or hear about it, I always think of this song.

    By this time in 1996, I was always excited to hear anything new from Shania ever since she won me over with “Any Man Of Mine,” and my dad, especially, was the biggest fan of hers out of all my family. It seemed like he instantly loved anything new she came out with on the radio. On one of the first times he and I heard this song on the radio in the car, he was already telling me about the music video in which she was driving a race car, which I had not yet seen.

    The very first time I ever heard “You Win My Love” though was during one day in school in my fourth grade year. We had some spare time that day, so my teacher, who was a huge country fan, decided to take us all to the gymnasium to try to teach us some dances to some of her favorite songs. She had a cassette copy of The Woman In Me, and the first line dance she taught us to do was one for “Any Man Of Mine.” Not only did I think it was so cool that my teacher also liked Shania and that song, but I was also beyond excited that all my classmates and I were suddenly there dancing and having lots of fun to what was one of my newest favorite songs and artists. I just remember that dance being so much fun to do, as well! After that, she put the tape on “You Win My Love” and tried to show us a dance she did to that song, which was also neat. It was a more “grown up” and complicated dance, so we didn’t spend as much time learning that one, but I really enjoyed hearing that song for the first time! The “rev it up, rev it up” line before the chorus is what stood out to me the most. At the time I thought she was saying, “Wrap it up, wrap it up” lol. On that same day, she also tried to teach us dances to Tracy Byrd’s “Watermelon Crawl” and “Keeper Of The Stars.” :)

    The music video is also one of my favorites from The Woman In Me era. I always thought she looked so cool driving that race car, and I love her black leather outfit in the other shots! She also looks like she was having the time of her life while doing this one! The scenes of all those guys chasing after her on foot are funny, as well, lol.

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    • This and the next single from the album were the ones that “clicked” with me the quickest when I first bought it (on release date, just like I did with her initially overlooked debut album.)

      “Any Man of Mine,” “I’m Outta Here!” and some of the ballads challenged convention so much that I initially found them jarring to listen to. I actually thought that when “Whose Bed” stopped at #11, her shot at having a top ten single from this album had been lost. I was…very wrong about that.

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      • My dad and I loved “I’m Outta Here” when it came out, too! Whenever it was on the radio he would always imitate the sound of that pounding percussion after she sang “Let me make it clear to you, my dear.” One time while it was playing on the jukebox at one of our local steakhouses and we were all eating dinner, we both provided Shania with a little extra percussion. Just before the first chorus, we stopped what we were doing, and he went “Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow!” while I was drumming on the table at the same time, lol. I think Mom realized at that moment that both of us were definitely on the Twain train, lol. And every time it got to the end with the sound of Shania walking off and slamming the door, he’d say “There she goes!” :)

        I also love her 1993 debut album and think it’s quite underrated.

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        • A very good song.

          I agree with you @Jamie – her debut is very underrated. It’s not quite the same as her later stuff but has a few gems on it and is very listenable. My favourites are her version of “There Goes The Neighbourhood” – I love Joe Diffie’s as well – “Dance With The One That Brought You”, “When He Leaves You” and “You Lay A Whole Lot Of Love On Me,” though I enjoy the album as a whole.

          • “Dance With the One That Brought You’ is such a gem. One of Gretchen Peters’ best songs. I was disappointed that it only went to #55, but she probably made more royalties off of it than some of her radio hits in the end.

    • Honestly out of all her videos I thought she looked her best in You Win My Love, Shania was made to wear leather, yeah she looked like she was having a blast in this video , she looked very sexy in all that leather, yeah all those guys chasing after her that was funny man , hey they want her man lol ! Did I mention that her leather pants look very tight ?

  4. “Whose Bed” and the next single were my two favorites from the album, and I think that’s because they didn’t have the Mutt Lange prechoruses.

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