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 Trent Reznor
Producer 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 controversial video 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 video[edit]

Main article: Broken (1993 film)

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]