Gave Up (song)

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"Gave Up"
Song by Nine Inch Nails from the album Broken
Released September 22, 1992 (1992-09-22)
Genre Industrial metal, alternative metal
Length 4:08
Label Nothing, TVT, Interscope
Writer(s) Trent Reznor
Producer(s) Trent Reznor, Flood
Broken track listing
Happiness in Slavery
"Gave Up"
Physical (You're So)

Gave Up is a song by American industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails. Written by frontman Trent Reznor and co-produced by Flood, the song serves as the sixth track of Nine Inch Nails' 1992 EP, Broken. The song is noted for its multiplie music videos and became a concert favorite during the band's live performances.[1][2]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The song is noted for its aggressive tone, fast tempo and heavier use of guitars, in contrast to Reznor's dance-oriented previous songs from the album Pretty Hate Machine. The song also features prominent use of Mellotron MKIV, which was previously owned by The Beatles' deceased frontman John Lennon.[3] Robotic vocal effects are also present in the song.[4]

Lyrically, the song deals with the themes of isolation, belongingness, self-hatred and agony.[5][6] Reznor's angst-filled lyrics in this song, such as "After everything I've done I hate myself for what I've become" was described as a solidification of his status as "the dark lord of doom."[5][7][8]

Music videos[edit]

Main article: Broken (1993 film)

Three different videos exist for "Gave Up". One is footage of the band recording the song in the Tate Mansion, another is footage of the band performing the song live, and one is the original footage of the finale to the Broken movie.

Cultural references[edit]

The song was extensively played during the shooting of the Lost Highway's bowling alley scene, by the demand of the director David Lynch.[9]


  1. ^ Blyweiss, Adam (March 2, 2012). "Celebrate the Catalog: Nine Inch Nails". Treblezine. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ "NIN at the Electric Factory 5/19". Delirium's Realm. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ Hochman, Steve (January 1993). "The Pleasure of Pain". Rolling Stone. 
  4. ^ Truesdell (2007), p. 198
  5. ^ a b Brown, Steven C. (2011). "Artist autonomy in a digital era: The case of Nine Inch Nails" (PDF). Empirical Musicology. 6 (4): 199. 
  6. ^ "Broken review". CMJ. December 1992. 
  7. ^ Rees, Paul (December 1999). "Interview with Trent Reznor". Kerrang!. 
  8. ^ Smithouser and Waliszewski (1998) p.214
  9. ^ Donnelly (2005), p.25


  • Donnelly, Kevin J. (2005). The spectre of sound: music in film and television. BFI. ISBN 1844570258. 
  • Smithouser, Bob and Bob Waliszewski (1997). Chart Watch: From the Editor's of Focus on the Family's Plugged in. Tyndale House Publishers. ISBN 156179628X. 
  • Truesdell, Cliff (2007). Mastering Digital Audio Production: The Professional Music Workflow with Mac OS X. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0470165766. 

External links[edit]