Released in January 1998, Still The One was the song that helped Shania Twain cross over from country to mainstream pop superstar. The third of 12 (12!) singles to be lifted from Come On Over, Twain’s 1997 album, it was a worldwide hit, laying the commerical groundwork for further smashes such as the ubiquitous That Don’t Impress Me Much and Man! I Feel Like a Woman.
Written as a rebuke to those who questioned Twain’s marriage to producer Mutt Lange, 17 years her senior, Still The One was a celebration of their union’s success. Sadly, it didn’t last forever: the pair divorced in 2010 after Lange reportedly had an affair with Marie-Anne Thiébaud, one of Twain’s friends.
In a further twist, Twain then married Frédéric Thiébaud, Marie-Anne’s ex-husband, in 2011. There’s definitely another song in all of that, we’d suggest.
Back to simpler times, though, and a simpler chord progression. Still The One is based on a Eb-Eb/G-Ab-Bb pattern, leaving the vocals to do the heavy lifting and provide the hooks.
Still The One has become a pop standard and, as such, has been covered by multiple artists down the years. Which is the best version, though? Here’s the original, followed by interpretations by Prince and - most recently - Boygenius, so you can decide for yourself.
With its Je t’aime moi non plus organ and spoken word intro, Twain’s interpretation of You're Still The One is instantly recognisable, and remains a fixture on pop radio. It’s believed that Mutt Lange came up with the ‘You’re still the one’ line that kicks off the chorus and, accordingly, he sings backing vocals on the original recording.
Prince was known for the odd unexpected cover - Sheryl Crow’s Everyday Is A Winding Road seemed an unlikely choice, for example - but who would ever have guessed that You’re Still The One (or, U’re Still The One, as he inevitably called it) would enter his orbit?
Recorded as a duet with Marva King, the song had a very limited release on Prince’s Love4oneanother.com website (he had a few around the turn of the century) in January 1999 as a low-quality RealAudio stream.
Sadly, this is the only version we’ve ever got: with the addition of tightly harmonised vocals and a screaming guitar solo, this has the potential to be a cracking cover, but would certainly benefit from being heard in a higher resolution format.
Twain approved, too: in Steve Baltin’s 2022 book Anthems We Love, she’s quoted as saying that “that version made the most impact on me. I realised that, wow, really this song could live anywhere genre-wise and style-wise"
If Prince added bombast to You're Still The One, Boygenius did quite the opposite, returning it to its acoustic guitar roots. This new version by Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus was recorded live for BBC Radio 1 and released on YouTube just before Christmas, with fans immediately demanding it be uploaded to streaming services, too. This request has yet to be fulfilled, but you never know.
It’s a tender, sensitive take on the song and proves, once again, what a good one it is.