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Song Stories

“Truly Madly Deeply”

Savage Garden | 1998

"Truly Madly Deeply" is one of the earliest songs written by this Australian duo, but if not for a clever rewrite, Savage Garden's biggest worldwide hit may never have seen the light of day. "'Truly Madly Deeply' was originally a slightly different song that Daniel Jones and I had written and recorded on our first-ever demo cassette that we shopped to labels back in 1994," Darren Hayes recalled. "The verses were exactly the same, but I'm rather embarrassed to admit the chorus did not exist." The Australian duo tweaked the song, and it set a record by staying on the Billboard singles chart for 123 weeks.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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