Tear Us Apart

I do not remotely claim to actually know what Ian Curtis or Michael Hutchence were thinking when they wrote the lyrics to “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and “Never Tear Us Apart,” respectively. Some inferences can safely be made about both songs.

The former a bit more on the negative side, written while Curtis’ marriage was not going well, perhaps among other things: “Why is it something so good, just can’t function no more?”

The latter more on the positive side: “Two worlds collided, and they could never tear us apart.”

Sadly, life ended extremely early for both men. Curtis, of suicide, in May 1980. He was 23. Hutchence, of apparent suicide, November 1997. He was 37.

At the risk of trying too hard to make connections between things that probably have no connection, I can’t help but continue to wonder about the opposite direction of these songs. Such similar titles, but antithetical to each other.

It’s as if one guy knew what was coming and the other was hoping it wouldn’t.

Ian Curtis

Michael Hutchence


4 thoughts on “Tear Us Apart

  1. I’ve never listened to Joy Division, so I don’t know much about them, and I don’t remember anything about Curtis dying. Hutchence, though….I was just thinking about him (and INXS) this past weekend. I was reading the book U2 by U2, and Bono talked about Hutchence. They were really good friends, and it really hit Bono hard when he heard about his suicide. Bono, who seems to not really understand depression too well, said he wished he could have told Hutchence to just hang on for 30 more minutes, that things wouldn’t have seemed so hopeless then.

    Thanks for pointing out these songs/artists. I’d never have thought of them together.

  2. Last weekend I was listening to INXS’ “Live Baby Live” album and this idea hit me hard.

    Thanks for reading, Michael.

  3. hi in regards to the 2 songs Never Tear Us Apart and 1 of Michael/INXS later works “Searching” they seem the complete opposit of each other. I love both songs, and just listened to Searching and its strange at how in his earlier career such a positive song came out and then such a pleading song came out in his later career. Oh well, either way I would love to read a book about the meanings of all of their songs, I would definitely buy it. Michael made a comment that he didn’t discuss the meanings behind songs because they were written during a specific moment and he didn’t want that to be associated with the songs….I guess he learned that from “Suicide Blonde.” Just a thought….

  4. Crystal, great stuff. Thanks for reading. I hadn’t listened to “Searching” (but I am right now). Thank you sincerely for adding that to the conversation.

    I agree with you about a book based on INXS song meanings. That would be very cool.

    John Clore

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