“Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS
INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart” is a song that has been described as “simple”, which it is from a sentimental standpoint. It is based on the concept of two individuals meeting each other and forming an instant, lifelong rapport – love at first sight, as some people call it.
And even though the lyrics are never overtly romantic such is the impression we get from metaphors such as the singer and addressee’s ‘two worlds colliding’, and him asserting that no outside power would ever be able to ‘tear them apart’.
But it is also some of these same metaphors which, in a way, prove to be more indecipherable. Or rather let’s say that this is a case where the overall context of the piece overrides specific lyrics – a well-written song perhaps being another way to put it.
So for instance, we don’t have to strain our brains trying to pin down what expressions like “if I hurt you I’d make wine from your tears” actually means. For we know based on the rest of the tune that at the end of the day, all of the lyrics point to the singer’s undying love for the addressee.
But it is also such lyrical ambiguity, if you will, which gives this song a general applicability, even if it can logically be deemed as being romantic in nature. For instance, such an instant, undying love connection can also be formed between, say, a mother and her newborn child.
That is why this song has been utilized not only in weddings but also other life events like birth celebrations and funerals (even that of the singer himself). And that is because, simply put, it is based on the one person proclaiming that under no circumstance can his love for the other be torn asunder.
This track’s music video was entirely filmed in Prague (capitol of the Czech Republic) by Richard Lowenstein. And he used the opportunity to also shoot the videos of two other INXS songs
INXS is a crew that has been heralded as “Australia’s’ most successful 80s rock band”. They were in existence from 1977 to 2012 and within that time frame dropped a dozen studio albums. And this particular track is from the sixth of those efforts, which is entitled “Kick” (1987).
INXS members Andrew Farriss (multi-instrumentalist) and the late Michael Hutchence (1960-1997, lead vocalist) wrote this song. And during the Kick days, the rest of the band was fleshed out by the following:
- Garry Gary Beers (bassist)
- Jon Farriss (drummer)
- Tim Farriss (guitarist)
- Kirk Pengilly (saxophonist)
And to note the three of them with the last name “Farris” are in fact brothers, with Tim being the oldest. Andrew is the middle and Jon the last.
Facts about “Never Tear Us Apart”
“Never Tear Us Apart” came out on 19 October 1987. And the following year Atlantic Records sent it out on its own (along with a B-side) as the fourth single from “Kick”.
The producer of the track is Chris Thomas. Thomas actually has a notable history alongside The Beatles, Sir Elton John and other big names, including INXS.
This song played a major role at the funeral of Michael Hutchence, who committed suicide at the age of 37.
Chart-wise this track performed better stateside than it did in INXS’ homeland of Australia, where in the former case it reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 (compared to 14 on the ARIA chart). However, it did go platinum down under. And overall it charted in a lot of nations, including breaking the top 30 in Britain.
“Never Tear Us Apart” re-charted in Oceania in 2014. That was when a miniseries was aired about the band entitled INXS: Never Tear Us Apart. And that time around it performed better on the ARIA chart, peaking at number 11.
Also Tall Paul, a DJ from England, dropped a remix of this song which is actually entitled “Precious Heart” in 2001. Said track is actually credited to Tall Paul vs. INXS. And that rendition did better on the UK Singles Chart than the original, reaching a peak position of 14.
And in 2012 another British musician, Paloma Faith, came out with a version which also did well in the UK, peaking at number 16 in addition to being certified silver.
As of 2014 this song has also been adopted as an unofficial anthem of fans of Port Adelaide, an Australian professional soccer team.