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.

Industrial rock music genre

Industrial rock is an alternative rock genre that fuses industrial music and rock music.

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. The band was founded by lead singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who was the band's only official member until adding English musician Atticus Ross in 2016. The band has signed with several major labels over the course of three decades, the current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. Contemporary EPs generally contain a minimum of three tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

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.

Woodstock 94 music festival

Woodstock '94 was a music festival organized in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival of 1969. It was promoted as "2 More Days of Peace and Music". The poster used to promote the first concert was revised to feature two doves perched on the neck of an electric guitar, instead of the original acoustic one.

<i>Woodstock 94</i> (album) 1994 live album by Various artists

Woodstock 94 is a two-disc set documenting the Woodstock 1994 festival. It was released during November 1994, nearly three months after the event took place. The album was released on A&M Records.

The Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance is an award presented at the Grammy Awards to recording artists for works containing quality performances in the heavy metal music genre. The Grammy Awards is an annual ceremony, where honors in several categories are presented by The Recording Academy of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position". The ceremony was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards.

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

Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal and visual transgression".

Strapping Young Lad Canadian metal band

Strapping Young Lad was a Canadian extreme metal band formed by Devin Townsend in Vancouver in 1994. The band started as a one-man studio project; Townsend played most of the instruments on the 1995 debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing. By 1997, he had recruited permanent members; this line-up, which consisted of Townsend on vocals and guitar, Jed Simon on guitar, Byron Stroud on bass, and Gene Hoglan on drums, lasted until the band's dissolution.

<i>No Sleep till Bedtime</i> 1998 live album by Strapping Young Lad

No Sleep 'till Bedtime is a live album by Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad. It was recorded live in Melbourne Australia, on October 12, 1997; however, the live tracks presented here are the only ones recorded before the tape ran out. "Japan" and "Centipede" are new studio tracks that were added by the label as a bonus material. The title is a homage to and parody of Motörhead's No Sleep 'til Hammersmith live album.

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.

Jon Reiss American film director

Jon Reiss is a film producer and director, and an author. He has made the feature film Cleopatra’s Second Husband (1998) and the documentaries Better Living Through Circuitry (1999) and Bomb It (2007). He has directed music videos for Nine Inch Nails, Slayer, Danzig, the Black Crowes, Type O Negative and Kottonmouth Kings. He has written the books Think Outside the Box Office (2010) and Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul (2011).

<i>The Torture Garden</i> book

The Torture Garden is a novel written by the French journalist, novelist and playwright Octave Mirbeau, and was first published in 1899 during the Dreyfus affair. The novel is dedicated: "To the priests, the soldiers, the judges, to those people who educate, instruct and govern men, I dedicate these pages of Murder and Blood."

Octave Mirbeau French journalist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, novelist, and playwright

Octave Mirbeau was a French journalist, art critic, travel writer, pamphleteer, novelist, and playwright, who achieved celebrity in Europe and great success among the public, while still appealing to the literary and artistic avant-garde. His work has been translated into thirty languages.

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.

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

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.

<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.

<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.

Too Much 4 Much was a Canadian television series, which aired on MuchMusic. The series, which aired at 12:00am Eastern time, played controversial videos which had, for one reason or another, been banned from regular rotation on the network, and featured panel discussions on the issues raised by the videos in question. Beginning in 1991 as a series of irregular specials aired when a particularly high-profile video was in dispute, it was expanded into a regular monthly series in 1993.

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

<i>The Downward Spiral</i> 1994 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

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.

<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.

The Day the World Went Away 1999 single by Nine Inch Nails

"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".

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.

The Hand That Feeds single by Nine Inch Nails

"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.

Starfuckers, Inc. single

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

Wish (Nine Inch Nails song) song by Nine Inch Nails

"Wish" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their debut extended play (EP), Broken (1992). It was released in 1992 as a promotional single from the EP. The track features a drumming work performed by Martin Atkins.

Nine Inch Nails discography discography

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 single

"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.

<i>Year Zero Remixed</i> 2007 remix album by Nine Inch Nails

Year Zero Remixed is the third remix album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on November 20, 2007 in the United States, and on November 26, 2007 in the United Kingdom. It features remixed versions of tracks from the band's previous studio album Year Zero; these remixes were created by various producers and recording artists.

Self Destruct Tour

The Self Destruct Tour was a concert tour in support of industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails' album The Downward Spiral, which took place in early 1994, running until mid-1996, and was broken into eight legs.

The Perfect Drug 1997 single by Nine Inch Nails

"The Perfect Drug" is a song by Nine Inch Nails written for the David Lynch film Lost Highway and appearing on the Lost Highway soundtrack as well as a single from the score in 1997. Remixes of the song were released in an EP, "The Perfect Drug" Versions.

Piggy (song) single by Nine Inch Nails

"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.