Story Behind the Song: Lee Brice, ‘Love Like Crazy’
Lee Brice released "Love Like Crazy," written by Tim James and Doug Johnson, in August of 2009, as the first single from his June 2010 album of the same name. It debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart the week of Sept. 5, 2009, and after 46 weeks, the tune finally broke into the Top 10 -- the slowest climb into the Top 10 in the chart's history.
During the week of Sept. 18, 2010, "Love Like Crazy" spent its 55th week on the chart, breaking Eddy Arnold's record for the longest run in the history of the Hot Country Songs chart. The single peaked at No. 3 on the chart but earned the No. 1 spot on the Hot Country Songs year-end chart for 2010 thanks to its longevity.
Below, Johnson tells The Boot about writing "Love Like Crazy."
We were just trying to change the world in three and a half minutes! [Laughs]
I love writing with Tim. Tim's one of the very finest, smartest writers I know ... and works hard. Tim is like me. We're older, [and] we still know how lucky we are to get to "Easter egg hunt" every day -- and maybe be lucky enough to be part of a song that could change somebody's life.
I love words that hit people where they live. And while this song is not specifically about anybody, I was lucky enough to grow up like that. When Tim and I walked into that room that day, I don't think either one of us had a clue what we wanted to write. I normally don't. I basically just show up thinking, "God, you know my heart. And I'm going to try to keep my brain out of it!"
This song really started with that little guitar intro. A lot of songs I write start with first lines from there. [Randy Travis'] "Three Wooden Crosses" was like that for me, and "Sarah Beth" that Rascal Flatts had was like that. And "Love Like Crazy" started from there, too.
Melodically, this song would not exist had I not already been working with Lee Brice. Looking back, it sounded exactly like Lee wrote it. And I didn't even realize it. I'm a huge fan of Lee's -- not only as an artist, but as a great songwriter. I called him after we wrote it and told him, "I've got a song, and man, you've got to look at it." And thankfully, he loved it.
The atmosphere in this song was where I came from ... where you hang in there through good and bad and you believe that great things are gonna happen. Like one of my favorite lines in another song I had, something my grandmother used to say: "Trust in God, but lock your doors." So it's like the chorus of this song: Do all these things, but don't forget to pray!
We were lucky. Sometimes we're just storytellers. And I love story songs. And that was one of those days. Tim and I were lucky enough to get to start down a road and let the song carry us. And sometimes it carries you in a corner, and you get stuck! [Laughs] Luckily, this song carried us through.
"Love like crazy" is actually a phrase I say all the time: "Hey, be safe. But love like crazy!" I tell that to my children and friends all the time. That's something we strive to do every day. In this crazy world, the only hope that we've got is to love crazier ... to love crazier than this world is crazy!
This story was originally written by Marianne Horner, and revised by Angela Stefano.
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