Torn (Ednaswap song)

"Torn" is a song written by Scott Cutler, Anne Preven and Phil Thornalley in 1993. It was first recorded that year in Danish (renamed "Brændt", Danish for "Burned") by singer Lis Sørensen, then in 1993 by Cutler and Preven's American alternative rock band Ednaswap, and in 1996 by American-Norwegian singer Trine Rein.

"Torn"
Single Ednaswap Torn Cover.png
Single by Ednaswap
from the album Ednaswap
Released1995
Genre
LabelEastwest
Songwriter(s)Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, Phil Thornalley
Producer(s)Phil Thornalley
Ednaswap singles chronology
"Glow"
(1995)
"Torn"
(1995)

"Torn" is best known as Australian pop singer Natalie Imbruglia's 1997 debut single. Her version peaked at number one on the singles charts of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Spain and Sweden, as well as on three US Billboard charts.

Original versionEdit

"Torn" was written in 1993 by Scott Cutler and Anne Preven with producer Phil Thornalley as a solo song for Preven. Cutler and Preven's band Ednaswap performed it live, but did not initially release a recording.[1]

Ednaswap released a recorded version in 1995. The song followed the single "Glow" from their self-titled debut album. Thornalley and Cutler produced the session. The band later released several variations and remixes of the song as B-sides and on their album Wacko Magneto.

Lis Sørensen version in DanishEdit

The first release recording of the song was in 1993 by the Danish singer Lis Sørensen as "Brændt" ("Burned"). It was featured on her album Under stjernerne et sted ("Under the stars somewhere"), and was also a radio single. It became a hit in Denmark. Sørensen had received the song through music producer Poul Bruun [da], as a suggestion for inclusion on her new album. The Danish lyrics were written by Elisabeth Gjerluff Nielsen [da].[2][3]

Trine Rein versionEdit

A version of the song was recorded in 1996 by American-Norwegian singer Trine Rein and released on Trine Rein's album Beneath my Skin.

Natalie Imbruglia versionEdit

"Torn"
 
Single by Natalie Imbruglia
from the album Left of the Middle
B-side
  • "Sometimes"
  • "Frightened Child"
  • "Contradictions"
  • "Diving in the Deep End"
Released27 October 1997 (1997-10-27)[4]
Recorded1997
Genre
Length4:04
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Phil Thornalley
Natalie Imbruglia singles chronology
"Torn"
(1997)
"Big Mistake"
(1998)
Audio sample
"Torn"
Music video
"Torn" on YouTube

In 1997, Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia, working with Thornalley, 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.

For the track, Imbruglia received a Grammy Award 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.

Imbruglia also recorded an acoustic version of the song in 2001 for MTV Unplugged. ¨Torn¨ is composed in key of F major.[6]

Critical receptionEdit

Larry Flick from Billboard described the song as a "shuffling, acoustic-lined rocker", noting that it "has the rich texture and guitar flavor needed to win the props of rock radio." He added, "However, the song also has an infectious melody that will warm the heart of anyone with a hankering for a slice of pure pop. Imbruglia has a charming, heartfelt delivery mildly reminiscent of Jewel."[7] Daily Record commented, "Gorgeous tune from a gorgeous lady".[8] Music & Media stated that "this very convincing debut single" has taken the U.K. charts by storm "and looks likely to do so elsewhere."[9] In 2013, "Torn" was declared the "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.[10] Billboard ranked "Torn" the number 26 Biggest Pop Song based only on pop radio charts compiled between 1992 and 2012.[11] In 2005, "Torn" was listed at number 383 on Blender magazine's list of "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".[12]

Chart performanceEdit

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.[13] In the UK, it is the 85th biggest selling single of all time.[14] The track peaked at number two for three weeks, from 2 to 22 November 1997,[15] and then dropped to number four. On 24 September 2007, Natalie Imbruglia's version of the song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 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.[16]

In the United States, the song peaked at number one 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. 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 Canada, it peaked at number one on the RPM Top Singles chart for 12 nonconsecutive weeks, from 13 April to 8 June and 22 June to 6 July 1998. It was the most successful single of the year there.[17]

"Torn" is officially the most played 1990s song in the UK.[18] It was the 19th-most-played song from 2000 to 2009 and the 40th-most-played song from 2010 to 2019 in the UK. It also holds the record for most played song on Australian radio since 1990, played more than 300,500 times since its 1997 release, an average of 75 times a day, based on data compiled by the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA).[19]

Music videoEdit

The music video to Natalie Imbruglia's cover version, directed by Alison Maclean, features a shot of an apartment where the angle of vision never changes. Shots of Imbruglia singing along with the song are interspersed with footage of her and British actor Jeremy Sheffield engaging in a romantically inclined conversation. These few 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. Imbruglia begins to dance during the finishing guitar solo as her "world" crumbles around her.[20]

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 Armand as Johan Lippowitz resulted in the 2006 live performance (Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball) with Imbruglia where she sings "Torn" and then joins into the "interpretive dance" pantomime featuring both Armand and Imbruglia acting out the words of the song.[21]

Track listingsEdit

UK CD single 1[22]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Torn"4:06
2."Sometimes" (UK single incorrectly lists length on sleeve as 5:51)
  • Natalie Imbruglia
  • Rick Palombi
  • Nick Trevisik
3:52
3."Frightened Child"
  • Imbruglia
  • Dave Munday
  • Thornalley
1:37

UK CD single 2[23]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Torn"
  • Cutler
  • Preven
  • Thornalley
4:06
2."Contradictions"
  • Imbruglia
  • Palombi
  • Trevisik
4:07
3."Diving in the Deep End"
  • Imbruglia
  • Thornalley
3:30

UK cassette single[24]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Torn"
  • Cutler
  • Preven
  • Thornalley
4:06
2."Sometimes" (length incorrectly listed on sleeve as 5:51)
  • Imbruglia
  • Palombi
  • Trevisik
3:52

European CD single[25]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Torn"
  • Cutler
  • Preven
  • Thornalley
4:06
2."Diving in the Deep End"
  • Imbruglia
  • Thornalley
3:54

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[74] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[75] Platinum 50,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[76] Gold 45,000 
France (SNEP)[78] Gold 262,000[77]
Germany (BVMI)[79] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[80] Gold 25,000 
Netherlands (NVPI)[81] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[82] Gold 5,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[83] Gold  
Sweden (GLF)[84] Platinum 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[85] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[86] 3× Platinum 1,800,000 

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Rouge versionEdit

"Amor é Ilusão"
 
Single by Rouge
from the album Mil e Uma Noites
ReleasedSeptember 27, 2005 (2005-09-27)
Recorded2002
Genre
Length4:06
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Rick Bonadio
Rouge singles chronology
"Vem Habib (Wala Wala)"
(2005)
"Amor é Ilusão"
(2005)
"Bailando"
(2018)

In 2005, Brazilian girl group Rouge recorded a Portuguese version of the song, titled "O Amor é Ilusão" (lit.: "Love is an illusion"), included in the group's 2005 fourth studio album Mil e Uma Noites. It was the album's second and last single, and their last overall until "Bailando" in 2018.

The lyrics were written by Milton Guedes, who co-wrote their hits "Não Dá pra Resistir", "Beijo Molhado", and others, with production by Rick Bonadio.

BackgroundEdit

After three studio albums, their record label Sony BMG demanded a compilation album, against the band members' wishes. At the time, rumors of their breakup circulated in the press, and they felt a new release would help dispel those allegations. Mil e Uma Noites was eventually released as a compromise, with most tracks being previously released hits, plus six all-new tracks.[87]

As always, the album featured songs originally in English rewritten for Portuguese, including "Torn".[88] After the success of the album's first single "Vem Habib (Wala Wala)", "O Amor é Ilusão" was announced as the follow-up and released in late September.[88]

This version keeps most of the original's lyrical themes, about a lost love who gradually drifts away from the narrator.

ChartsEdit

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Brazil (Brasil Hot 100 Airplay)[89] 23

In popular cultureEdit

The song appeared in the television series Charmed, in the episode "I've Got You Under My Skin".

In Chile, Imbruglia's version of the song appeared in the TVN soap opera Separados. Imbruglia's version has also appeared in the Turkish Netflix teen drama Love 101.

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External linksEdit