The Day the World Went Away

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"The Day the World Went Away"
The day the world went away.jpg
Single by Nine Inch Nails
from the album The Fragile
Released July 20, 1999
Format CD, 12"
Recorded August 1997–April 1999
Length 4:33 (CD)
17:27 (12")
Label Nothing
Writer(s) Trent Reznor
Producer(s) Trent Reznor, Alan Moulder
Nine Inch Nails singles chronology
"The Perfect Drug"
"The Day the World Went Away"
"We're in This Together"
Halo numbers chronology
"Halo 12"
"Halo 13"
"Halo 14"

"The Day the World Went Away" is a song by Nine Inch Nails, released in 1999 as the first single from the act's then-forthcoming album The Fragile (1999). Labeled as "Halo 13," The single is the thirteenth official Nine Inch Nails release. It was the band's first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at number 17, which remains the group's highest ever position on that chart.[1]


"The Day the World Went Away" contains no drums.[2] To date, it is the only NIN single to reach the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was a staple in the encore during the Fragility tour,[3][4] and has been performed in many shows since.

The compact disc single contains three songs: the original version and a "quiet" remix of "The Day the World Went Away," and "Starfuckers, Inc." another song from The Fragile. The 12" vinyl single replaced "Starfuckers, Inc." with another version of "The Day the World Went Away," this one remixed by the electronic music duo Porter Ricks. The main version of the title track featured on the single is approximately 30 seconds shorter than the version found on The Fragile and features slightly different vocals.

The version of "Starfuckers, Inc." featured on the single is almost identical to the album version, except that this version ends with the sound of Paul Stanley yelling "Goodnight!" to a cheering crowd. The yelling and crowd cheering are sampled from a KISS concert recording. The opening to "Complication", the track which follows "Starfuckers, Inc." on The Fragile, can be heard faintly alongside the crowd noise, augmented to sound like part of the concert.

The flower depicted on the cover of the single is a Kangaroo paw.

Music video[edit]

Trent Reznor in the "The Day the World Went Away" music video.

A music video was made for the song, but never released. Still images that were used on the official NIN website indicate that the video takes place at a funeral.

An alternate video for the song, using live audio and a combination of live and original footage, is included as an Easter egg on the second disc of the And All That Could Have Been DVD.

In popular culture[edit]

A remixed version of this track was featured in the third official trailer of Terminator Salvation.

The song is featured in the 2012 video game Spec Ops: The Line.[citation needed]

The song is featured in and is the title of the 100th episode of the CBS series Person of Interest. The song plays in the background and closes out the final scene

Track listings[edit]

CD single[edit]

Nothing Records / Interscope Records INTDS-97026

  1. "The Day the World Went Away" (single version) - 4:03
  2. "Starfuckers, Inc." (long) - 5:24
  3. "The Day the World Went Away (Quiet)" (remixed by Trent Reznor) - 6:20

12" Single[edit]

Nothing Records / Interscope Records INT12-97026

Side A[edit]

  1. "The Day the World Went Away" (single version) - 4:01
  2. "The Day the World Went Away (Quiet)" - 6:20

Side B[edit]

  1. "The Day the World Went Away (Porter Ricks)" - 7:04


Charts (1999) Peak
Australian ARIA Charts 31
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 17


  1. ^ Allmusic: Nine Inch Nails charts & awards
  2. ^ Cliff Hicks (29 July 1999). "Nine Inch Nails returns". Daily Nebraskan. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  3. ^ Adam Graham (17 April 2000). "Still-depressed Reznor reveals "Fragility v. 2.0"". Central Michigan Life. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  4. ^ "Nine Inch Nails; A Perfect Circle (review)". Variety. 12 June 2000. Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 

External links[edit]