|"Head Like a Hole"|
|Single by Nine Inch Nails|
|from the album Pretty Hate Machine|
|Released||March 22, 1990|
|Nine Inch Nails singles chronology|
|Halo numbers chronology|
"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 .
Although one of the more rock-oriented tracks on the album, many elements of electronic and dance music are still featured. The lyrical contents deal with themes of betrayal and angst, consistent with the rest of the album.
"Head Like a Hole" is among the band's most famous songs, and remains both a critical and fan favorite. It enjoyed heavy rotation on the radio at the time of its release, eventually reaching number 9 on Billboard 's Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart. It has been covered by several artists, including Devo, Showbread, AFI, Korn and Buckcherry, and was also remade as "On a Roll" (performed by Miley Cyrus in character as "Ashley O.") for the Black Mirror episode "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too."
Trent Reznor wrote "Head Like a Hole" in 1988, after touring with Skinny Puppy. Flood, Adrian Sherwood, and Keith LeBlanc were co-producers of the song, and it was recorded in 1989."Head Like a Hole" was one of the last songs completed for the album, since Flood did not arrive to the studio until the completion of Depeche Mode's Violator (1990).
"Head Like a Hole" has been classified as an industrial rock and electronic rock song,and recognized as an "industrial dance anthem". The tempo is 115 BPM, and it is played in the key of E Minor.
The chords of this song are similar to the project's debut single, "Down in It". In contrast to "Down in It", "Head Like a Hole" has a longer intro, lasts roughly one minute longer (the song is five minutes long in its aggregate length), is heavy metal music-oriented, and has no rapping."Head Like a Hole" is also the opening track on Nine Inch Nails' 1989 debut, and is one of the two Nine Inch Nails songs produced by Flood to appear on Pretty Hate Machine .
Labeled as "Halo 3", Head Like a Hole is the third official Nine Inch Nails release, containing remixes of three different songs from Pretty Hate Machine . The single release is longer in duration than the album itself. The single peaked at #28 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
A three-track version of this single was released in the UK containing "Head Like a Hole (Opal)" which is not included on the US release. This version begins with a sample of "Tamborine" by Prince, taken from his 1985 album Around the World in a Day and incorporates a drum loop sampled from "Release It" taken from another Prince record, the soundtrack to the Prince-directed movie Graffiti Bridge (1990).[ citation needed ] The saxophone in "Release It" can be heard before the drum loop begins. "Head Like a Hole (Copper)" samples the looping drum beat from "Body Language", a track off of the Hot Space (1982) album by Queen.[ citation needed ] The first track is mistakenly listed as "Head Like a Hole (Slate)" on the CD. "Down in It (Shred)" and "Down in It (Singe)" were previously released on the "Down in It" single; the latter track is extended by 18 seconds. The unlisted eleventh track is host Heather Day yelling "Let's hear it for Nine Inch Nails! Woo! They're good!" This is a sample from Dance Party USA during an appearance by the band on the show.
"Head Like a Hole" was re-issued as a single in Australia in 1995, where it peaked at #57 on the ARIA singles chart and spent 7 weeks in the top 100.
The 11-track United States version of "Head Like a Hole" has recently been repackaged and re-released. This version was also released in the United Kingdom, where it failed to reach the Top 40Finally, in Germany, the single was released as "You Get What You Deserve". This release includes four tracks.
In a retrospective review of the song, Allmusic described "Head Like a Hole" as "grand theater", elaborating further by commenting the "backing music was immaculately crafted and produced".In its review of the single, the author was largely positive towards the song selection, even saying that the inclusion of "Head Like a Hole", "Terrible Lie", and "Down in It" "renders Pretty Hate Machine mostly unnecessary". As for the other tracks included on the single, Allmusic was less positive, adding, "This is one case where quality definitely would have sufficed without the quantity".
The single was included in the 2015 Record Store Day–Black Friday exclusive box set, Halo I–IV .
A music video was made for the "Clay" remix of this song. Directed by Eric Zimmerman, it was released in March 1990 and again later in 1997 on the Closure VHS. The video became popular on MTV and helped fuel NIN's early success. A slightly different edit of the video was also released for Flood's remix of the song, which is 17 seconds shorter than the "Clay" remix. The video features band members Trent Reznor, Richard Patrick, and Chris Vrenna, as well as guest drummer Martin Atkins performing in a cage.
The video was filmed at the original location of Exit nightclub which was located at 1653 North Wells Street in Chicago.
The video begins with black and white footage of a person hopping on one foot while spinning a staff which fades in and out against a background of blurred colors (excerpts of Maya Deren's unfinished documentary on voodoo rituals "Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti"). Clips of Reznor putting his head in a bucket of water, and an off-screen person using the same bucket to make Reznor wet, were taken by a video camera before filming a performance of the song from Nine Inch Nails as a live band.
The guitar Reznor uses in the video is a Jackson Dinky. It is first seen in first chorus, when Reznor, appearing to be dirty like the other band members (he had long hair and wore gritty clothing during production), bangs his head twice while singing the song. He does not use the guitar for the climax of the video, where wires tied to him slowly pull him up, leaving the frontman spinning upside down. At the same scene, Vrenna destroys his drum kit by throwing a bass drum of Atkins' drum kit towards the object. At a shot occurring prior to that point, broken Zildjian cymbals and a drum machine can be seen as parts of Vrenna's kit.
There are images that are shown for a few frames like "HEAD", "16 SOUND START", "S M P T E UNIVERSAL LEADER" and "PICTURE". Other images included a white dot set against a black background, a mirrored presentation showing the words "REEL № PROD № PLAY DATE" colored in yellow, one with the words "PICTURE START", and a frame consisting of "C C F F" placed near an outlined ring. The latter screen had an alternative version that was accompanied by a white number 3, also seen in the video. There are also visuals of four incomplete rotating mechanical models of human heads; one with film stills, another with a modified motherboard and other technology, the purple, wired, head with a blue screen showing an eye and various computer hardware, and the last containing blue skin, orange-pupil eyes, and a lightbulb. The former two were filmed in black and white, while the latter two in full color. All four are shown intercut with shots of people spinning baseball bats.
The song has been the encore for most NIN shows (especially the Pretty Hate Machine Tour Series ), or the last song before the encore if an encore took place. There are live videos of "Head Like a Hole" on the DVDs And All That Could Have Been and Beside You in Time .
During Lollapalooza '91, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, Gibby Haynes and Ice-T joined Nine Inch Nails live performances on-stage as additional guitarists for "Head Like a Hole;" except for the first show in Phoenix, AZ when NIN walked off stage after the first song in a snit.For the Nights of Nothing mini-tour in 1996, Richard Patrick made a brief return to the band to perform guitar and vocals on "Head Like a Hole" at the Irving Plaza show in New York along with Clint Mansell, who joined NIN on this song at all three shows of the tour. In the June 7, 2006 radio performance at Atlanta, Georgia, Trent Reznor and Peter Murphy played a reworked version of "Head Like a Hole".
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery once sang the song loudly to Reznor to win a $20 bet.To express the evolving state of his values, Reznor said in 1997 that "I don't want to be singing "Head Like a Hole" at age 50."
Since its commercial maxi-single release, "Head Like a Hole" continues to generate an impact on other musicians and bands. New Zealand-based grunge band HLAH is named after the song. The name is sometimes abbreviated to avoid copyright infringement issues.
"Head Like a Hole" is the most widely covered Nine Inch Nails song. In 2005, The String Quartet Tribute released a cover album of reworked versions of Pretty Hate Machine, including "Head Like a Hole". Other bands who covered the track include punk rock band AFI, [ citation needed ], and Miley Cyrus as Ashley O for the 2019 television series Black Mirror .rock artist Ryan Star, new wave band Devo, indie rock band Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives, gothic metal band Lullacry, nu metal band Korn, post-industrial band PIG, hard rock band Buckcherry, Christian rock band Showbread.
"Head Like a Hole" was part of a controversy after the September 11 attacks, when Clear Channel Communications placed it in a 2001 list of post-9/11 inappropriate song titles not for radio airplay.
The track was also featured as number 37 on PopMatters ' "The 100 Greatest Alternative Singles of the ‘80s" list.
American deathcore act Carnifex did a cover of the song on their EP Bury Me In Blasphemy.
"Head Like a Hole", among other Nine Inch Nails songs, was remixed and rewritten by Charlie Brooker with Reznor's approval as the pop song "On a Roll" for the fifth series episode "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too" of Black Mirror .The song was released as a single on June 14, 2019. At the end of the episode, Cyrus performed a cover version of "Head Like a Hole".
The song was used in the television advertising campaign for the action video game Gears of War 5.
|1.||"Head Like a Hole" (Slate)||Trent Reznor, Flood||4:19|
|2.||"Head Like a Hole" (Clay)||Keith LeBlanc||4:32|
|3.||"Terrible Lie" (Sympathetic Mix)||Reznor, Flood||4:27|
|4.||"Head Like a Hole" (Copper)||Reznor, Flood||6:27|
|5.||"You Know Who You Are" (Instrumental Dub mix of "Head Like a Hole")||Reznor, Flood||5:39|
|6.||"Head Like a Hole" (Soil)||Reznor, Flood||6:39|
|7.||"Terrible Lie" (Empathetic Mix)||Reznor, Flood||6:09|
|8.||"Down in It" (Shred)||Adrian Sherwood, LeBlanc||6:52|
|9.||"Down in It" (Singe)||Sherwood, LeBlanc||7:20|
|10.||"Down in It" (Demo)||Reznor||3:56|
|11.||"Untitled" (hidden track)||0:03|
|1.||"Head Like a Hole" (Clay)||LeBlanc||4:32|
|2.||"Head Like a Hole" (Copper)||Reznor, Flood||6:27|
|3.||"Head Like a Hole" (Opal)||Reznor, Flood||5:17|
|1.||"Head Like a Hole" (Slate)||4:19|
|2.||"Terrible Lie" (Sympathetic Mix)||4:30|
|3.||"Head Like a Hole" (Opal)||5:21|
|1.||"Head Like a Hole" (Copper)||Reznor, Flood||6:27|
|2.||"Down in It" (Shred)||Sherwood, LeBlanc||6:52|
|3.||"Terrible Lie" (Sympathetic Mix)||Reznor, Flood||4:27|
|4.||"Head Like a Hole" (Clay)||LeBlanc||4:32|
It was made available to download on March 1, 2011 for use in the Rock Band 3 music gaming platform in both Basic rhythm, and PRO mode which utilizes real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocals.
|UK Singles (OCC)||45|
|US Alternative Airplay ( Billboard )||28|
Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN and stylized as NIИ, 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 official addition of English musician Atticus Ross in 2016. The band's debut album, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), was released via TVT Records. After feuding with TVT about how to promote the album, Reznor signed with Interscope Records and released the EP Broken (1992). The following Nine Inch Nails albums, The Downward Spiral (1994) and The Fragile (1999), were released to critical acclaim and commercial success.
Pretty Hate Machine is the debut studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by TVT Records on October 20, 1989. Production of the record was handled by NIN frontman Trent Reznor and English producer Flood, among other contributors.
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.
"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.
"Down in It" is the debut single by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on September 15, 1989. Taken from the band's debut album Pretty Hate Machine, it was the first song ever written by frontman Trent Reznor.
"Into the Void" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their third studio album, The Fragile, released in 1999. It is the album's third single and saw release early 2000. A music video was directed by Walter Stern and Jeff Richter.
"We're in This Together" is a three-disc single by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails for the song of the same name released in 1999. It is the 15th official Nine Inch Nails release and is a single for the album The Fragile.
TVT Records was an American record label founded by Steve Gottlieb. Over the course of its 30-year history, the label released some 25 Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum releases. Its roster included Nine Inch Nails, Ja Rule, Lil Jon, Underworld, KMFDM, Gravity Kills, The KLF, The Baldwin Brothers, Sevendust, Nothingface, the Wellwater Conspiracy, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Holloways, The Cinematics, Buck-O-Nine, DJ Hurricane, Speech and Pitbull. Its biggest commercial successes were the triple platinum Nine Inch Nails's Pretty Hate Machine, two double platinum releases by Lil Jon, and platinum releases by Snoop Dogg and Tha Eastsidaz, Dashboard Confessional, Default and Ying Yang Twins as well as gold releases by Sevendust, Gravity Kills and The Black Crowes and Jimmy Page. Additionally, TVT also had success overseas, achieving a gold release in Germany and Sweden with The Connells and scored platinum and gold records in Canada with Default.
"Sin" is the third single by American artist Nine Inch Nails from the album Pretty Hate Machine. Released in October 1990, the song peaked at number 35 in the UK Singles Chart.
"Closer" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as the second single on 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. 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. The single is the ninth official Nine Inch Nails release, making it "Halo 9" in the band's official Halo numbering system.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
Pretty Hate Machine Tour Series was a series of concert tours in support of Nine Inch Nails' debut album Pretty Hate Machine. The series took place over much of North America and Europe from 1989 to 1991. During this time, the band's line-up mainly consisted of Trent Reznor on vocals and guitars, Richard Patrick on back-up vocals and guitars, Chris Vrenna on drums, and a hired musician usually to play keyboards. The series consisted of eight tours, spanning Skinny Puppy's VIVIsectVI tour to a tour of Europe for the band.
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" 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.
"On a Roll" is a song by American singer Miley Cyrus, performed under the moniker "Ashley O". It is an adaptation of the 1989 Nine Inch Nails song "Head Like a Hole". The episode originally aired on June 5, 2019, and the song was later distributed as a stand-alone single by RCA Records and The Null Corporation on June 14, 2019. The B-side, "Right Where I Belong", is based on the 2005 Nine Inch Nails song "Right Where It Belongs". Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor approved of the adaptations, and released Black Mirror-themed merchandise to coincide with the episode's airing. The song was ranked 28th on the 100 Best Songs of 2019 list by Billboard. The song was not released to radio in the US.
Rumours that have circulated about him... that he dated Kennedy ("She's just a friend"- they met at the Whiskey in L.A., after Kennedy humiliated him by singing "Head Like a Hole" loudly to his face to win a twenty-dollar bet with a buddy.)