This single from the deluxe Encore edition of Hunter Hayes' debut album finds him crazy about a girl. "I don't want good and I don't want good enough," he sings. "I want can't sleep, can't breathe without your love . . . I don't want easy, I want crazy." Hunter debuted the song at the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2013.
Hunter told Radio.com he is honest about his emotions when penning such songs as this madly-in-love tune. "I'm a big fan of just letting everything out on the table. That's why I write songs, that's why I do what I do," he explained. "I'm a big fan of just saying whatever is on your mind. My filter's not that great. That's how I think through everything."
The song's music video was directed by Ends and shot in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, during a break in Hunter's tour with Carrie Underwood.. The clip follows the young singer and his love interest as they try to make time for one another, even when Hunter has to be away from home. "The video is about a long-distance relationship and the toughness of having a long-distance relationship, 'cause that's what kind of the song is about," Hayes said in a For The Love Of Music webisode. "It's about the crazy things you do for someone when you're crazy about them." He added, "It was awkward to act with someone I've never really met but that's acting, so I guess it was just hard to act. But I guess I related to this 'cause I relate to the song. I wrote the song and I guess that's kind of what I kept going back to." Another difficulty was that the weather didn't tie in what Hunter describes as a "summer song." "The biggest issue with shooting the video was we kind of shot it on a day when it was 40 [degrees] and raining," he said. "That was bad timing."
Hayes co-wrote the song with singer-songwriters Troy Verges and Lori McKenna. It was the first song that the trio had written together though Verges had previously collaborated with Hunter on the single "Wanted." "It was a really normal writing day," recalled Verges to Roughstock. "We came in with the little lick that is the intro of the song. We kind of had that and based the song around that.
"I'd gotten to know Hunter so well from writing for that last record," he continued, "and I knew that he was a great guitar player, so we were trying to find a song to feature what he can do on guitar. It was just an easy write. It only took a couple of hours because the song was there.
"Lori was such a great presence in the room. I've always loved writing with her, and I've always been a massive fan of hers. It was a real natural, back and forth, easy day. It was more about the groove and the feel of the song for me to get rolling, then the lyrics just came. Everybody in the room was just kind of shouting stuff out. It was a rapid fire back and forth, where it feels like you're not writing it."
Hayes told Radio.com that the title for "I Want Crazy" came to him before the song did. "'Crazy' was just my way of saying, 'That's real love. When you feel like you've gone crazy. That's when you've actually gotten something right,'" he explained. "I don't want the 'We can make this work,' 'Sure, OK, it's good.' I incorporated this long distance aspect because, boy I can speak from experience on that stuff. It was just a confessional way of saying that's what I'm looking for."
Hayes' self-titled debut set completed the longest ever ascent to #1 on Billboard's Country Albums when it reached the top in its 89th chart week. The LP soared to peak position following the release of the deluxe edition, which was made available on June 18, 2013. Hayes' long climb to the peak position surpassed the 51 weeks it took Dixie Chicks' Wide Open Spaces to reach the summit in 1999.
Hayes had to push for this to be included on the deluxe version of his eponymous debut album after the original Hunter Hayes record was locked and loaded. "I really believed in it," he told Billboard magazine. "I really wanted it to be on a record; I didn't know if it would be on the next one or whatever, but I told (producer Dann Huff), 'I don't care what we're doing. We're doing this song!' It's a new direction for me musically, a lot of new territory, and I was excited to tap into that territory. We tried it and it evolved so quickly and sort of on its own that halfway through the process everybody felt the same way I did. That was the first time I let my own intuition stand up for the music that strongly, and it worked."