Then

Album: American Saturday Night (2009)
Charted: 28

Songfacts®:

  • Paisley wrote this with songwriters Chris DuBois and Ashley Gorley. Paisley, who is married to actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, told USA Today March 5, 2009: "We had a target, and the target was our significant others." He added that it is, "a heartfelt love song - the kind I haven't done, really."
  • This was the first single to be taken from Paisley's American Saturday Night album.
  • This debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart at #26, the highest debut of Paisley's career to date.
  • This was Paisley's tenth consecutive chart-topper on Hot Country Songs. Only four other acts have achieved this feat since the chart was first compiled in 1944-Alabama (21 consecutive #1s 1980-87), Sonny James, (16 consecutive #1s 1967-71), George Strait, (11 consecutive #1s 1986-89) and Ronnie Millsap (10 consecutive #1s 1980-83).
  • Paisley told Billboard magazine why he chose this love song as American Saturday Night's lead single, when other artists are addressing the economy or social climate. He explained: "At least the one thing that can help you find complete respite from these times is true love. If you fall in love with somebody or if you are reminded of your relationship with somebody and that song speaks to you, then you're not even worried about your bills. Love can take your mind off of anything. That's the kind of song that I wanted to hear."
  • After 33 appearances on the country chart, this song was Paisley's first single to enter the Adult Contemporary tally.
  • Chris Dubois recalled the story of writing the song to The Boot: "Brad and I talked prior to him starting the creative process for [American Saturday Night]. He felt pretty strongly that he wanted to come out with a love song - a ballad - which was kind of a change of pace for him," he recalled. "So, I went to my buddy Ashley, [who] is a great piano ballad writer."

    "We stumbled across the title, 'I thought I loved you then. When we found that idea, we thought there was really something to it," Dubois continued. "I called Brad, told him the idea, and he loved it."

    "Our goal was to write a song that wasn't necessarily for songwriter acclaim," he added. "It was really just something we could play for our wives that would touch them. Our wives are not in the music business. If we could make our wives cry, we figured we could reach the general public. That's really what matters when it comes right down to it."

    "We took a long time on that song," Dubois concluded. "We probably got together six or seven times and got it to where we all felt good about it. When we finally got to the last day we worked on it, there were a couple buddies of ours that were over at Brad's house working on a different song, and we called them in and played it for them. They just flipped out. I think we knew then that it was right, that it was done. And then we went home and played it for our wives, and they freaked out, so we felt pretty good about it!"

Comments: 3

  • Lacey from Chicago, Ilmy favorite song in this whole world. i might say that about some other songs but no joke. this song is indescribable. no other song can top this. period.
  • Emily from Around Chicago, IlBrad guest starred on Carrie Underwood's Christmas special with this song (12/07/2009). I love it!
  • Michele from Raleigh, NcThis song makes me think of my husband - I love it.
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