Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins talk about the day they wrote Carrie Underwood‘s 2006 No. 1 smash, ‘Before He Cheats.’ The third single from her 2005 debut album, ‘Some Hearts’ the song would top the Billboard charts for five weeks, becoming Carrie’s third consecutive No. 1 hit. It was also named CMA Song of the Year in 2007. A Top 20 crossover hit on all charts, it is Carrie’s best-selling single to date.
Chris Tompkins: At the time, Gretchen Wilson was going in to record. After her first record, everybody wanted to have a song on that second record, and I was trying to think of edgy stuff. I never would’ve thought that Carrie Underwood would record it! I went into my office that morning and began typing lyrics … not even picking up a guitar or a pen or anything … and I typed up that first verse. I’d just moved into my new house, and Josh had come over, and we were just looking for ideas. I played him what I’d typed earlier. And without even talking about it, Josh just sang that chorus line, ‘Maybe next time, he’ll think before he cheats …’ So we just started talking about it from there, how to match that first verse, and started thinking of some quirky stuff like that. And like good songs always do, the song kind of wrote itself from there. Usually a song takes a couple of writing sessions, four or five hours each — and talking and goofing off, having coffee. But this was such a quick write. It took about two hours. It was the first song I wrote in my new house! Continue reading