Down in It
|"Down in It"|
|Single by Nine Inch Nails|
|from the album Pretty Hate Machine|
|Released||September 15, 1989|
|Genre||Industrial hip hop, industrial rock, electronica|
|Producer||Adrian Sherwood, Keith LeBlanc|
|Nine Inch Nails singles chronology|
"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 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" has been covered by Eric Gorfain, The Meeks, Sasha and Tiga. The song's 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 an early 1990s Gatorade television advertisement. Originally, "Steppin' Out by Joe Jackson was to be featured in the commercial, but Jackson declined the offer. Reznor unsuccessfully sued the production company who created the commercial for copyright infringement after he saw it in 1993, accusing them for illegal use of the song without permission.
Around the time of the single's release, the band lip-synched a performance of the song on the dance music program Dance Party USA. The video was rediscovered in 2012 and went viral after being uploaded to YouTube. Trent Reznor responded to the video's re-discovery on his Twitter account stating that the band had decided to appear on the show after deciding it was "the most absurd choice they could come up with at the time" for a television program they would be interested in performing in, and were surprised when they were actually booked to appear on the program.
"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.
|1.||"Down in It" (skin)||3:48|
|2.||"Down in It" (shred)||6:56|
|3.||"Down in It" (singe)||7:03|
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 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 preventing it from escaping the Warehouse District building in Chicago, 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 determining 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 Reznor was not dead and 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.
- Battan, Carrie. Watch Rare, Amazing Footage of Nine Inch Nails Performing on Dance Party USA in the late 1980s. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2011-30-03
- "Holland Interviews". The NIN Hotline. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
- "Getting Down in It". Alternative Press (27). March 1990.
- "Nine Inch Nails". 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
- "NIN "Down In It" report on "Hard Copy," March 3rd 1991". Vimeo. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- allmusic ((( Down in It > Overview )))
- Nine Inch Nails' official site
- 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