This was the third song lifted off the self-titled debut album by Savage Garden, in March 1997, following the success of their first single I Want You which was pre-released before the album, and their first Australian #1 hit To the Moon and Back, which both charted in 1996. Hayes and Jones had been sent to Sydney for eight months by their label Roadshow, a small independent outfit, to develop their debut album, Jones came from a highly musical family, he could play drums and keyboards and had played in a number of bar bands around Brisbane, when he and his Red Edge bandmates advertised for a lead singer. Hayes auditioned for the job, he was a relatively naïve young man who had no live musical experience, and had spent a lot of time in his family home working on songs or obsessing about Star Wars and ET, and although Red Edge had reservations about him, his voice actually broke during the audition, Jones saw his potential and soon Jones and Hayes became the duo Crush, in 1993.
When the two went to Sydney to work on their debut album, Hayes was 23 years old, had never lived away from his family in Logan (Brisbane) before, nor had he been physically separated from his then-wife, make-up artist Colby Taylor his childhood sweetheart, who he had married in 1994 (the couple below). They would subsequently separate in 1998 and divorce in 2000, when Hayes revealed that he was gay.
While Jones and Hayes were temperamentally quite different people their professional working relationship seemed to be amicable, although Jones detested the trappings of pop star life while Hayes was naturally drawn to it, so that by 2000 their relationship had severely deteriorated, and they would irrevocably split in 2001.
The development of Truly Madly Deeply was not without some drama, the actual chorus was hotly debated right up until the recording of the song, which had originally sprung from very humble beginnings, as one of 150 songs that the duo, still calling themselves Crush, had submitted to record companies when they were looking to secure a recording contract, all of which had been rejected. The song was originally entitled Magical Kisses, and in addition to a cheesy title and some saccharine lyrics, Jones didn’t like the chorus which Hayes rewrote over a coffee in the Bayswater Brasserie, Kings Cross (Syd) to reflect a more organic, environmentally-connected physical relationship between the man and woman. The next day the duo presented the new chorus to producer Charles Fisher (Moving Pictures, Air Supply, 1927), below with the duo, who was delighted, and tipped it would be a #1, it was and also became the most played song on US radio in 1997!
The song was musically inventive, languid and dream-like, but the lyrics were more prosaic, which is why the song became the slow-dance choice of fans all over the world “I’ll be your dream, I’ll be your wish, I’ll be your fantasy/ I’ll be your hope, I’ll be your love, be everything that you need/ I’ll love you more with every breath, truly madly deeply do.”
It was simply a passionate love song which embraced nature and cosmic forces, not unlike songs of the peace/love era in the 1960’s, and the revamped chorus neatly captured this ambience “I want to stand with you on a mountain/ I want to bathe with you in the sea/ I want to live like this forever/ Until the sky falls down on me.”
This romantic ballad would become one of Savage Garden’s biggest international hits, it was their first US #1, staying on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart for 123 weeks, held the #1 spot in Australia for 8 weeks and was #4 in the UK. APRA acknowledged the song as one of the best 30 Australian songs written in the period 1926- 2001, and with global sales in excess 2 million, including 1.2 million in the UK alone, Savage Garden quickly dismissed speculation that they were a one-hit wonder.
The song was covered, by German Eurodance performer Cascada in 2006, and was a big hit all over again, #4 in the UK, #14 US dance charts, and top 40 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands.