IT'S the song cover you never expected: Jimmy Barnes growling a version of Natalie Imbruglia's hit song Torn with Waleed Ay strumming away on guitar.

During an interview with Natalie Imbruglia on The Project, talk turned to the twentieth anniversary of the smash song from her 1997 debut album Left Of The Middle.

As Jimmy Barnes - who was co-hosting the program on Wednesday night - joked about maybe covering the song one day, Aly pulled out a guitar from behind the desk and began jamming out the chords to the famous tune.

The real story behind Natalie Imbruglia's megahit Torn

And without missing a beat, Barnes launched into a roaring version of the chorus.

"It's a different experience with Barnesy. Hearing him sing, 'I'm cold and I'm ashamed laying

naked on the floor'. It feels like a different vibe," Aly joked afterwards.

"Now Nat will do Khe San," co-host Peter Helliar joked, referring to 1978 song from Barnes' band Cold Chisel.

Natalie Imbruglia in the iconic film clip for Torn.
Natalie Imbruglia in the iconic film clip for Torn.

The unusual version of the song isn't the first time someone has covered the tune. Earlier this year, some fans were surprised to learn Imbruglia's version isn't actually the original - and was written and released by a US band called Ednaswap in 1993.

Talking to news.com.au. the song's original co-writer Anne Preven said Imbruglia was the third artist to release a cover.

"We didn't think anything of Natalie's version - (we thought) it's just another European cover. And we really didn't give it another thought," Preven said. "Until, all of a sudden, we get a call saying it's number one in the UK. For Scott (Cutler, the co-writer) and I it was obviously a mixed bag. We were thrilled to have a hit. But it was also bittersweet because it wasn't our band."

And in the 20 years since Imbruglia made the song famous, Preven and Cutler have made a bucket load of money off the hit.

"It's just some phenomenal amount of money. For one song," Cutler told news.com.au.

"It comes in spits and spurts ... but it starts out slow and then one day you get a cheque for like $300,000 or some crazy number."

"And then it just becomes this yearly thing where every year you get a cheque every quarter and it stays up in a decent number - it's not ending."

Twenty years after Imbruglia's cover, Cutler says he and Preven would each receive about $150,000 a year in royalties.


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