Crossover Goddess Comes with the New As Retailers Try to Contain Selves

How high is UP!? For Mercury Nashville superstar Shania Twain, the first album since her 14 million-selling (35 million worldwide) 1997 album Come On Over has retailers dreaming of a Country Christmas, with some pundits thinking first-week sales could approach the magic million mark when the new record hits stores Nov. 19.

Mercury Nashville/MCA Nashville and Lost Highway Chairman/CEO Luke Lewis took some time off from preparing his CMA acceptance speech to exult, “Yee-haw!! That thar Shania shore got a purdy mouth.”

The 37-year-old Canadian diva’s fourth album, after a self-titled ’93 debut, ’95’s The Woman in Me and Come On Over, has all the earmarks of being Q4’s best seller, adding to the singer’s record-shattering total of 50 million copies sold in the U.S.

First single “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!” went to Top 40 this week after being embraced by Country radio, and seems destined to be Most Added at Hot AC. The big-budget video, filmed in London and featuring Shania in leather aboard a motorcycle in a futuristic, sci-fi setting, is designed to cross her over to pop audiences. After leaving manager Jon Landau, Twain is now hooked up with Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch’s Q-Prime, best-known for handling rock acts like Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The album, once again produced by husband Mutt Lange, features 19 new songs, including the title track, on two separate CDs that will retail for the price of one—a “Red” version with Pop mixes and a “Green” version with Country mixes.

Now living with Lange and one-year-old son Eja in Switzerland, Twain, who has been largely out of the media spotlight for the past few years, told an Ottawa newspaper recently the new album sports world music, pop and rock as well as country influences. “I wanted to have a lot of variety. There’s some real extremes. I’ve never really considered myself one type of artist.”

For each of the first 18 days of November leading up to the album release, a new song is being made available to stream on Twain’s pre-release website.

Some other marketing/promotion and media initiatives include:

—A two-month international publicity tour.

—Opening Wednesday’s (11/6) 36th Annual CMA Awards special on CBS, her first network TV performance since 1999, by singing the new single.

—Performing on Letterman (11/19) and Leno (1/14).

—Appearing on American Music Awards (1/13).

—Performing on The Today Show, then interviewed by Katie Couric for her first NBC primetime special later that same night (11/26).

Shania in London: Making the Video and a special half-hour edition of Most Wanted Live (10/11-13) on CMT.

—Covers of Redbook, TVGuide.

Those pre-ordering the album eligible to win a trip for two to New York to see Twain perform on The Today Show.