Never Tear Us Apart

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"Never Tear Us Apart"
Single by INXS
from the album Kick
  • "Different World" (7-inch mix)
  • "Guns in the Sky" (Kick Ass Remix)
ReleasedJune 1988 (1988-06)
  • 3:02 (single version)
  • 3:43 (video version)
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
INXS singles chronology
"Devil Inside"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
Music video
"Never Tear Us Apart" on YouTube

"Never Tear Us Apart" is a power ballad by Australian rock band INXS, released in June 1988 by WEA as the fourth single from their sixth studio album, Kick (1987).

Background and composition[edit]

The music was written by keyboardist Andrew Farriss, who recorded a blues-style demo; vocalist Michael Hutchence wrote the lyrics.

"Never Tear Us Apart" is a ballad, written in the tempo of a modern Viennese waltz, layered with synthesizers and containing dramatic pauses before the instrumental breaks. Kirk Pengilly lends a saxophone solo near the end. According to the liner notes of Shine Like It Does: The Anthology (1979–1997), the song was composed on piano as a bluesy number in the style of Fats Domino. Producer Chris Thomas suggested a synth-based arrangement instead.

Chart performance[edit]

The single reached No. 24 in the UK, and stayed on the charts for seven weeks. In the US, it reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In February 2014, after the Channel 7 screening of INXS: Never Tear Us Apart mini-series, "Never Tear Us Apart" charted again in Australia via download sales. It peaked at No. 11 on the ARIA Singles Chart, surpassing its original peak position of No. 14 back in 1988.

Critical reception[edit]

A reviewer from Cash Box said that "more impassioned crooning from Hutchence elevates this song" and also praised the "searing sax solo."[4] The Stud Brothers of Melody Maker wrote, "This pleads for passion by jump-starting a cello-like synth that kangaroos unhappily along until it collides with a great fairy of a saxophone which ultimately drags it to a sad demise."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song, featuring an extended intro, was filmed in various locations in Prague[6] along with "Guns in the Sky" and "New Sensation", all directed by Richard Lowenstein. As of December 2022, the video has a total view count of more than 93 million on YouTube from two versions, making it their most popular song on the platform.[7][8]

Impact and legacy[edit]

After Hutchence's death in 1997, his coffin was carried out of St Andrew's Cathedral by the remaining members of INXS and his younger brother Rhett as "Never Tear Us Apart" was played in the background.[9]

In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", listing the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "Never Tear Us Apart" was ranked number 18.[10]

In 2021, it was listed at No. 282 on Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Best Songs of All Time".[11]

The song appears in Euphoria Season 2 Episode 3. During the cold open flashback, Cal dances and embraces his friend Derek to the song.[12]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[35] 5× Platinum 350,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Platinum 600,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United Kingdom June 1988
Australia 8 August 1988 7-inch vinyl WEA [13]
Japan 25 September 1988 Mini-CD [37]

Tom Jones feat. Natalie Imbruglia version[edit]

"Never Tear Us Apart"
Single by Tom Jones feat. Natalie Imbruglia
from the album Reload
Released27 September 1999
Producer(s)Johnny Douglas
Tom Jones singles chronology
"Burning Down the House"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

The song was covered by Tom Jones for his 1999 album Reload featuring the Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia. The cover version also includes a music video.

Track listing[edit]

CD single

  1. "Never Tear Us Apart" – 3:08
  2. "Sunny Afternoon" – 3:26
  3. "Looking Out My Window" – 3:19
  4. "Sometimes We Cry" – 5:00

Remix version: "Precious Heart"[edit]

"Precious Heart"
Single by Tall Paul vs. INXS
from the album INXS²: The Remixes
Released6 August 2001 (2001-08-06)[38]
Producer(s)Paul Newman
INXS singles chronology
"Precious Heart"
"I'm So Crazy"

In August 2001, a remix called "Precious Heart" was released as a single, and credited as Tall Paul vs. INXS.

Track listing[edit]

Australian CD single

  1. "Precious Heart" (Radio Edit) – 3:36
  2. "Precious Heart" (Original Mix) – 7:40
  3. "Precious Heart" (Riva Mix) – 7:40
  4. "Precious Heart" (Marc O'Toole Remix) – 8:41
  5. "Precious Heart" (Lush Mix) – 8:42

UK CD single

  1. "Precious Heart" (Radio Edit) – 3:36
  2. "Precious Heart" (Original Mix) – 7:40
  3. "Precious Heart" (Lush Mix) – 8:42


Chart (2001) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[39] 27
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[40] 57
Ireland (IRMA)[41] 30
Scotland (OCC)[42] 10
UK Singles (OCC)[43] 14
UK Dance (OCC)[44] 2
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[45] 6

"Never Tear Us Apart" (2010 re-recording with Ben Harper and Mylène Farmer)[edit]

"Never Tear Us Apart"
Single by INXS featuring Ben Harper
Released12 August 2010
LabelPetrol Electric
INXS singles chronology
"Dream on Black Girl (Original Sin)"
"Never Tear Us Apart"

INXS re-recorded "Never Tear Us Apart" with Ben Harper and French singer Mylène Farmer, who wrote new French lyrics, for their twelfth studio album, Original Sin. The song was released on iTunes on 12 August 2010, and also as a promotional single to radio stations prior to the release of the album.

Paloma Faith version[edit]

"Never Tear Us Apart"
Single by Paloma Faith
from the album Fall to Grace
Released23 September 2012
Paloma Faith singles chronology
"30 Minute Love Affair"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
"Just Be"

"Never Tear Us Apart" was recorded by British singer Paloma Faith for a television advertisement campaign for John Lewis. The advert began airing in the UK from 15 September 2012.[46] Faith later confirmed that the song would be released as her next single on 23 September 2012.[47] She commented "I have always loved this song and I feel honoured to sing it."[47] "Never Tear Us Apart" was released as the first single from the reissued version of Faith's second studio album Fall to Grace and serves as the third single overall.[47] The artwork for the song shows the singer saluting, while wearing a metallic gold dress, with "a honeycomb-like bottom half".[47]

Faith's version of the song can be heard on the opening scene of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fifteenth-season episode "Beast's Obsession." It is also heard in the Netflix series Umbrella Academy. Faith's version also appeared in the first episode of the Showtime series Yellowjackets.[48]


Digital Spy's Lewis Corner gave Faith's version of the song four out of five stars.[49] He stated "It's a brave task to reinterpret a much-loved hit, but Faith's soulful tones immediately thwart any doubts that she can't do the song justice."[49] He added that while it was always going to be tough topping the original, Faith comes "admirably close."[49]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[50]
  1. "Never Tear Us Apart" – 3:05
  2. "Never Tear Us Apart" (Orchestral Version) – 3:05


Chart (2012) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[51] 42
Scotland (OCC)[52] 18
UK Singles (OCC)[53] 16


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Silver 200,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format
United Kingdom[47] 23 September 2012 Digital download

The Teskey Brothers version[edit]

In April 2021, The Teskey Brothers released a cover of "Never Tear Us Apart" in dedication to Michael Gudinski. Upon released, Josh said "This is an all-time classic Australian song that all of us love, its a pleasure to sing it and I don't know why we didn't do it earlier. We're very proud to dedicate this release to our friend Michael Gudinski who was a huge supporter of Australian music and The Teskey Brothers. Our two worlds collided and we will always be grateful for that."[55]

Use by Port Adelaide Football Club[edit]

Since March 2014, Australian Football League club Port Adelaide has adopted "Never Tear Us Apart" as an unofficial anthem leading up to the opening bounce at its home ground, Adelaide Oval.[56] It is a reference to various difficulties the club faced when trying to enter the AFL.[57][58]

Port Adelaide's use of the song stemmed from a trip to Anfield in November 2012 when Port Adelaide was in England to play an exhibition match against the Western Bulldogs.[59] Seeing the Anfield crowd's rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone", Matthew Richardson, Port's general manager of marketing and consumer business, sought to replicate the pre-match experience. At a meeting in mid-2013, the idea of an anthem was raised; various songs were suggested, including "Power and the Passion" by Midnight Oil and "Power to the People" by John Schumann. "Never Tear Us Apart" was suggested by Port Adelaide's events manager Tara MacLeod. It was eventually accepted, as it resonated with Port Adelaide's history: when Port Adelaide entered the AFL in 1997, it was forced to cut ties with its traditional base, the Port Adelaide Magpies, forming separate administrations and causing division amongst supporters.[59]

Initially, the song was introduced to coincide with the 60-second countdown before the start of a match, with the music playing over a video montage. Fans adopted the song, raising scarves above their heads as it was sung.[59] By June 2014, the club printed scarves with the words "Never Tear Us Apart" on them that fans would hold aloft and sing in unison prior to the start of matches.[58][60]


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