Single Again is where Dan Weiss investigates chart hits of the past and present, their stories, what they meant and how good they really are.
For this edition of Single Again, Radio.com spoke to Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees about their hit 1999 ballad “The Hardest Thing.” Timmons was featured in the “reality movie” Men of the Strip which premiered on E! this past Sunday.
So for 98 Degrees and Rising, did the band have much of a say in which songs you got to pick?
We really did. We played a big hand in most of our albums, even the first one. They didn’t let us write a lot of the songs on the first album; we started writing and co-writing a little bit more on the second album. But we definitely picked the songs — from “I Do” to “Invisible Man,” “Hardest Thing,” “Because of You,” we were receiving songs at a huge clip, sifted through all of them and we thought that those were hits. It’s funny you ask about “Hardest Thing,” we were finishing the album and the album was basically like, “yeah, one more song on the record.” It was the last one we recorded and it almost didn’t make the record, ironically.
What made you guys decide to throw it on at the end?
It just sounded like a hit. It was formulaic, it sounded amazing, and we liked the words a lot. We liked the meaning of the song. We thought it was a well-crafted song, it was written by a really great writer, Steve Kipner, who wrote [Chicago’s] “Hard Habit to Break” among other hit songs throughout the years, and we just thought, well, we have a surefire way with this one.