Never Tear Us Apart (3:01)

Cover of Kick

From Kick and 91 other releases

“Never Tear Us Apart” is a single released by Australian rock group INXS in August 1988. It was also included on the band’s sixth studio album, Kick. The music was written by Andrew Farriss, who recorded a blues style demo and gave it to Michael Hutchence. The INXS singer then penned a personal love lyric, which was straight from the heart.

“Never Tear Us Apart” is a sensuous ballad, 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 originally 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 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.

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. This song is now thought of by many original INXS fans as Hutchence’s anthem.

The song was used in the opening sequence of the director’s cut of the 2001 cult film, Donnie Darko. 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.)

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