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Terri Clark closes chapter one

By David McPherson, September 2004

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Clark is very conscious of her image, and she doesn't deny that looks are all part of the package she offers as an artist, and it's also become the new Nashville norm.

"I think it's that way in every genre," says the image conscious cowgirl that turned down a chance to pose for Playboy last February. "You look at John Mayer...he's a babe. A stimulating visual image is always going to help an artist get noticed. It definitely helps, and it's something we all have to keep in mind. I don't make it about that. But, more than anything these days I try to work out not to stay healthy, but to look pretty on an album cover.

"It definitely has more to do with it than it did say 25 years ago," she continues. "Twenty-five years ago, the biggest country singers were these 250-pound guys with big burly beards wearing great big even those guys are sex symbols!"

Clark's sexy new single, "Girls Lie Too," was released in April and is included on "Greatest Hits." The song was written by the Nashville troika of Tim Nichols, Connie Harrington and Kelley Lovelace, who have previously penned Clark hits "I Wanna Do It All," "I Just Called to Say Goodbye" and "I Just Wanna Be Bad."

"They wrote the song, and they immediately sent it to me because they figured it was right up my alley, and they were right," says Clark. "I heard it and ran right into the studio...within three weeks of hearing it, we went in and cut it we loved it so much. It was something that we definitely wanted to pursue."

The lyrics in this playful song, include this tongue in cheek chorus: "We don't care how much money you make/ what you drive or what you weigh/ size don't matter anyway/ girls lie too." Other sarcastic lines from this song are: "We can't wait to hear about your round of golf, we love to see deer heads hanging on the wall, and we like Hooters for their hot wings too."

"One of the Guys" is another new track from "Greatest Hits," and it's here where Clark's true colors fly. In this fun honky-tonk tale, the country chanteuse sings about watching NASCAR, drinking guys under the table, and her brother teaching her how to throw a curveball. While Clark says that this song won't be a single, this self-penned composition speaks to her non-conforming image. As she sings: "You can dress me up, but it won't change/ The way I walk against the grain," and "When it comes to high fashion I hit a high wall/ This girl's just one of the guys."

Clark doesn't hide the fact that she has always been a bit of a tomboy, but it took time to feel comfortable with this image.

"It took me until I was 30 to realize that guys actually do get turned on by girls like me," she says. "I spent my twenties thinking 'wow I might have to be something else', but you get to a certain age and say, 'I am just going to be who I am.'"

From a teenage Nashville neophyte to a 36-year-old country veteran with a boyish swagger, Terri Clark has come a long way from Medicine Hat. One thing is clear, you can't take the country out of this girl - she definitely knows who she is. So, what's next for the 4-time and reigning Canadian Country Music Awards fan-voted Entertainer of the Year?

"I don't know," reveals the honky-tonk hero. "The 'Greatest Hits' album is the best selling album I have had as the first month that it's been out has sold more than anything I have had out before. I feel that it's the close of the first chapter of my career and the beginning of the second chapter."

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