The Notebook • I Knew I loved You • Savage Garden

!The best soundtracks&movies of all time! From the 2004 Nick Cassavetes film “The Notebook” with Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner & Gena Rowlands.

I Knew I Loved You” is a song recorded by Australian pop duo Savage Garden, released on 28 September 1999 through Roadshow Music and Columbia Records as the second single from their second studio album, Affirmation (1999). Upon release, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band’s second number one in the United States after “Truly Madly Deeply”. It was the last song by an Australian artist to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for over 12 years, until Gotye peaked at number one with his single “Somebody That I Used to Know” (featuring Kimbra) in 2012. The song also reached number one in Canada and Romania, number three in New Zealand and Sweden, number four in Australia, and the top 10 in Norway and the United Kingdom.

The music video features then teen actress Kirsten Dunst as Darren Hayes’ love interest and received heavy rotation on MTV.

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Background

“I Knew I Loved You”‘s lyrics refer to the joy and sense of completion one feels after finally finding the right person to love. The irrational nature of such love is emphasised through the pre-chorus (“I know that it might sound more than a little crazy, but I believe”) and the chorus (“I knew I loved you before I met you, I think I dreamed you into life”).

In June 2015, a series of videos was posted on the duo’s Facebook page to provide background on the songs included on The Singles compilation album. The story behind “I Knew I Loved You” was thus narrated by guitarist Daniel Jones: having finished recording material for Affirmation, Hayes and Jones were challenged by Columbia Records executive Don Ienner to produce the next “Truly Madly Deeply”. The duo argued that “Truly Madly Deeply” was a one-of-its-kind song and could not be replicated, but also realised that their second album lacked a love ballad. Hayes and Jones went on to compose “I Knew I Loved You” and submitted it to the record label’s executives, who were delighted with the result as they felt it was a strong contender to succeed “Truly Madly Deeply” as the band’s US chart topper.

Singer Darren Hayes further explained that the song was born out of a paradoxical situation, being a love song written “in about 40 minutes out of spite towards the record company” at a time when he felt “wounded by love”.

Critical reception

Bill Lamb from About.com noted “I Knew I Loved You” as a “romantic ballad”. AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it “hooky and memorable”. Larry Flick from Billboard described the song “as cool and crisp as the autumn air, this simple, direct ballad projects a sweet message of knowing love when you see it.” He noted that the song “glides along amid a soft, easy beat, with vocalist Hayes sounding more at ease and confident than ever, like he’s singing a timeless classic.” He also added that “drenched harmonies add to the overall impact” and called it “absolutely enchanting, one of the most beautiful songs yet of 1999”. Bob Waliszewski of Plugged In said that it “describes how it feels to be hopelessly in love”.

Commercial performance

The song was a huge success in the United States, on the Billboard Hot 100, where it spent four weeks at the top, and an eventual 124 weeks on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, breaking the record for 123 weeks set by another of the duo’s songs, “Truly Madly Deeply” (which, in terms of sales and later time spent on the Recurrents chart, is still the number one AC song of all time). It ranked number 21 on the All Time Adult Contemporary Chart. The song was also certified Platinum by the RIAA and became the highest-played song on US radio of 2000.

Music video

The music video was filmed by director Kevin Bray in August 1999 on a New York City Subway set that had previously been used on the sitcom Seinfeld. It features Hayes playing out a romantic plot on a subway train, with a female passenger (played by American actress Kirsten Dunst) as the object of his affections.

At one point, the train comes to a stop due to a power outage (at 2:24); red emergency lighting comes on and everyone in the carriage joins hands. Hayes, who is sitting opposite his aforementioned love interest, extends his hand to her.

As they touch, the video cuts to a montage of the couple walking through a park, bathed in sunlight, laughing and holding hands. The video then cuts back to the carriage as the power comes back on and the train pulls into the station. Hayes and the woman exit with the other passengers, and share a fleeting glance before going their separate ways. Shots of the band performing alone on the subway platform and in the carriage are interspersed throughout the video.

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