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INXS - Never Tear Us Apart (1988)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.67
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“Never Tear Us Apart” is a single released by Australian rock group INXS in August 1988. It was included on the ...

“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; vocalist Michael Hutchence 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 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.

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.

In January 2018, as part of Triple M’s “Ozzest 100”, the ‘most Australian’ songs of all time, “Never Tear Us Apart” was ranked number 18.

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