The Singles, by Savage Garden
There is frequently something interesting about best of compilations, as they serve as an entrance into a group that many would not otherwise know. This is the reverse of the process that happens for those who were fans of the original. It appears very unlikely at this point that we will ever get any new Savage Garden music, and so we must be content with the two great albums of pop music that we got, and yet in the years since the band broke up there have now been two compilations of the group’s music, both of which I have now listened to. If you are a fan of music and you are interested in getting to know Savage Garden as an act, which is the better compilation to listen to, given that both of them are about the same length? Let us investigate.
This album is sixteen songs long and contains eight songs from both of the studio albums, demonstrating that in the past albums had pretty long runs, a far different situation from today. The album is organized in chronological order of the release of the singles, which gives an interesting look when there are songs that don’t catch on before much more familiar later singles, which indicates that this album probably does not distinguish between promo singles and ones that are actively pushed by the label. Be that as it may, there are no duds here. The songs can be neatly divided between those songs that are very well known, those songs that are known by fans of the band if not by the general public, and those which are very obscure to most listeners. Savage Garden has only two songs that are well-known by the general public, their two #1 hits, one from each album (“Truly Madly Deeply” and “I Knew I Loved You”), with two other songs from their first album being a bit less well known (“I Want You” and “To The Moon And Back”). Most of the songs that Savage Garden fans would know and like most from the two studio albums are here as well (“Universe,” “Santa Monica,” “Tears Of Pearls,” “The Animal Song,” “Crash And Burn,” “Affirmation,” “Chained To You,” “Hold Me,” and “The Best Thing.” These are all pretty stellar pop songs as well. Only a couple of songs, like “All Around Me,” and “She” are obscure, and even these are decent enough if not as memorable as the rest.
In examining this album compared to the other Savage Garden retrospective that I have listened to, I have to say that I like this one a lot more to listen to. At least fourteen of the songs are ones that stick in my head as songs I want to listen to again. That is a vastly better ratio than the other retrospective, which means that on a scale of what songs one wants to listen to more, this album is the option for those who like the music that the albums had on them, and if one likes just about everything here one can always go to the two studio albums to see the few songs that are left off. That said, there are reasons why one would like to listen to the other retrospective if one wants to listen to B-sides of their most popular singles as well as hear what Darren Hayes is up to these days. If that is more to your tastes, that is fine, if they are not my particular tastes.