This midtempo ballad finds the guys gushing expressions of romantic affection, according to songwriter Carlsson the song was inspired by Metallica song ‘Nothing Else Matters’. When asked about the story of the song, co-writer Carlsson said: “There’s really not much story, although our hero seems concerned about his relationship. When Max came up with the original idea for the song, it already had the line ‘you are my fire, the one desire.’ We tried a million different variations on the second verse, and finally we had to go back to what was sounding so great, ‘you are my fire, the one desire.’ And then we changed it to ‘am I your fire, your one desire’, which made absolutely no sense in combination with the chorus – but everybody loved it! Basically the song is about a guy who’s in love with a woman but he doesn’t want to get rejected. But, she may not feel the same way about him. Regardless if she wants things to be the same way he does, he will still continue to love her and want things to be “that” way even if they never will be. This isn’t about an official relationship between a man and woman. It is about loving someone who doesn’t really know that you love them. You want to reveal your true feelings for them, but you don’t know how they feel about you or how they will react. This explains the: “You are, my fire, the one, desire, Believe, when I say I want it that way.” The man is secretly in love with the woman and is saying he wants her and only her. He wants it to stay that way. The only way that could change is if he gets rejected. They are “two world apart” and he can’t “reach to her heart.” So, he is keeping his feelings to himself at first. He is afraid if he tells her how he loves her “that way” she won’t love him “that” same way. She may not feel “that” same way about him. This is what it means by: “Am I, your fire? Your one, desire, Yes I know, it’s too late, but I want it that way, tell me why, ain’t nothin’ but a heartache, tell me why, ain’t nothin’ but a mistake, tell me why, I never wanna hear you say, I want it that way.” The girl and him are not together but he want to be with her. He wants things to be one way but they are both living is two different worlds and there is no guarantee that she wants things “That” way.
Release Date: April 12, 1999
Songwriter/s: Andreas Carlsson – Max Martin
Chart Rankings: The band’s most successful song topped the US Billboard Hot 100 charts, the Adult Contemporary, US Mainstream Top 40, US Mainstream Top 40 Recurrents and the Top 40 Track charts. In the UK, it also topped the Official Charts Company and was certified Platinum for sales over 600,000 copies. ‘I want it that way’ topped the charts in several countries around the world including Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. The song was certified double Platinum in Japan and Sweden, Platinum in Australia, Belgium, Germany and New Zealand. In Austria and Switzerland it was certified Gold.
Artist’s age on Release Date: The boy band was active for 6 years when they released this song.
Cover Versions: Backstreet Boys featuring Meghan Trainor – Dynamite Boy – Ryan Adams – Selena Gomez & the Scene – JLS – Vanilla Fudge – Steel Panther – Glee Cast – Charli XCX – One Direction – Kurt Hugo Schneider – Boyce Avenue – Ahmir – Ashley Lawless – SDJM & Conor Maynard – London Austin – Anthem Lights – Tom Mann (The X Factor UK) – Jason Chen X Joseph Vincent – Rough Copy (The X Factor UK) – PostmodernJukebox – other Youtubers covered this song.