Torn (Ednaswap Song)
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Torn Ednaswap Song

Single Ednaswap Torn Cover.png
Single by Ednaswap
from the album Ednaswap
FormatCD single
Scott Cutler, Anne Preven, Phil Thornalley
Phil Thornalley
Ednaswap singles chronology

"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 two years later by Cutler and Preven's American alternative rock band Ednaswap, and in 1996 by American-Norwegian singer Trine Rein.

"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 Flanders, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Spain and Sweden, as well as on three US Billboard charts.

Original version

"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.[1]

The first recording of the song was in 1993 by the Danish singer Lis Sørensen as "Brændt" (Burned) after it was translated by Elisabeth Gjerluff Nielsen.

Ednaswap released a recorded version in 1995. The song followed the single "Glow" from their eponymous 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.

The song has been covered several times by different artists, first by Norwegian singer Trine Rein in 1996.

Natalie Imbruglia version

Torn (Natalie Imbruglia single) coverart.jpg
Single by Natalie Imbruglia
from the album Left of the Middle
"Frightened Child"
"Diving in the Deep End"
Released27 October 1997
Phil Thornalley
Natalie Imbruglia singles chronology
"Big Mistake"
Audio sample

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.

Music video

The music video to Natalie Imbruglia's cover version, directed by Alison Maclean, features a shot of an apartment that never changes its angle of vision. 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 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. Imbruglia begins to dance during the finishing guitar solo as her "world" crumbles around her.[3]

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.[4]

Track listing

BMG international single / UK CD single 1

All tracks are written by Natalie Imbruglia, Dave Munday and Phil Thornalley, except where noted.

2."Sometimes" 3:52
3."Frightened Child" 1:37

UK CD single 2

  • Scott Cutler
  • Anne Preven
  • Phil Thornalley
  • Natalie Imbruglia
  • Rick Palombi
  • Nick Trevisik
3."Diving in the Deep End"
  • Imbruglia
  • Thornalley

UK cassette single

  • Scott Cutler
  • Anne Preven
  • Phil Thornalley
2."Sometimes" (length incorrectly listed on reverse sleeve as 5:51)
  • Natalie Imbruglia
  • Dave Munday
  • Thornalley

Europe CD single

  • Scott Cutler
  • Anne Preven
  • Phil Thornalley
2."Diving in the Deep End"
  • Natalie Imbruglia
  • Thornalley

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.[5] In the UK, it is the 85th biggest selling single of all time.[6] The track peaked at number two for three weeks, being held off the top spot by Aqua's "Barbie Girl" 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. On the all-time Ultratop charts, it maintains a position of number 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 1997 release, an average of 75 times a day, based on data compiled by the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA).[7]

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 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.[8]Billboard ranked "Torn" the No. 26 Biggest Pop Song based only on pop radio charts compiled between 1992 and 2012.[9] "Torn" remained the 19th most played song in the UK from 2001 to 2010.[10] In 2005, "Torn" was listed at No. 383 on Blender magazine's list of "500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born".[11]

"Torn" is the 6th most streamed pre-2000 solo female song on Spotify at 265 million streams, behind Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You (501 million), Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody (376 million), Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun (326 million), Tracy Chapman's Fast Car (315 million), and Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You (251 million).

Charts and certifications


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[58] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[59] Platinum 50,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[60] Gold 45,000^
France (SNEP)[62] Gold 262,000[61]
Germany (BVMI)[63] Gold 250,000^
Italy (FIMI)[64] Gold 25,000double-dagger
Netherlands (NVPI)[65] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[66] Gold 5,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[67] Gold 5,000*
Sweden (GLF)[68] Platinum 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[69] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[71] 2× Platinum 1,346,000[70]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Rouge version

"Amor é Ilusão"
Rouge - o amor é ilusão.jpg
Single by Rouge
from the album Mil e Uma Noites
ReleasedSeptember 27, 2005 (2005-09-27)
Rick Bonadio
Rouge singles chronology
"Vem Habib (Wala Wala)"
"Amor é Ilusão"

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.


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.[72]

As always, the album featured songs originally in English rewritten for Portuguese, including "Torn".[73] 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.[73]

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


Chart (2005) Peak
Brazil (Brasil Hot 100 Airplay)[74] 23

Other recordings

  • The first recorded version of the song was a translation by Danish singer Lis Sørensen, "Brændt" (which translates to "Burnt" in English), in 1993.
  • The second version of the song can be found on Ednaswap's self-titled first album. They released three more versions of the song on their only EP Chicken, on their second album Wacko Magneto and as a B-side on their single "Back on the Sun".
  • After Ednaswap released their version, it was covered by Norwegian singer Trine Rein on her 1996 album Beneath My Skin.

In popular culture

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.


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External links

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