Endless Loop: Never Tear Us Apart

inxsHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS

Ah…love songs, the oft maligned, oft adored pop nuggets to woo our hearts and/or groins. They abound. Throughout the years and decades of popular music, these “silly little love songs” seem to come at us with such consistent ferocity, that it’s all too easy to take them for granted. Of course it certainly doesn’t help that for every striking, earnest, moving, or poignant sonnet of adoration and warmth, there are another hundred odes to bullshit to go along with it. It can be hard to find a love song worth a damn. But they do exist…and the ones that stick with you are usually for good, maybe as a torch for your companion, or a faded audio photograph of long lost love, or as symbol for everything you want love to be. Australian pop rock troubadours INXS managed to do all of that and then some with 1987’s “Never Tear Us Apart.”

Let’s get this out of the way first. Kick, the album that “Never Tear Us Apart” comes from, is one of the best albums of the 1980’s, hands down. It spawned hit after hit after hit, and is a rock solid pop beast from start to finish, a fine collection of earworms if there ever was one. And it doesn’t nearly get the love it deserves. There. I feel better now. Let’s get to the love.

Lyrically speaking, the tune falls in line with a lot of generic love song tropes and trappings, the exclamation of eternal love, allusions to angels, and sweet promises. But the melody is just so good, that it doesn’t matter. Those needing lyrics just become another piece to a much grander whole. The layers of synthesizer string section lulling and swaying out the rhythms to a Viennese Waltz while Michael Hutchence* croons and bleeds…the guitar and drum hit at the end of each chorus…the wailing saxophone solo. All the cogs working in unison to create an utterly piece of pop. Goddamn I love that saxophone.

For a long stretch of my life, I completely forgot about this song, and INXS too. That certainly was a travesty on my part, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Songs and artists eventually fade from the cultural lexicon, only to be rediscovered and/or reevaluated at a later date like some kind of lost relic or artifact. And maybe sometimes, that absence indeed makes the heart grow fonder. It did for me. I’m not saying that “Never Tear Us Apart” is the greatest love song ever written, but it tries to be.


*Please disregard his sad demise while listening.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Endless Loop: Never Tear Us Apart
  1. Joe Grez

    Joe Grez Reply

    Everyone loves good sax!

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