“Never Tear Us Apart” was a single released in August 1988. It was 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 who wrote the lyrics.
“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. 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. See the map below showing all the locations of the INXS video filming.
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. This song is now thought of by many original INXS fans as Hutchence’s anthem.
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 start and 90th 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 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.
The song is also sung by the crowd before the start of Port Adelaide Football Club home games in the Australian Football League while scarves are held up, much in the same style of Liverpool F.C.’s prematch renditions of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. This initiative was conceived by supporter group The Alberton Crowd, which the club has subsequently supported.
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.