Piggy (song)

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"Piggy"
Single by Nine Inch Nails
from the album The Downward Spiral
Released December 1994
Format Promotional CD
Recorded 10050 Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills, California
Genre Industrial rock, alternative rock, noise rock
Length 4:24
Label Nothing Records, Interscope
Writer(s) Trent Reznor
Producer(s) Trent Reznor, Flood
Nine Inch Nails singles chronology
"Burn"
(1994)
"Piggy"
(1994)
"Hurt"
(1995)

"Piggy" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, and the second track of The Downward Spiral (1994). It was written by Trent Reznor, co-produced by Flood, and recorded in "Le Pig" (10050 Cielo Drive). The song is well known for being Reznor's only live drumming performance.

Recording[edit]

"Piggy" was recorded in a studio built in the living room of 10050 Cielo Drive, Le Pig.

Reznor wrote the song after Broken (1992) was completed. It was initially a poem which he expanded into a full song. He later moved to a house famous for its status as the site of the gruesome Tate murders, on July 4, 1992, and created a studio space there, calling it "Le Pig."[1] When asked about the building where production on the song was done, Reznor responded that he chose it merely for space considerations, claiming not to have been aware of the house's connection to the murders until after he chose it. "I looked at a lot of places," Reznor said. "And this just happened to be the one I liked most."[2]

The studio name, "Le Pig" alludes to the word "PIG" written with Tate's blood on the front door by the murderers, itself a reference to a The Beatles song of the same name. This incident introduced Reznor to their self-titled 1968 album, which included "Piggies".[3]

The frantic drumming on the outro is Reznor's only attempt at performing drums on the record, and one of the few "live" drum performances on the album. He had stated that the recording was from him testing the microphone setup in studio, but he liked the sound too much not to include it.[4]

Music and lyrics[edit]

This is the first NIN song to use the line "nothing can stop me now", which concludes the track. The phrase appears often in Reznor's later writing, making appearances in the songs "Ruiner", "Big Man with a Gun", "La Mer", "We're in This Together", and "Sunspots".[5][6][7][8][9][10]

A leitmotif used throughout the album first appears on "Piggy". Pictured here is the pattern (transposed to A) on the album's title track.

Quiet and slow overall, the song's tempo is 65 BPM, and played in the B# tuning. It is also the first track on the album to use "The Downward Spiral leitmotif", albeit on the organ.[11]

Release and reception[edit]

"Piggy" was released as a promotional single on The Downward Spiral, on December 1994. The single was not labeled as a halo number, and has no music video created in promotion of the song. It reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, making the album fly upwards to number 62.[12] "Piggy (Nothing Can Stop Me Now)," a remix of "Piggy," appears on The Downward Spiral's accompanying remix album, Further Down the Spiral (1995). The subtitle is the "nothing can stop me now" lyric.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huxley (1997), p. 99.
  2. ^ Making Records: Where Manson Murdered Helter Shelter (214). Entertainment Weekly. 1994-03-18. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  3. ^ Mark Blackwell (February 1997). "Ninechnails" (transcription). Ray Gun. Painful Convictions (archive). Retrieved 2007-06-04. 
  4. ^ Greg Rule (April 1994). "Trent Reznor". Keyboard. Retrieved 2007-04-25. 
  5. ^ The Downward Spiral (Interscope Records/nothing/TVT, March 8, 1994) booklet; "Piggy" lyrics.
  6. ^ The Downward Spiral (Interscope Records/nothing/TVT, March 8, 1994) booklet; "Ruiner" lyrics.
  7. ^ The Downward Spiral (Interscope Records/nothing/TVT, March 8, 1994) booklet; "Big Man with a Gun" lyrics.
  8. ^ The Fragile (Interscope Records/nothing, September 21, 1999) booklet; "La Mer" lyrics (when translated from French language).
  9. ^ The Fragile (Interscope Records/nothing, September 21, 1999) booklet; "We're in This Together" lyrics.
  10. ^ With Teeth (Interscope Records/nothing, May 3, 2005) PDF poster; "Sunspots" lyrics.
  11. ^ Schiller, Mike (2005-05-18). "Nine Inch Nails: With Teeth". PopMatters. Retrieved 2006-12-20.
  12. ^ Billboard 200: Charts for week of December 25-31, 1994. Billboard. Nielsen Company. Retrieved 05-23-2011.

Bibliography[edit]

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