You could buy it in red, or green, or blue. Pop, or country, or “international” versions, and it was a truly multi-format, multi-cultural affair. It was the third diamond-certified album in a row by Shania Twain, and it was released in North America on November 19, 2002. It was Up!
Viewed again now, the sales achievements of the Canadian country-turned-pop singer seem almost unbelievable — and of course she’s since added to them with 2017’s Now, her first release since the album we’re looking at. After a platinum-selling debut in the US with her self-titled 1993 debut for Mercury, Shania went 12-times platinum (12 million shipments) with 1995’s The Woman In Me. Two years later, Come On Over went 11-times platinum. Surely she couldn’t do it again, especially after a gap of five years, with the 2002 sequel? But she could. Up! went 11-times platinum too.
Listen to Up! right now.
Created with Shania’s then-husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange, the album became almost as much reported about for its carefully marketed multiple formats (with its tracks mixed in various styles to reach the artist’s audiences in different genres) as it was for its musical content. But the tactics worked perfectly: the record debuted at No.1 on both the pop and country charts, as well as becoming an international sensation and spawning seemingly endless single releases, including “I’m Gonna Getcha Good,” the title track and “Ka-Ching!”
That last song was a comment on consumerism and on Twain’s modest upbringing. “I grew up in a household where we really did not have enough to get by, and spending money you didn’t have was absolutely something you could not afford to do,” she told this writer when Up! was about to be released. “I don’t even think my parents had credit cards until way later in their life, so I just think we’ve gotten so far from that healthy basic way of looking at things.”
Commenting at that time on whether the album could match the sales achievements of its predecessors, Twain said: “Whether the payoff will be as big or not, who knows, but that’s not really the point of it for us. We wanted to really put something together that was bigger and better in our opinion.”
Up! can be bought here.
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