- Down in It
"Down in It" Single by Nine Inch Nails from the album Pretty Hate Machine Released September 15, 1989 Format CD, 12" Recorded 1989 Genre Industrial hip hop, Industrial rock Length 17:47 Label TVT Records Writer(s) Trent Reznor Producer Adrian Sherwood, Keith LeBlanc Nine Inch Nails singles chronology - "Down in It"
"Head Like a Hole"
"Down in It" is a song by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released in 1989. Released as the project's debut single, the song was the first to be written by Trent Reznor, the only constant member of the act. It was released as a teaser single prior to the group's debut album, Pretty Hate Machine. The song's music video stirred criticism among the FBI, and spawned an investigation that focused on Reznor's character as a person who committed suicide.
"Down in It" was the first song Trent Reznor ever wrote and has been covered by Eric Gorfain, The Meeks, Sasha and Tiga. The songs' lyrics share similarities with those of "Only," a track found on the album With Teeth, released in 2005. The opening verse of Down in It contains the lyric "Just then a tiny little dot caught my eye," while the second verse of Only opens with the lyric "Well, the tiniest little dot caught my eye." In "Only," Trent elaborates on what that dot was ("a scab trying to seal itself shut"), while both songs also include several references to personal growth and change: "fading away" from the kind of person the protagonist once assumed himself to be and an uncertainty as to who they will inevitably become.
A remix of "Down in It" was used in a early 1990s Gatorade television advertisement. Originally, English pop musician Joe Jackson's 1982 top 10 king "Steppin' Out" was to be featured in the commercial, but Jackson declined the offer. After Reznor saw it on a TV set in 1993, he attempted to sue the production company who created it by filing a copyright infringement suit, accusing them for not having permission to use it, but this suit wasn't successful.
"Down in It" was the first official Nine Inch Nails release and the first single from the album Pretty Hate Machine. Initially released only on vinyl, a CD version was later created after the success of the album.
The first track on the single, "Down in It (skin)", is the mix that is found on Pretty Hate Machine. The cover art is very similar to Joy Division's first album, Unknown Pleasures. Joy Division has always been cited as an influence by Reznor, and he later covered their song "Dead Souls" on the soundtrack to The Crow, and the Japanese and Deluxe Editions of The Downward Spiral.
(all tracks remixed by Adrian Sherwood and Keith LeBlanc)
No. Title Length 1. "Down in It" (skin) 3:48 2. "Down in It" (shred) 6:56 3. "Down in It" (singe) 7:03Total length: 17:47
A music video for "Down in It", filmed on location in the Warehouse District of Chicago by directors Eric Zimmerman and Benjamin Stokes, was released in September 1989. It includes several somewhat elaborate effects, such as a television set falling down forwards and backwards, light writing and flashing, and follows the plot of Trent Reznor making his way to the top of a building, while two then-current members of the Nine Inch Nails live band follow him.
The climax of the original version of the Eric Zimmerman/Benjamin Stokes co-directed "Down in It" music video ended with the implication that Reznor's corn starch-covered character had fallen off a building and died in the street. MTV censored this scene, editing it from all airings. This footage attracted the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who received the video cassette from a person who saw the footage.
To film the ending of the video, Zimmerman and Stokes had used a video camera tied to a balloon, so ropes were attached to prevent it from escaping the Chicago-based Warehouse District building, the location where it was filmed. Minutes after they started filming using this technique, the ropes snapped and the balloons (and the camera) rose high into the atmosphere and — after traveling over 200 miles — landed on a farmer's field in Michigan (where it was found by the person who showed the footage to the FBI). The music video generated controversy, and spawned an investigation to determine if it portrayed a person committing suicide. The FBI classified the tape they received as a snuff film, and identified the person appearing at the ending to be Reznor. The investigation ended when Reznor's manager demonstrated that Reznor was not dead and that the music video had nothing to do with any crime or satanism.
The single release was largely panned by Allmusic, who described the two remixes included as inferior to the original. Since all three tracks were later released on the "Head Like a Hole" single, Allmusic labeled the "Down in It" single as "completely superfluous and useful only to NIN completists."
- ^ "Down in It"'s lyrics
- ^ "Only"'s lyrics
- ^ Berger, Joshua and Lengvenis, Eric. NINE INCH NAILS: AN INTERVIEW WITH TRENT REZNOR. Plasm (1994). Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- ^ "Getting Down in It". Alternative Press (27). March 1990.
- ^ a b c "Nine Inch Nails". http://www.obsolete.com/convulsion/interviews/convulse/1.5.html. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
- ^ Huxley (1997), p. 39
- ^ Welcome to the Machine (transcript). Industrial Introspection (June 1991). Retrieved 2011-06-18.
- ^ Huxley (1997), p. 40
- ^ http://youtube.com/watch?v=5gV8yQc0m7g "Down in It"]. Hard Copy 1991-03-05. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- ^ allmusic ((( Down in It > Overview )))
- Nine Inch Nails' official site
- Down In It at the NinWiki
- Halo 1 at NINCollector.com
- "Down in It" (CD5") at Discogs.com
- "Down in It" (US 12") at Discogs.com
- "Down in It" (UK 12") at Discogs.com
- Hard Copy video clip at news.nin.net
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