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Torn (Ednaswap song)

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Title: Torn (Ednaswap song)  
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Torn (Ednaswap song)

Single by Ednaswap
from the album Ednaswap
Released 1995
Format CD single
Genre Alternative rock
Label Eastwest
Writer(s) Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, Phil Thornalley
Producer(s) Phil Thornalley
Ednaswap singles chronology

"Torn" is a song originally by American alternative rock band Ednaswap from their debut album Ednaswap (1995). It was their second single from that album, after "Glow". "Torn" was written by Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, and Phil Thornalley during a demo session in 1993 before Ednaswap was formed. The lyrics were written by Preven. Thornalley and Cutler produced the session.

Covered several times, the most widely known version of the song was recorded by Australian pop singer Natalie Imbruglia in 1997. Imbruglia's version peaked at number one on singles charts in Belgium, Denmark, Canada, Spain and Sweden; and on Billboard‍ '​s Mainstream Top 40 and Adult Top 40 charts. It reached number two on Imbruglia's home country's ARIA Singles Chart as well as in Italy, Switzerland and United Kingdom.


  • Tracklisting 1
  • Covers and versions 2
  • Natalie Imbruglia version 3
    • Music video 3.1
      • Track listing 3.1.1
    • Chart performance 3.2
    • Charts and certifications 3.3
      • Charts 3.3.1
      • Year-end charts 3.3.2
      • Certifications 3.3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


  1. "Torn" (Edit) (3:52)
  2. "Torn" (LP Version) (4:23)

Covers and versions

The first recorded version of the song was a translation by Danish singer Lis Sørensen, "Brændt" (which translates to "Burnt" in English), in 1993. Sørensen's version has a classic rock acoustic feel, and at 5:01 is considerably longer than any of the other versions. Stylistically it is very close to Imbruglia's version, most likely because (as Preven has said in an interview) their early demo was almost exactly like Imbruglia's version. There are also some similarities to the Ednaswap version, including a longer bridge and a very long outro. The outro does not include the guitar solo at the end.

The second version of the song can be found on Ednaswap's self-titled first album. The sound is much darker than Imbruglia's version, but has an almost identical structure. It is characterized by haunting and somewhat harsh electric guitars, a longer bridge that does not include a breakdown (which the Imbruglia version, Trine Rein version and Lis Sørenson version all do), and a very long outro that fades out before it is finished. The bridge is the only part of the song where the acoustic guitar chords that are prominent in every other version can be easily heard.

After Ednaswap released their original album, it was covered by Norwegian singer Trine Rein on her 1996 album Beneath My Skin. Trine Rein's version is almost exactly like Imbruglia's version (and is even in English), but has a much more melodramatic feel, with piano chord hits throughout and harder electric guitar accents. The Trine Rein version has a similar bridge to Lis Sørenson's version, as long as the original Ednaswap version, but with a breakdown like the Imbruglia version.

In 1996, Ednaswap released a completely retooled version on Chicken. The song is much slower and very sparse, with lots of guitar shredding. The first verse is very subtle, and kicks into high gear after the first chorus. There is no bridge, and a very short outro without the guitar solo that is in almost every version. In all, it is presented as a power ballad and sounds much "rawer" and harder than the other versions.

In 1997, Ednaswap released Wacko Magneto, which has a remixed version of the song from the "Chicken" EP. The only difference between the two are the imperceptible background vocal effects and screeching guitars at some points of the song.

Later in 1997, it was covered by Natalie Imbruglia, gaining its widest recognition. Imbruglia's version is very soft, with a dance beat throughout. Of all the versions of the song, it is the most pop-oriented. The main difference between this version and Trine Rein's version is that Imbruglia repeats the word "Torn" several times before the end of verses. She also did an MTV Unplugged version of the song, which removed the outro.

In 1998, Ednaswap released a "Radio Mix" of the song on their single "Back on the Sun." There are many electronic accents throughout the song. There is no bridge, and the outro is sung by Ednaswaps's lead singer Anne Preven rather than played on an electric guitar.

Other covers include those done by dance cover artist Natalie Browne, punk band Off by One, rock band Hands Like Houses, and many Latin American artists.

There are also quite a few live versions of the song, including the Live on Howard Stern version performed by Anne Preven as part of Annetenna.

Carly Rae Jepsen covered the song for her performance on Canadian Idol.

One Direction covered "Torn" for their performance at Judges Houses stage on the seventh series of The X Factor. They later performed the song on the series finale and during their first concert tour, the Up All Night Tour.

The song was also covered by the Slovenian band Tabu under the title On ("He").

The Uzbek band Bolalar has recorded a version of Natalie Imbruglia's cover called "Sogʻindim ishon" ("Believe me, I miss you").

Juliet Simms of The Voice Season 2 covered the song for her Last Chance Performance on the show's Live Shows.

The song was performed in the TV show Glee by Rachel (Lea Michele) in the 12th episode of season 4.

The song was the contest piece during the Battle Round between The Voice contestants Holly Henry and Cilla Chan, with Holly emerging as the victor.

In 2005, Brazilian girl-band Rouge released a version of Imbruglia's cover called "O Amor É Ilusão" (English: "Love Is Illusion"), for their fourth and last album, Mil E Uma Noites.

Comedian David Armand performed a comedy mime interpretation of the song, in character as "Johann Lippowitz, Vienna's foremost interpretive mime artist", which was circulated widely on the internet. At Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball 2006, Imbruglia and Armand performed a live duet of the song.

Reggae fusion artist Terro 3000 sampled the song in 2008 on his song "This Is How I Feel". The song appeared in the television series Charmed, in the episode "I've Got You Under My Skin". In October 2011, Megan Mullally and Casey Wilson performed the song together on the sitcom Happy Endings, in the episode "Yesandwitch". The Australian comedy band The Axis of Awesome sang the chorus of the song in their 4-chord song mashup of pop hits with the same 4 chords.

In Chile, the song was soundtrack of TVN soap opera Separados.

In 2014, Australian rock band Hands Like Houses covered the song for Punk Goes 90s 2.

July 19, 2014, Tori Amos performed a cover of the song in a live mash-up with Human Nature by Michael Jackson at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, OR.[1]

Natalie Imbruglia version

Single by Natalie Imbruglia
from the album Left of the Middle
B-side "Sometimes"
"Frightened Child"
"Diving in the Deep End"
Released October 27, 1997
Format CD single
Recorded September 1997
Genre Pop rock, acoustic[2]
Length 4:06 (album version)
Label RCA
Writer(s) Cutler, Preven, Thornalley
Producer(s) Phil Thornalley
Natalie Imbruglia singles chronology
"Big Mistake"
Music video
"Torn" on YouTube
Music sample

In 1997, Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia covered the song for her debut studio album Left of the Middle (1997). Imbruglia's version was recorded in Kilburn, London with David Munday (lead guitar), Phil Thornalley (bass, rhythm guitars), Chuck Sabo (drums), Henry Binns, Sam Hardaker (Zero 7) (drum programming) and Katrina Leskanich (background vocals). It was mixed by Nigel Godrich. Released as a single, Imbruglia's version became a worldwide hit, being considered as an "All Time Pop Hit".

For the track, Imbruglia received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, losing to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". The music video for "Torn" features British actor Jeremy Sheffield.

Music video

The music video, directed by Alison Maclean, was shot on 25 October 1997 and features a continuous shot of an apartment that never changes its angle of vision. Shots of Natalie Imbruglia singing along with the song are interspersed with footage of her and Jeremy Sheffield engaging in a romantically inclined conversation. These couple of scenes turn out to be B-roll footage, as the two actors are seen fumbling their lines and positions; and the director constantly steps into frame to redirect the two. During the last chorus, the apartment walls start wobbling and the crew comes to dismantle it, revealing the location to be a set inside a soundstage. Natalie Imbruglia begins to dance during the finishing guitar solo as her "world" crumbles around her.

The video of the song was rated the second best video of all time by MTV Italy.

The song was pantomimed by David Armand for a 2005 HBO broadcast which spread on the internet. This popularity of the "Karaoke for the Deaf" performance by David Armand as Johnn Lippowitz resulted in the 2006 live performance (Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball) with Natalie Imbruglia where she sings "Torn" and then joins into the "interpretive dance" pantomime featuring both David and Natalie acting out the words of the song.[3]

Track listing

BMG international single / UK CD single #1
  1. "Torn" (4:06)
  2. "Sometimes" (3:52)
  3. "Frightened Child" (1:37)
UK CD single #2
  1. "Torn" (4:06)
  2. "Contradictions" (4:07)
  3. "Diving in the Deep End" (3:30)
UK cassette single
  1. "Torn" (4:06)
  2. "Sometimes" (3:52) (incorrectly listed on reverse sleeve as lasting 5:51)
French CD single
  1. "Torn" (4:06)
  2. "Diving in the Deep End" (3:54)

Chart performance

The physical single of Imbruglia's version of the song has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, including more than 1 million copies in the UK alone.[4] In the UK, it is the 85th biggest selling single of all time.[5] The track peaked at #2 for three weeks, being held off the top spot by Aqua's "Barbie Girl" and then dropped to #4. As a result, the song is the second biggest-selling single in history not to have topped the UK Singles Chart (behind "Last Christmas" by Wham!). On September 24, 2007, Natalie Imbruglia's version of the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at #70, on the strength of digital sales after her greatest hits album was released. In the Flanders region of Belgium, the single peaked at a number one for 7 consecutive weeks and charted for 22 weeks. On the all-time Ultratop charts, it maintains a position of #107.

As of 2011, "Torn" holds the record for most played song on Australian radio since 1990, played more than 300,500 times since its 1998 release, an average of 75 times a day, based on data compiled by the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA).[6]

In the United States, the song peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart for 11 consecutive weeks. However, as a result of rules preventing tracks which had not been released as physical singles from charting on the Billboard Hot 100, the song did not chart there during its peak of popularity in the United States. In late 1998, when the song was declining in popularity, the rules changed to allow airplay-only songs onto the chart, and the song charted for 2 weeks, peaking at number 42.

In 2013, "Torn" was declared the No. 1 Best Pop Song on a top 10 list, part of a larger collection of songs by Q magazine in their special edition 1001 Best Songs Ever issue.[7] Billboard ranked "Torn" the No. 26 Best Pop Song based only on pop radio charts compiled between 1992 and 2012.[8] "Torn" remained the 19th most played song in the UK from 2001 to 2010.[9] "Torn" was named the 10th best song of 1998 by The Village Voice‍ '​s Pazz & Jop critics' poll.

Charts and certifications


  1. ^
  2. ^ Prato, Greg (March 10, 1998). "Left of the Middle - Natalie Imbruglia : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards".  
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Best Selling Singles Of All Time". Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Airwaves torn up by Imbruglia". The Sunday Telegraph (AU). 3 May 2009. 
  7. ^ Q Magazine (11 June 2013). "Torn No. 1 Best Pop Song". Q Magazine The Rock List. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Billboard Pop 100 (11 June 2013). "Torn No. 26 Billboard Pop Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Billboard Pop 100 (11 June 2013). "Torn No. 19 in the UK 2000s". Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  10. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  11. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  12. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  13. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  14. ^ Billboard February 7, 1998.  
  15. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100". Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Natalie Imbruglia: Torn" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  17. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  18. ^ " – Imbruglia, Natalie Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Natalie Imbruglia search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  20. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  21. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn". VG-lista. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  22. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE.  
  23. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  24. ^ " – Natalie Imbruglia – Torn". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  25. ^ "Archive Chart: 1997-11-08" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Left of the Middle Charts and Awards: Billboard Singles". Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts - End of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 1998". Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  28. ^ 1998 Austrian Singles Chart (Retrieved June 21, 2009)
  29. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts".  
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1998 Singles".  
  31. ^ "Ultratop 50 Albums Wallonie 1998". Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  32. ^ "French single certifications – Natalie Umbruglia" (in French).  
  33. ^ "Les Ventes & Les Certifications". 4 November 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  34. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Natalie Imbruglia)" (in German).  
  35. ^ "Top 50 Singles Chart, 15 February 1998". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  37. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Natalie Imbruglia)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  38. ^ "British single certifications – Natalie Imbruglia".   Enter Natalie Imbruglia in the field Search. Select Artist in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search

External links

  • Natalie Imbruglia's Version Music Video on YouTube
  • Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
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