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History of Savage Garden



Back in the early '90s there was a band called Red Edge. Band member Daniel Jones placed an advertisement in Time Off magazine (a local Brisbane music newspaper) looking for a singer for Red Edge. The advertisement read: ''SERIOUS LEAD VOCALIST WANTED FOR COMMERCIAL MUSICAL OUTFIT PRESENTLY FINANCED BY MAJOR PUBLISHING COMPANY.''

A couple of days later a young university student called Darren Hayes read the magazine and discovered Daniel's advertisement. At the audition Darren sang a horrible version of the title song from an unknown movie but since all the other applicants were even worse he still got the job.

 Red Edge (which was a covers band, pic below) lasted for around 18 months but when Darren found singing other musicians' songs unfulfilling, he and Daniel started to write their own songs. Even though they had little experience in songwriting they managed to create some songs inspired by the style of their '80s heroes. ''We had high aspirations from the start'' says Daniel. ''We talked about a record deal as if we already had one. We never thought if this happens. Right from the beginning it was always when it does.''

Daniel and Darren spent almost 12 months writing and recording and the first two songs they ever wrote together were A Thousand Words and To The Moon & Back. Those songs were included on their first demo tape (which also contained the song Mine). Over 150 tapes were sent out to different record companies and publishers but the only positive response came from Australian manager John Woodruff... All the frustration and waiting had paid off. Daniel and Darren were offered a management deal and a record contract from Roadshow/Warner Music.

Savage Garden got there name from the Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice. Explains Darren, "Vampires call their world a savage garden. Their world is primitive and savage." Darren and Daniel had many names that interested them before they came upon Savage Garden, however, they were all taken by other artists. Both admit that choosing their name was a very frustrating experience.
It took almost 8 months to record the debut album of Savage Garden (which was produced by Charles Fisher) but finally on July 1, 1996 the first single of the album (I Want You) was released. I Want You went to number 4 on the Australian ARIA charts and became the biggest selling Australian single for 1996! The next single, To The Moon & Back, was a huge success in Australia and went all the way to number 1 on the charts, as did Truly Madly Deeply.
The American interest in Savage Garden began when radio consultant Guy Zapoleon, attending a radio conference in Australia, heard I Want You and took a copy back to the US where he made copies for radio associates. Before its single release in the US I Want You was already getting airplay on 50 US radio stations! The result of that? The US breakthrough of Savage Garden was particularly dramatic.


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