What Hurts the Most

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"What Hurts the Most"
Song by Mark Wills from the album And the Crowd Goes Wild
Released October 21, 2003
Genre Pop, country
Length 3:47
Label Mercury Nashville
Writer Jeffrey Steele, Steve Robson
Producer Chris Lindsey, Mark Wills
And the Crowd Goes Wild track listing
"Prisoner of the Highway"
(4)
"What Hurts the Most"
(5)
"What She Sees in Me"
(6)

"What Hurts the Most" is a song written by American songwriter Jeffrey Steele and English songwriter Steve Robson. Initially recorded by country music artist Mark Wills in 2003 on his album And the Crowd Goes Wild, it was covered by Bellefire a year later. However, the first version to be released as a single was by pop singer Jo O'Meara in 2005, from the album Relentless. Later that year, country band Rascal Flatts covered the song as well, releasing it as the first single from the 2006 album Me and My Gang, topping the U.S country and adult contemporary charts with it. German band Cascada later had international chart success with the song in 2007. It was also covered by Eden in 2008.

Content[edit]

Jeffrey Steele co-wrote the song with Steve Robson, with whom he also co-wrote Rascal Flatts' 2002 single "These Days". Robson presented Steele with an unfinished track, and Steele decided to come up with lyrics to finish the track. Originally, he had wanted to write a song about the loss of his father, but instead went with a more universal theme of lost love.[1] After singing the lyrics, he decided that he liked how sad the song sounded, when Robson suggested that it be recorded in a higher key to sound more emotional.[1]

Mark Wills was the first artist to record the song,[1] doing so on his 2003 album And the Crowd Goes Wild. Jo O'Meara, a pop singer, released the song in 2005 and had chart success with it in the United Kingdom. Faith Hill had also intended to include the song on her 2005 album Fireflies, and although she had recorded the song, her version did not make the final cut.[1] Rascal Flatts then recorded the song as well, and per producer Dann Huff's suggestion, it made their album Me and My Gang.[1] Wills' rendition of the song, though never a single, peaked at number 51 on the U.S. Hot Digital Songs charts in 2006 in the wake of Rascal Flatts' success with it.

Jo O'Meara version[edit]

"What Hurts the Most"
Single by Jo O'Meara
from the album Relentless
B-side "The First Time"
"Never Meant to Break Your Heart"
"Let's Love"
Released September 26, 2005
Format CD single
Recorded 2005
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:29
Label Sanctuary
Producer(s) Brian Rawling
Music video
"What Hurts The Most" (Official video) on YouTube

Jo O'Meara, who was originally the leader of the pop music band S Club, released the song in 2005 as her first solo single, becoming the first artist to release it as a single. It was the lead single from her debut album Relentless. O'Meara's version peaked at number thirteen in the UK singles chart.

Track listing[edit]

CD 1

  1. "What Hurts the Most" - 3:21
  2. "The First Time" - 4:11

CD 2

  1. "What Hurts the Most"- 3:21
  2. "Never Meant to Break Your Heart" - 4:28
  3. "Let's Love" (Metro Mix)- 5:40
  4. "What Hurts the Most" (CD-ROM Video)
Chart Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 13
Irish Singles Chart 26


Rascal Flatts version[edit]

"What Hurts the Most"
Single by Rascal Flatts
from the album Me and My Gang
Released January 9, 2006
Format CD single
Recorded 2005
Genre Country, country pop
Length 3:33
Label Lyric Street
Producer(s) Dann Huff
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Rascal Flatts singles chronology
"Skin (Sarabeth)"
(2005)
"What Hurts the Most"
(2006)
"Me and My Gang"
(2006)

In 2006, country music trio Rascal Flatts released the song as a single from their album Me and My Gang, and it became their fifth number-one single on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. It also peaked at No. 6 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band's first Top 10 pop hit. In addition, the song reached number 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Rascal Flatts also performed the song live with Kelly Clarkson at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2006.

Rascal Flatts' recording earned two nominations for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, in the categories of Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Best Country Song.

As of the chart dated January 30, 2010, the song topped the 2 million mark in paid downloads. This makes Rascal Flatts the first country group to top the 2 million mark with two songs.[2] As of the chart dated April 16, 2011, the song has sold 2.28 million in the US.[3]

Music video[edit]

The music video starts with a young girl crying over the loss of her boyfriend. She expresses anger for her father who she blames for making her boyfriend leave, ultimately resulting in him dying in a car crash. The girl's very hurt mother watches her daughter's anger for her father and cries as she feels helplessness over the situation. Over the course of the video, there are scenes of the band playing, flashbacks of the couple, and the girl trying to go about her life. A scene in which with the girl is vomiting in her bathroom and holding her stomach implies that she became pregnant right before her lover's death. The video ends with the girl running up to the boy's wooden cross memorial on the side of the road, to kneel down and say that she saw him, answering his question asked earlier in the video "What do you see?" when they were talking about the future. The music video was directed by Shaun Silva in early 2006.

Song information[edit]

Rascal Flatts' version of the song is in the key of F minor, with a vocal range of E♭3-C 5. The main chord pattern is Fm-D♭-A♭-E♭.[4]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2006–2007) Peak
position
Canada (Canadian Singles Chart) 45
UK Singles Chart 103
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 6
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[6] 22
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 1
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[8] 9
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[9] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2006) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[10] 4
Preceded by
"Living in Fast Forward" by Kenny Chesney
Billboard Hot Country Songs number-one single
April 8–29, 2006
Succeeded by
"Who Says You Can't Go Home" by Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles
Preceded by
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield
"It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" by Hall & Oates
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
November 18, 2006
December 2–16, 2006
January 13 – February 10, 2007
Succeeded by
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield
"Jingle Bells" by Kimberly Locke "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

Cascada version[edit]

"What Hurts the Most"
Single by Cascada
from the album Perfect Day
Released November 21, 2007 (2007-11-21)
(see release history)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2007
Genre Eurodance, progressive trance[11]
Length 3:39
Label Zooland
Producer(s) Manuel Reuter, Yann Peifer
Cascada singles chronology
"Last Christmas"
(2007)
"What Hurts the Most"
(2007)
"What Do You Want from Me?"
(2008)
Music video
"What Hurts The Most" (Official video) on YouTube

Background and composition[edit]

In 2007, German eurodance trio Cascada recorded a cover of "What Hurts the Most" for their second studio album, Perfect Day (2007). The cover was produced and recorded by band members Yanou and DJ Manian at Plazmatek Studio Cologne in Cologne, Germany. The song serves as the first single from Perfect Day (2007). It was first released in Sweden on November 21, 2007 in digital and physical formats, through Zooland Records.[12][13] The song was later released in the United Kingdom as a digital single on December 3, 2007 and as a CD single a week later, through All Around the World. The releases featured remixes by several disc jockeys, including Darren Styles, Spencer & Hill and Flip & Fill.[14][15] "What Hurts the Most" was solicited to mainstream radio stations on December 11, 2007 in the United States, following its digital and physical release within the two weeks before. In Germany, the cover was released as a CD and digital single on January 4, 2008, through Zeitgeist.[16]

In contrast to the original version, Cascada's cover of "What Hurts the Most" deviates from the country sound and replaces it with Europop electronic beats and elements typical of DJ Manian and Yanou productions.[17] However, the song opens with an acoustic guitar playing and Horler's vocals being reverbed by electropop synths.[17] Sharon Mawer of Allmusic noted that despite the heavy electronic beats, lead singer Natalie Horler's vocals are never dominated by the music.[17] According to the digital music sheet published at Musicnotes.com by BPJ Administration, the song is composed in a key of F# minor while carrying a tempo of 144 beats per minute. Horler's vocals range between a high register of A3 to a low register of C#5.[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy gave the song a three-star rating, saying that "it's not as good as previous single 'Everytime We Touch' for sure, but its teasing, lucid intro, which bursts into the hand-clap-inducing, hip-swiveling chorus after a flurry of robotic drum beats is certainly a good giggle."[19] Kurt Kirton of About.com named it one of the album's standout tracks.[20] Chuck Taylor of Billboard gave "What Hurts the Most" a positive review, writing that "this track is remixed into a frothy uptempo anthem, complete with requisite percussive thump and an exulted vocal (with 12 mixes in all) that leaves the lyric's potential heartbreak in the dust." Taylor ended his review, asking "Wouldn't it be wondrous if American programmers renewed their vow in 2008 to put variety on the airwaves—or do we really need a fifth entry in the top 10 from T-Pain?"[21]

Chart performance[edit]

In Sweden, Cascada's cover of "What Hurts the Most" debuted on the singles chart on November 22, 2007 at number five, where it peaked.[22] The song fell to number eight the next week, where it stalled on the chart for three weeks.[22] On December 13, 2007, the song debuted and peaked on the Irish Singles Chart at number six.[23] In the United Kingdom, the song debuted on the singles chart at number sixteen on December 9, 2007.[24] In the following week, the song reached a peak of number ten.[24] It exited the chart at nineteen weeks, logging its last week at number eighty-five.[24] On March 22, 2008, the cover debuted and peaked on the French Singles Chart at number two. The song fell to number four in the following weeks and eventually fell off of the chart after twenty-seven weeks.

On January 26, 2008, the band's cover of "What Hurts the Most" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number ninety-five.[25] The song rose to number eighty in the following week.[26] On March 22, 2008, the cover peaked at number fifty-two.[27] The song serves as Cascada's lowest-charting single on the Hot 100 as well as their lowest-charting lead single.[27] Aside from charting on the Hot 100, the song managed to peak at the top of Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs and at number twenty-eight on the US Billboard Pop Songs.[28] Despite its low peak on the Hot 100, the song managed to sell more than 500,000 downloads, earning a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America in October 2009.[29] In Canada, the song managed to peak at number fifty-four and lasted on the chart for eleven weeks.[30]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "What Hurts the Most" was filmed in Los Angeles was released on January 24, 2008 to the US digital markets.

International version

The video opens with Horler sitting in a studio apartment living room holding a note saying "I can't sorry". It moves to a scene, that is intercut throughout the video, where Horler is seen performing in front of a lit up brick wall. When the first verse begins, Horler leaves the room to open the door, allowing her friends to enter. One friend sees the note and tears it up in disgust. More friends came in to the apartment and soon began partying. After the chorus ends, the video moves to a tattoo parlor, where Horler receives a tattoo. As the second chorus commences, she is against a wall, appearing heartbroken, while her former love interest gestures toward the wall, attempting to try to reach out to her. Scenes of the house party continue to play throughout the rest of the video. Near the end of the second chorus, Horler is sitting against a white brick, with mascara running from her eyes, telling that she was crying. On the wall is a window in which the love interest appears to be frustrated. As the song approaches the last chorus, the house party ends with the guests exiting Horler's apartment. The video ends with Horler opening the door to see her former lover, who exchanges a smile with her, and shutting the door on him, leaving with a smile on her face.

US version

The video opens with Horler sitting in a studio apartment living room holding a note saying "I can't sorry". It moves to a scene, that is intercut throughout the video, where Horler is seen performing in front of a lit up brick wall. The first minute of the video features Horler singing in the living room. As the song approaches the chorus, Horler leaves the room and moves to a secluded room where she is seen crying. In that scene, there is also an opening that shows an image of the protagonist's former lover starring into the opening. After the chorus ends, Horler sits at a tattoo parlor while the artists gives her a tattoo. She is then seen sitting against a wall while the love interest gestures to the other side, attempting to reach out to her. As the video nears the final chorus, Horler is at a house party with her friends, appearing lonely and heartbroken.

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Recorded and produced at Plazmatek Studio Cologne in Cologne, Germany
  • Songwriting - Jeffrey Steele, Steve Robson
  • Production - Manuel Reuter, Yann Peifer
  • Vocals - Natalie Horler

Credits taken from Perfect Day liner notes.[31]

Track listing[edit]

  1. Yanou's Candlelight Mix (Ballad) - 3:56
  2. Radio edit – 3:41
  3. Topmodelz Radio Edit - 3:47
  4. Spencer & Hill Radio Edit - 3:30
  5. Original Extended - 5:17
  6. Extended Club Mix - 5:07
  7. Spencer & Hill Club Remix - 7:00
  8. "Last Christmas" (G. Michael) - 3:53

Versions[edit]

  • "What Hurts the Most" (Radio Edit) – 3:41
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Fugitives Megura Radio Edit) – 3:51
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Spencer & Hill Radio Edit) – 3:31
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Topmodelz Radio Edit) – 3:47
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Yanou's Candlelight Mix) – 3:56
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Extended Mix) – 5:18
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Spencer Hill Remix) – 7:00
  • "What Hurts the Most" (K-Klass Remix) – 6:05
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Top Modelz Remix) – 5:35
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Fugitives Megura Remix) – 5:58
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Ultrabeat Remix) – 5:52
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Darren Styles Remix) – 6:16
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Riff & Rays Remix) – 8:30
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Flip & Fill Remix) – 5:50
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Club Mix) – 5:07
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Spencer & Hill Dub Mix) – 6:00
  • "What Hurts the Most" (2-4 Grooves Remix) – 6:47
  • "What Hurts the Most" (Club Radio Edit) – 3:30
  • "What Hurts the Most" (DJ Uto Remix) – 3:26
  • "What Hurts the Most" (AL Storm Remix) - 4:30 [only on a compilation CD Ultimate Hardcore Volume 3]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Sweden November 21, 2007 CD single, digital download Bonnier
United Kingdom December 4, 2007 Digital download All Around the World
December 10, 2007 CD single
United States November 27, 2007 Digital download Robbins
December 4, 2007 CD single
Germany January 3, 2008 CD single, digital download Zooland

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"Calabria 2007" by Enur featuring Natasja
Billboard Hot Dance Airplay number-one single
February 2, 2008
Succeeded by
"Let Me Think About It" by Ida Corr vs Fedde le Grand

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Jeffrey Steele Reveals the Story Behind "What Hurts the Most"". Great American Country. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Week Ending Jan. 17, 2010: 21 Million Lady Gaga Fans Can’t Be Wrong". Chart Watch. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Chart Watch Extra: Lady A Makes Country History". Chart Watch. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "What Hurts the Most sheet music". MusicNotes.com. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Rascal Flatts.
  6. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Rascal Flatts.
  7. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Rascal Flatts.
  8. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Rascal Flatts.
  9. ^ "Rascal Flatts Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Rascal Flatts.
  10. ^ "Best of 2006: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2006. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  11. ^ "What Hurts the Most - Cascada". AllMusic. 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  12. ^ "Cascada - What Hurts the Most". iTunes (SE). Apple. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "Cascada - What Hurts the Most (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Cascada - What Hurts the Most". iTunes (GB). Apple. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Cascada – What Hurts The Most (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Cascada - What Hurts the Most (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c Mawer, Sharon. "Perfect Day - Cascada". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Cascada - What Hurts the Most Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Musicnotes.com. BPJ Administration. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  19. ^ Fletcher, Alex (December 4, 2007). "Cascada: "What Hurts the Most" - Music Singles Review". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Kirton, Kurt. "Cascada - Perfect Day". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  21. ^ Taylor, Chuck. "What Hurts the Most". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c "Swedishcharts.com – Cascada – What Hurts the Most". Singles Top 60.
  23. ^ a b "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  24. ^ a b c d "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
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  28. ^ a b "Cascada Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Cascada.
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  30. ^ a b "Cascada Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Cascada.
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  32. ^ "Cascada – What Hurts the Most – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Cascada – What Hurts the Most" (in French). Ultratip.
  34. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 200814 into search.
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  39. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Dance Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
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  42. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/954081/extreme-makeovers-billboard-charts-edition-part-2
  43. ^ Cascada – Perfect Day at AllMusic. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
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External links[edit]