Happiness in Slavery

Last updated

"Happiness in Slavery"
Nine inch nails happiness in slavery.jpg
Promotional single by Nine Inch Nails
from the EP Broken
ReleasedNovember 1992
Format
Recorded1992
Genre Industrial metal
Length5:21
Label
Songwriter(s) Trent Reznor
Producer(s)

"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 . [1] "Happiness in Slavery" peaked at number 13 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Contents

Nine Inch Nails' performance of "Happiness in Slavery" at Woodstock '94, included on the concert's compilation album, won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1996. The song's music video was almost universally banned for its depiction of Bob Flanagan being tortured by a machine.

The track was sampled for "Centipede" by Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad, appearing on their 1997 live album No Sleep 'till Bedtime .

Music video

Bob Flanagan being tortured in the video Happiness in Slavery video.jpg
Bob Flanagan being tortured in the video

The music video for "Happiness in Slavery", directed by Jon Reiss, was inspired by the 1899 novel The Torture Garden by French author Octave Mirbeau. [2] It features performance artist Bob Flanagan entering a large room, placing a flower and a candle on an altar and in a ritualistic style prepares for something; by stripping naked and washing himself before becoming strapped into a machine with long robotic claws that arise from the machine and subsequently tear apart his skin and impale his hands. The man reacts with pleasure as this occurs. There are also drills that drill into his skin in various places letting his blood drip onto the floor beneath, where there is a garden apparently being fertilized by human blood.

Later in the video, large grinders emerge from the machine to cause extreme injury to the man's skin. As he continues to scream in a mixture of pleasure and pain, the machine begins to disembowel him, ultimately killing him. It then engulfs the man's body in a metal cask and minces it into fertilizer for the garden below. In the conclusion, Trent Reznor, who had been singing the lyrics inside a cell at the beginning of the video, enters the room and performs the same ritual that the previous man performed, but is unseen.

The video was almost universally banned once released, but was later included on the Closure video album and in the Broken film. It was featured on Too Much 4 Much , MuchMusic's showcase of videos banned from their regular programming.

Reznor commented that the video was not created for shock value, [3] but because "these were the most appropriate visuals for the song." [4] It had to do with his artistic freedom at the time after his fallout with TVT Records. [3]

Track listings

  1. "Happiness in Slavery" (LP version) – 5:26
  1. "Happiness in Slavery" (Flaccid edit) – 4:17
  2. "Happiness in Slavery" (LP version) – 5:26
A1. "Happiness in Slavery" ( Fixed version) – 6:09
A2. "Happiness in Slavery" (Sherwood Slave Mix) – 2:17
B1. "Happiness in Slavery" (PK Slavery Remix) – 5:41
B2. "Happiness in Slavery" ( Broken version) – 5:21

Charts

Chart (1992)Peak
position
US Alternative Songs ( Billboard ) [8] 13

Related Research Articles

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock band

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Trent Reznor was the only permanent member of the band until the addition of English musician Atticus Ross in 2016.

<i>And All That Could Have Been</i> documentary film directed by Rob Sheridan (2002)

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.

<i>Broken</i> (Nine Inch Nails EP) 1992 EP by Nine Inch Nails

Broken is the first extended play (EP) 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.

<i>Fixed</i> (EP) 1992 EP by Nine Inch Nails

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 Nine Inch Nails song

"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 Nine Inch Nails song

"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.

<i>Things Falling Apart</i> 2000 remix album by Nine Inch Nails

Things Falling Apart is the second remix album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on November 21, 2000 by Nothing Records and Interscope Records. It is the companion remix disc to The Fragile. The US promotional CD single for "Into the Void" is also labeled as "Halo 16".

<i>Broken</i> (1993 film) 1993 horror musical short film/long form music video directed by Peter Christopherson

Broken is a 1993 horror musical short film/long form music video filmed and directed by Peter Christopherson, based on a scenario by Trent Reznor, the founder of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.

Head Like a Hole 1990 song by Nine Inch Nails

"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.

Closer (Nine Inch Nails song) Song by Nine Inch Nails

"Closer" is an industrial rock song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was released on May 30, 1994 as the album's second single. 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. Labeled "Halo 9", the single is the ninth official Nine Inch Nails release.

<i>Closure</i> (video) 1997 video by Nine Inch Nails

Closure is the first video album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on November 25, 1997. The double VHS set consists of one tape of live concert and behind-the-scenes footage from their Self-Destruct and Further Down the Spiral tours and one tape of music videos.

The Hand That Feeds Nine Inch Nails song

"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 US 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 US 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 US 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.

Hurt (Nine Inch Nails song) Nine Inch Nails song

"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, but ultimately lost to Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know".

Starfuckers, Inc. Nine Inch Nails song

"Starfuckers, Inc." is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from the 1999 album The Fragile. Although the song does not have an official halo, an edited single was distributed with exclusive radio edits and a video for the song was produced.

Wish (Nine Inch Nails song) Nine Inch Nails song

"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.

Nine Inch Nails discography Cataloging of published recordings by Nine Inch Nails

American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails have released nine studio albums, one live album, three remix albums, one box set, six extended plays, 20 singles, nine 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.

Deep (Nine Inch Nails song) Nine Inch Nails song

"Deep" is a song recorded by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails for the soundtrack to the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). Because this is a promotional single, it has never been featured with its own official halo and the song "Deep" has never been released on any Nine Inch Nails album, or on any halo-numbered release, although it has its own video directed by Enda McCallion.

Capital G Nine Inch Nails song

"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.

The Perfect Drug Nine Inch Nails song

"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 (song) Nine Inch Nails song

"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.

References

  1. "Pursuit Of Happiness - Happiness Tips" . Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  2. "NSFW: Nine Inch Nails' Happiness In Slavery". teamrock.com. November 6, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  3. 1 2 Mark Blackwell (February 1995). "Revolution No. Nine". huH .
  4. Deborah Russell (December 1992). "Reznor Nails Down Extreme Clip". Billboard .
  5. "Happiness in Slavery" (US promotional CD single). Nine Inch Nails. Interscope Records. 1992. PRCD 4795.CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. "Happiness in Slavery" (US promotional CD single). Nine Inch Nails. Interscope Records. 1992. PRCD 4827.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. "Happiness in Slavery" (US promotional 12" single). Nine Inch Nails. Interscope Records. 1992. DMD 1941.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. "Nine Inch Nails Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 27, 2016.