“In preparing the 25 Anniversary rerelease of Kick, I went back into the tape box and listened very carefully to the master recordings and some of the other studio reels, and I was amazed at the version of Never Tear Us Apart. It’s us playing live with no overdubs. The drum take is the same as what’s on the album, but there’s a different arrangement, different vocal, sax part, and there’s no strings.
“On the record, I played the string parts on a keyboard, but originally I did it on guitar. When I heard the tape again, I thought, Wow, this is pretty cool. It shows people exactly what we were thinking when we did the demo. Chris Thomas said to us, ‘This is a great song, but I don’t know about the instrumentation. I think it needs a more formal sound.’ He suggested the strings, which worked beautifully. They have the right kind of empathy for the vocal.
“Thinking about Never Tear Us Apart, I just have to say how much respect I have for Michael as a songwriter, a singer and, in particular, as a lyricist. He didn’t play an instrument, but his voice and his words were his instruments. He was phenomenal.”