Never Tear Us Apart

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"Never Tear Us Apart"
Never Tear Us Apart.jpg
Single by INXS
from the album Kick
  • "Different World" (7" mix)
  • "Guns in the Sky" (Kick Ass Remix)
Released 8 August 1988
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 3:02 (single version)
3:43 (video version)
Label Atlantic
Producer(s) Chris Thomas
INXS singles chronology
"New Sensation"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
"New Sensation"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
Kick track listing
"Wild Life"
"Never Tear Us Apart"

"Never Tear Us Apart" is a single released by Australian rock group INXS in August 1988. It was included on the band's sixth studio album, Kick. The music was written by keyboardist Andrew Farriss, who recorded a blues-style demo and gave it to vocalist Michael Hutchence who wrote the lyrics.

"Never Tear Us Apart" is a sensuous 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 cathartic 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.

The video for the song, featuring an extended intro, was filmed in various locations in Prague[2] along with "Guns in the Sky" and "New Sensation", all directed by Richard Lowenstein.

The single reached #24 in the UK, and stayed on the charts for seven weeks. In the U.S., it reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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

The song was used in the opening sequence of Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut. It would have been featured in the original release had the rights for it not been deemed too expensive by the producers. ("The Killing Moon" by Echo & the Bunnymen served as its replacement.)[3]

In 2006, the song was voted "Nation's Favourite Lyric" by viewers of pay TV music channel VH1 in Australia.

The song has been adopted by The Squadron, the Newcastle United Jets supporter group, and sung in unison at the start and 90th minute of their A-League association football matches.[citation needed] This is in homage to the line, "cause we all have wings, but some of us don't know why", used now in reference to the Jets symbol of their club.[citation needed] The song's popularity among supporters has prompted a move to have the song be played at the beginning of each match, first happening on 18 October 2008, when the Jets defeated the Melbourne Victory 1−0.[citation needed]

Ever since March 2014, Australian Football League club Port Adelaide has adopted "Never Tear Us Apart" as the club's unofficial anthem leading up to the opening bounce at its new home of Adelaide Oval. It is a reference to the various and unique difficulties the club faced when trying to enter the AFL. The song was introduced to coincide with the 60-second countdown before the start of a match, with the music playing over the top of a video montage. The song was a success amongst the fans, with the fans adopting the song, and raising scarves above their heads as the song was being sung.[1 1] So successful was the song that by June 2014, the club printed club-coloured scarves with the words "Never Tear Us Apart" on them that fans would hold aloft while singing in unison prior to the start of matches.

The song, sung by Emma Louise, was included in an advertising campaign for South Australian Tourism Commission,[4] released on 2 February 2014.

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 #11 on the ARIA Singles Chart, surpassing its original peak position of #14 back in 1988.

Cover versions[edit]

Tom Jones covered this song in his album Reload in a duet with Natalie Imbruglia.

The song was also covered by Joe Cocker for his 2002 album Respect Yourself.

Bono, a good friend of Hutchence, sometimes snippets the chorus during live performances of several U2 songs.[5]

The hardcore band, This Is Hell, covered the track on their 2009 EP Warbirds. "Never Tear Us Apart" was also covered by 2010 X Factor Australia winner Altiyan Childs for his self-titled debut album. In 2011, punk rock supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes recorded a cover of the song on their all Australian covers EP, Go Down Under.

The Vitamin String Quartet covered the song in the 100th episode of Gossip Girl.[6][7][8]

Beck with St. Vincent on vocals, recorded a cover of the song in May 2010 for Beck's Record Club, which invites musicians to cover an album in one day (sans rehearsal and redos) and then release one song each week as a single.[9][10]

The Horrible Crowes recorded a cover version live on Sirius XM radio, that was used as the b-side to their single "Ladykiller".

In June 2012, American singer Carrie Underwood covered the song during one of the shows of the Australian leg of her Blown Away World Tour.[11]

Also in 2012, Indie/Folk artist Cary Brothers covered the song as the opening track of his EP Covers Volume One.

Paloma Faith covered the song for a John Lewis TV advert, aired from 15 September 2012, and released it as the third single from her Brit Award nominated album Fall To Grace.

In 2014, Samantha Jade covered the song. It was the B-side to her single "Up!".

In 2015, Tina Arena covered the song and included it on the European edition of her Songs of Love & Loss album.


Chart (1988–89) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[12] 14
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[13] 8
Canadian RPM 30 Retail Singles[14] 9
Canadian RPM Top Singles[15] 9
France (SNEP)[16] 48
Germany (Official German Charts)[17] 66
Ireland (IRMA)[18] 98
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[19] 7
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[20] 9
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[21] 21
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 24
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 7
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[24] 5
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[25] 28
Chart (2014) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[12] 11
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[21] 27

Tom Jones feat. Natalie Imbruglia version[edit]

"Never Tear Us Apart"
Single by Tom Jones feat. Natalie Imbruglia
from the album Reload
Released 27 September 1999
Format CD single
Recorded 1998
Genre Rock
Length 3:08
Producer(s) Johnny Douglas
Tom Jones singles chronology
"Burning Down the House"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
"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"
1 tallpaulprecious.jpg
Single by Tall Paul vs. INXS
from the album INXS²: The Remixes
Released 2001
Format CD single
Recorded 2001
Genre House
Label Mercury
"Precious Heart"
INXS singles chronology
(1997) Searching1997
"Precious Heart"
(2001) Precious Heart2001
"I'm So Crazy"
(2001) I'm So Crazy2001

In 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

Official versions[edit]

  • "Precious Heart" (original mix) – 7:40
  • "Precious Heart" (radio edit) – 3:36
  • "Precious Heart" (Lush Mix) – 8:42
  • "Precious Heart" (Marc O'Toole Remix) – 8:41
  • "Precious Heart" (Riva Mix) – 7:40


Chart (2001) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[26] 27
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 14

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

"Never Tear Us Apart"
Single by INXS featuring Ben Harper
Released 12 August 2010
Format iTunes single
Recorded 2010
Genre Rock
Length 4:00
Label Petrol Electric
INXS singles chronology
"Dream on Black Girl (Original Sin)"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
"Dream on Black Girl (Original Sin)"
"Never Tear Us Apart"

"Never Tear Us Apart" was re-recorded by INXS with Ben Harper for their twelfth studio album, Original Sin. The song has been released on iTunes and as a promotional single to radio stations prior to the release of the new album.

Ben Harper has been known to perform "Never Tear Us Apart" at his concerts since 2009, especially when in Australia. He revealed in an interview on Australia's Nova FM on 2 August 2010, "At this point, I've lived that song. I've lived enough years and gone through enough in my life to have earned the right to sing that song." On Sydney's Triple M, he stated "covering "Never Tear Us Apart" is like covering "Dock of the Bay". I'm not here to make grandiose over-statements - it's just a fuckin' fact. That's one of the greatest soul songs ever written."

On 1 August 2010, the song was made available on (a playable version only, not available for download). The audio version was accompanied by a YouTube video of Ben Harper performing the song with Jon Farriss at the "Splendour in the Grass" festival at Woodford, Queensland, Australia, filmed on 30 July 2010.

The song was released on iTunes on 12 August 2010.

INXS re-recorded "Never Tear Us Apart" with Ben Harper and French singer Mylène Farmer who wrote new French lyrics for this new version. The song was to be the first single from the 2010 INXS album in November in France and Belgium.

Paloma Faith version[edit]

"Never Tear Us Apart"
Single by Paloma Faith
from the album Fall to Grace
Released 23 September 2012
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Length 3:05
Label RCA Records
Paloma Faith singles chronology
"30 Minute Love Affair"
"Never Tear Us Apart"
"Just Be"
"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.[28] Faith later confirmed that the song would be released as her next single on 23 September 2012.[29] She commented "I have always loved this song and I feel honoured to sing it."[29] "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.[29] The artwork for the song shows the singer saluting, while wearing a metallic gold dress, with "a honeycomb-like bottom half".[29]


Digital Spy's Lewis Corner gave Faith's version of the song four out of five stars.[30] 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."[30] He added that while it was always going to be tough topping the original, Faith comes "admirably close."[30]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[31]
  1. "Never Tear Us Apart" – 3:05
  2. "Never Tear Us Apart" (Orchestral Version) – 3:05


Chart (2012) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[32] 42
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[27] 16


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Silver 200,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Release date Format
United Kingdom[29] 23 September 2012 Digital download


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  1. ^ Andrew Jett. "10 Best Pop Rock Songs". Mademan. Break Media. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Google Maps - Never Tear Us Apart locations
  3. ^ Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut DVD commentary
  4. ^ KWP! Advertising. "Adelaide. Breathe.". Youtube. KWP! Advertising. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "U2 Never Tear Us Apart - U2 on tour". Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  6. ^ "Gossip Girl Music - Season 5, Episode 13". The CW. January 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Marsi, Steve (31 January 2012 10). "Gossip Girl Music From "G.G."". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2 April 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ Eckstein, David (25 January 2012). "'Gossip Girl' EP: We've been 'planning Blair's wedding since the pilot'". Zap2it. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  9. ^ André Lupesi says: (2010-05-25). "INXS "Never Tear Us Apart" « Beck / Record Club". Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  10. ^ Michelle Luksh (2011-01-04). "INXS - Never Tear Us Apart (Beck Cover Ft. St. Vincent, Liars & Os Mutantes) :: Indie Shuffle Music Blog". Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  11. ^ "Carrie Underwood Covers INXS’ ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ (VIDEO)". 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  12. ^ a b " – INXS – Never Tear Us Apart". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ " – INXS – Never Tear Us Apart" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ "Never tear us apart in Canadian Adult Contemporary Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 48, No. 26, October 15, 1988". RPM. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  16. ^ " – INXS – Never Tear Us Apart" (in French). Les classement single.
  17. ^ " – INXS – Never Tear Us Apart". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  18. ^ "Top 100 Singles - Week ending 18th October 2012". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – INXS search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  20. ^ " – INXS – Never Tear Us Apart" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  21. ^ a b " – INXS – Never Tear Us Apart". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Archive Chart: 1988-07-09" UK Singles Chart.
  23. ^ "INXS – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for INXS.
  24. ^ "INXS – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for INXS.
  25. ^ "INXS – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for INXS.
  26. ^ " – Tall Paul vs. INXS – Precious Heart". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  27. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 2001-08-18" UK Singles Chart. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_UK_" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  28. ^ "John Lewis ad turns clock back". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  29. ^ a b c d e Corner, Lewis (20 September 2012). "Paloma Faith confirms new single 'Never Tear Us Apart'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  30. ^ a b c Corner, Lewis (26 September 2012). "Paloma Faith: 'Never Tear Us Apart' - Single review". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  31. ^ "Never Tear Us Apart - Single". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  32. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  33. ^ "British single certifications – Paloma Faith – Never Tear Us Apart". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Never Tear Us Apart in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]