Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

INXS Goes Behind the Scenes on ‘Never Tear Us Apart’: Exclusive Premiere

With 1987’s “Never Tear Us Apart,” INXS released into the world a love song that resonates to this day, and presented for most of us a first glimpse at the real-life fairytale city that is Prague.

Now, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its creation, INXS revisits the iconic song and its stunning music video with a streaming time capsule, featuring behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes and interviews with the late frontman Michael Hutchence.

Speaking at the top, Andrew Farriss, INXS’ co-songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist, recounts the song’s origins. Those orchestral stabs were initially carved out on guitar, which he played in a “very bluesy type way.” When Hutchence first heard the song, “he laughed,” Farriss explains. “He thought it was funny, because for us it was so different.”

Hutchence changed his mind. He took the demo tape, lived with it, crafted the lyrics and the melody. A hit was born.

Director Richard Lowenstein had shot footage of Prague’s medieval architecture on 8mm black and white film. The juxtaposition of those images and INXS’s sublime song happened by chance. By a moment of serendipity.

The band was in the studio watching the rushes, as the song poured out of the control room. It worked.

The video, which has notched more than 100 million views on YouTube, was filmed in freezing conditions in Czechoslovakia, a world away from the beaches of Sydney.

“The spirit of the people there is fantastic, that’s what I love, it really makes you appreciate what you have so much,” comments Hutchence in the five-minute behind-the-scenes video, which Billboard exclusively premieres below. The singer loved the country, and its history, though so much has changed in those three-and-a-half decades.

INXS is no longer an active band. Hutchence is no longer with us, dying in 1997 at the age of 37. Then, in November 1989 the Velvet Revolution which led to the end of communist rule in Czechoslovakia. Five years after the shoot, the country was separated into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Lowenstein’s music video captured a time before the rest of the world caught on. Today, the Czechia capital is a hot-spot for tourists, a destination for stag and hen parties.

“There were numerous hurdles to gain access to film in Prague at that time,” INXS saxophone and guitar player Kirk Pengilly tells Billboard via email. However, “being able to cinematically utilize the city’s beautiful, romantic architecture and landmarks as a backdrop was incredibly special and fitting for this song. Our week-long stay allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the city’s charm and culture.”

“Never Tear Us Apart” is a gem in INXS’ catalogue, from one of the band’s most successful albums, Kick, which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. The third single from Kick, it peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is one of four tracks from the LP — along with “New Sensation,” “Devil Inside”, and ”Need You Tonight”— to reach the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 (the latter hit No. 1).

Last year, the surviving members of INXS — Garry Gary Beers, Pengilly and brothers Andrew, Jon and Tim Farriss — reunited in central Sydney for a presentation of four billion combined streams. “Never Tear Us Apart” alone has notched up more than 850 million streams across all platforms.

Watch the behind the scenes video below.

By Michael

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