Savage Garden’s catalogue of recorded works has shifted to Sony Music in a global deal that includes the chart-dominating Aussie pop-duo’s hits “Truly Madly Deeply,” “To The Moon and Back,” “I Knew I Loved You,” “I Want You” and the first two solo albums by frontman Darren Hayes.
John Woodruff, the Australian artist manager and music entrepreneur, sold ownership interests in the group’s masters represented by his company, John Woodruff Management (Exports) or JWM.
Financial term were not disclosed in the deal which will see the music giant, through Sony Music U.S. and Sony Music Entertainment Australia, own Savage Garden’s eponymously-titled debut album and Affirmation, both of which cracked the top ten of the Billboard 200 and Official U.K. Albums Charts and went to No. 1 in their homeland. Also included in the deal are the first two solo albums by Hayes, 2002’s Spin and 2004’s The Tension and the Spark, both released through Columbia.
Well before the current wave of Aussie hitmakers, Hayes and Daniel Jones were the biggest thing in pop from Down Under. Hailing from Logan City, south of Brisbane, Savage Garden topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998 with “Truly Madly Deeply,” and again in 2000 with “I Knew I Loved You.” Their 1997 track “I Want You” also reached No. 4 in the U.S. and two other singles cracked the top 40.
In 1997, the group cleaned up at the 1997 ARIA Awards, where they took home a record 10 prizes, they collected four Billboard Music Awards in the years 1998-2000, and in 2001, “Truly Madly Deeply” made the history books when it was listed in APRA’s Top 30 Australian songs, published in celebration of the rights society’s 75th anniversary.
The pair went their separate ways in late 2001, after which time Hayes embarked a solo career which has yielded four studio albums to date.
“I will forever be indebted to John Woodruff who, in 1995, was the only ‘yes’ underneath a room full of rejection letters,” says Hayes in a statement announcing the deal. “He plucked us from obscurity and believed in us without any outside interference. His dedication to the idea of what we could be, catapulted us all the way from the suburbs of Brisbane Australia to the overwhelming madness of New York’s Madison Avenue and the hallowed halls of Columbia Records. That impossible journey profoundly changed all of our lives for the better.”
He also paid tribute to the architect of the deal, Denis Handlin, chairman & CEO, Australia & New Zealand and president, Asia, Sony Music Entertainment. “There’s a poetic justice knowing that our master recordings have now returned home, humbly, under the guardianship of another Brisbane music industry legend, Denis Handlin. The full circle-ness feels right and I’m incredibly grateful to John for taking us home, and to Denis and all at Sony Music Australia for their respect for our catalogue.”
Daniel Jones added: “To finally be signed to our ‘now worldwide label’ in our home country is just perfect. Growing up in Australia and watching the success stories of artists behind the mastermind Denis Handlin and his amazing team at Sony has always been an inspiration for me. I could not be happier! I belong here, I plan to stay here, I am home.”