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"Never Tear Us Apart" was 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 is by Andrew Farriss, and the lyrics are by Michael Hutchence.

"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 , 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 Praguemarker 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 7 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.)

The song was also used on the 100th episode of American teen drama, One Tree Hill but never made it to the DVD version as INXS would not allow the song to be played outside of the US. Fans agree that the replacement song did not have the same impact on the scene as "Never Tear Us Apart."

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

Recently, the song has been adopted by The Squadron, the Newcastle United Jets supporter group, and sung in unison at the 40th and 85th minute of their A-League association football matches. 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. The song's popularity has prompted a move to have the song be played at the beginning of each half, first happening on the 18th October 2008, when the Jets defeated the Melbourne Victory 1-0.


Chart (1988) Peak

Australian ARIA Singles Chart 14
Canadian Singles Chart 21
France Singles Chart 48
German Singles Chart 66
UK Singles Chart 24
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 7
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 5
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 28

Remix version: "Precious Heart"

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

Track listing

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

  • "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

Australian ARIA Singles Chart 27
German Singles Chart 30
UK Singles Chart 14

Cover versions

The song was covered by Tom Jones for his 1999 album Reload featuring the Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia.

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

A bluegrass version is occasionally performed by The Packway Handle Band.

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

The hardcore band This Is Hell covered the track on their 2009 EP "Warbirds".


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