US CD single cover
|Single by Nine Inch Nails|
|from the album The Downward Spiral|
|Released||May 30, 1994|
|Studio|| Le Pig (Los Angeles)|
The Record Plant (Los Angeles)
A&M Studios (Los Angeles)
|Nine Inch Nails singles chronology|
|Halo numbers chronology|
"Closer" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as the second single their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). Released on May 30, 1994, it is considered one of Nine Inch Nails' signature songs and remains their most popular song to date. Most versions of the single are titled "Closer to God", a rare example in music of a single's title differing from the title of its A-side ("Closer to God" is also the title of an alternate version of "Closer" featured on the single). The single is the ninth official Nine Inch Nails release, making it "Halo 9" in the band's official Halo numbering system.
A promotional single provided by the label to radio stations included both long and short vocal-censored (i.e. silenced profanity) versions.Although the song addresses themes such as self-hatred and obsession, its sexually aggressive chorus led to widespread misinterpretation of the song as an anthem of lust, which helped it become Nine Inch Nails' most successful single up to that time and cemented Trent Reznor's status as an industrial rock icon. Commercially, "Closer" reached No. 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100, No. 25 on the UK Singles Chart, and No. 3 on the Australian Singles Chart. Censored versions of the song and its Mark Romanek-directed music video received substantial airplay on radio and MTV.
"Closer" has been described as industrial rock avant-garde, and electronic music. The drum track of "Closer" is built around a heavily modified sample of the bass drum from the 1977 Iggy Pop song "Nightclubbing", which was performed by a Roland drum machine. The samples were produced using two Akai S1100 samplers, each with an expander, essentially making up four samplers. The samples were then combined with beats produced by a Roland R-70 drum machine. The production features sound effects such as a bass squelch, synth echo, and feedback growl. Radio edits of "Closer" were created by muting the vocal track for the duration of each deleted obscenity.and alternative rock. "Closer" uses elements of funk,
Lyrically, "Closer" is a song about self-hatred and obsession; to Reznor's dismay, the song was widely misinterpreted as a lust anthem due to its chorus, which famously includes the lines "I wanna fuck you like an animal / I wanna feel you from the inside".In 2003, VH1 ranked the song at No. 93 in its countdown of the "100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years." The song was ranked at No. 2 on AOL's "69 Sexiest Songs of All Time" due to the explicit frankness of the chorus. Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, who contributed to the song's parent album The Downward Spiral, said of the song, "Come on dude: 'I wanna fuck you like an animal'? That's the all-time fuck song. Those are pure fuck beats—Trent Reznor knew what he was doing. You can fuck to it, you can dance to it and you can break shit to it."
The song was voted in at No. 62 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of all time in 2009, and ranked No. 42 on Pitchfork Media's "Top 200 Tracks of the 90s" in 2010.
"Closer" had some radio airplay before it was released as a single. This factor increased within weeks, leading Interscope to release the song as a single in May 1994. When it premiered, the single charted on several US Billboard magazine music listings. Debuting near the bottom spot of the Billboard Hot 100, it barely missed the top 40, peaking at No. 41.It climbed to No. 11 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, and went on to reach No. 35 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart, No. 29 on the Billboard Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart, and No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. "Closer" was the band's first crossover hit and remains their most popular song to date.
The single was successful in several other countries as well. It charted the highest in Australia, where it rose to No. 3 on the week of November 13, 1994,and was the country's 87th most successful single of 1994. Although "Closer" did not initially appear on Canada's official music chart during its original release, it reached a peak of No. 5 on the Canadian Singles Chart in February 2002. It also did not chart in Denmark until 2007, when it reached No. 12 in July. In the United Kingdom, the single reached No. 25.
The music video was directed by Mark Romanek and first aired on May 12, 1994, having been filmed in April of that year. It was cut down from its original length to 4:36. The video was popular and helped bolster the success of the band. Set in what appears to be a 19th-century mad scientist's laboratory, the video's imagery involves religion, sexuality, animal cruelty, politics, and terror, including:
Several times, Reznor, wearing leather pants, floats and rotates through the air, suspended by invisible wires. There are also scenes of Reznor being blown back by a wind machine while wearing aviator goggles.
These images were inspired by the work of Joel-Peter Witkin,as well as by the Brothers Quay's animated short film Street of Crocodiles . For the television version, certain removed scenes were replaced with a title card that read "Scene Missing," and the instances of the word fuck being edited out were accompanied by a stop in the video motion, making it appear as if the stop was a result of defective film (this was supposedly done to make sure the flow of the song was not affected). According to Romanek, the video was filmed using "a slightly out of date film stock but it was still a contemporary film stock."
They had stopped making it three years before and we found some of it. All the new color film stocks have this T-Grain, like little Ts that are interlocking. The film stock we used had the original old granular grain. The new stocks are just really modern looking, really sharp, really contrasty, very fine grain. We didn't want that. Normally you don't want to use that kind of stock because the colors will be off. It does have a shelf life but in this case we didn't care, the more fucked up it was the happier we were.
The unedited version of the video was shown on Playboy TV's music video show Hot Rocks in 1994. In mid-2002, the unedited version aired on MTV2 as part of a special countdown showcasing the most controversial videos ever to air on MTV. This countdown was only shown late at night due to the sexually explicit imagery of "Closer" and several other videos.
In 2006, "Closer" was voted No. 1 in a VH1 Classic poll titled "20 Greatest Music Videos of All Time."
In retrospect, Reznor said of the video that "The rarest of things occurred: where the song sounded better to me, seeing it with the video. And it's my song."
The unedited video is included in Closure , The Downward Spiral (DualDisc), Directors Label Volume 4: The Work Of Director Mark Romanek and VEVO, and it is available for download from the United States iTunes Store under the band's page. Behind-the-scenes footage with commentary by Romanek is included in Closure (DVD) and Directors Label. It is also available on YouTube, and was previously flagged there before this restriction was lifted.
During the Self Destruct and Fragility tours, bassist Danny Lohner and guitarist Robin Finck joined Reznor on keyboards for the song, with Reznor performing an extended synth solo.
There are performance videos of "Closer" on And All that Could Have Been and Beside You in Time .
In the tours following the release of With Teeth , Nine Inch Nails performed a shorter version of "Closer" with the keyboard solo played as a guitar solo and a breakdown incorporating a portion of "The Only Time," a track from Pretty Hate Machine . Two performances of this version of the song appear on Beside You in Time .
The version of "Closer" on the single is 13 seconds longer than the album version; on the album, the piano tune at the end of the song is abruptly cut off in order to segue into the next track, "Ruiner". On the single, the piano and background sounds of "Closer" are allowed to play out longer.
In addition, the U.S. CD single contains five guest remixes of "Closer", a remix of its fellow The Downward Spiral track "Heresy", an instrumental track "March of the Fuckheads" (unrelated to "March of the Pigs"), and a cover version of Soft Cell's song "Memorabilia", from their 1982 EP Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing . The UK single releases contain the same tracks split between two discs (each sold separately). A cassette single was issued in the U.S. and Australia, pairing "Closer" with a live-performance version of NIN's previous single, "March of the Pigs".
The single's cover artwork was done by photographer Joseph Cultice.
|No.||Title||Remixers / contributors||Length|
|1.||"Closer to God"||5:05|
|7.||"March of the Fuckheads"||Adrian Sherwood||4:43|
|8.||"Closer (Further Away)"||5:45|
|3.||"Closer (Further Away)"||5:45|
|1.||"Closer to God"||5:05|
|4.||"March of the Fuckheads"||4:43|
|2.||"March of the Pigs (Live)" (appears to be the live rerecording from the music video)||3:12|
U.K. 12" vinyl – Part 1: Further Away
|2.||"Closer (Further Away)"|
UK 12" vinyl – Part 2: Closer to God
|1.||"Closer to God"|
|2.||"March of the Fuckheads"|
Other versions in other formats and countries have the same track listing as the U.S. CD release.
The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on March 8, 1994, by Nothing Records and Interscope Records in the United States and by Island Records in Europe. It is a concept album detailing the destruction of a man from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his death by suicide. The Downward Spiral features elements of industrial rock, techno and heavy metal music, in contrast to the band's synthpop-influenced debut album Pretty Hate Machine (1989), and was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and Flood.
And All That Could Have Been is a double album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on January 22, 2002 by Nothing and Interscope Records. The live album contains music recorded during the Fragility v2.0 US tour in 2000. Disc one is a live album of most of their normal set list of the time, while disc two contains a studio album titled Still, containing "deconstructed" versions of previous Nine Inch Nails songs and some new material. The double DVD set, sold separately, includes video recordings of the songs performed on the CD, as well as additional song performances and footage from the tour.
Pretty Hate Machine is the debut studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by TVT Records on October 20, 1989. The album consists of reworked tracks from the Purest Feeling demo tape, as well as songs composed after its original recording. Production of the record was handled by NIN frontman Trent Reznor and English producer Flood, among other contributors.
The Fragile is the third studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as a double album on September 21, 1999, by Nothing and Interscope Records. It was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder. It was recorded throughout 1997 to 1999 in New Orleans.
Broken is the first extended play (EP) and second major release by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released on September 22, 1992, by Nothing, TVT, and Interscope Records. The EP was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Flood.
Fixed is the second extended play (EP) by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released on December 7, 1992, by Nothing, TVT, and Interscope Records. It serves as a companion release to Broken (1992), and includes remixes by Coil, Danny Hyde, JG Thirlwell, and Butch Vig, as well as then-live band members Chris Vrenna and James Woolley.
"March of the Pigs" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was released on February 25, 1994 as the album's lead single.
"The Day the World Went Away" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on July 20, 1999 as the lead single from their third studio album The Fragile (1999). The song was the band's first top-forty hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 17, which remains their highest-ever position on the chart.
"Head Like a Hole" is a song by the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as the second single from the group's debut album, Pretty Hate Machine.
With Teeth is the fourth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by Nothing Records and Interscope Records on May 3, 2005. The album was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. It also features contributions from musician Dave Grohl and first to feature the band's future member Atticus Ross.
"The Hand That Feeds" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as the lead single from their fourth studio album, With Teeth (2005). It is the highest charting song by Nine Inch Nails on all charts except for U.S. Modern Rock Tracks, where it stayed at number one for five weeks, because the single that followed, "Only", stayed at number one for two more weeks (non-consecutively), and the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 31, bested only by the group's 1999 single "The Day the World Went Away", which peaked at number 17, but did not chart anywhere else in the U.S. and never had any popular success, making it one of their less popular singles. It is, to date, Nine Inch Nails' only single to hit the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, as well as their highest-charting single on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number two. It was also a crossover hit, crossing over to pop radio as their first top 40 radio hit since "Closer" and "Hurt" in 1994 and 1995, respectively, peaking at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Happiness in Slavery" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their debut extended play, Broken (1992). It was released in November 1992 as a promotional single from the EP. The song takes its title and refrain from Jean Paulhan's preface to Pauline Réage's 1954 erotic novel Story of O. "Happiness in Slavery" peaked at number 13 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
"Hurt" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994), written by Trent Reznor. It was released on April 17, 1995 as a promotional single from the album. The song received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Song in 1996.
"Wish" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their debut EP Broken (1992). It was released in 1992 as a promotional single from the EP. The drumming on the track was performed by Martin Atkins.
American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails have released 11 studio albums, one live album, three remix albums, one box set, six extended plays, 20 singles, 10 promotional singles, four video albums and 31 music videos. Nine Inch Nails has also contributed to numerous film soundtracks as well as the soundtrack to the video game Quake.
Year Zero is the fifth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by Interscope Records on April 17, 2007. Conceived while touring in support of the band's previous album, With Teeth (2005), the album was recorded throughout late-2006, and was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and being the band's first studio album since 1994's The Downward Spiral to not co-produced by long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. It was the band's last album for Interscope, following Reznor's departure the same year over a dispute of overseas pricing.
"Capital G" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their fifth studio album, Year Zero (2007). It was released on June 11, 2007 as a limited-edition nine-inch vinyl in the United Kingdom, serving as the album's second and final single.
"Discipline" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their seventh studio album, The Slip (2008). It was released on April 22, 2008 as a single from the album. It is the band's first single since severing its ties with Interscope Records and publishing music independently.
"The Perfect Drug" is a song by Nine Inch Nails written for the David Lynch film Lost Highway. It was released in 1997 on the Lost Highway soundtrack as well as a single from the score. Remixes of the song were released as an EP, "The Perfect Drug" Versions.
"Piggy" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was written by Trent Reznor, co-produced by Flood, and recorded at Le Pig. It was released in December 1994 as a promotional single from the album. The song is known for being Reznor's only live drumming performance.
nine inch nails.
No less than director Terry Gilliam has called Crocodiles the greatest animated film of all time, and it served as a direct inspiration for the music video for “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails.
"Hot Dog"... takes on Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor in what Durst has described as a parody of NIN...