The Downward Spiral

From Academic Kids

Template:Album infobox

The Downward Spiral (also known as Halo 8) is an LP by Nine Inch Nails released in 1994. The Downward Spiral is the eighth official Nine Inch Nails release and the band's third major release. It was preceded by Broken and is followed by The Fragile.

The Downward Spiral powerfully evokes images of both aggressive and depressive states, and many people find it unlistenable. Others consider it to be Trent Reznor's finest work (although Reznor himself denies this). Critics have stated that this album demonstrates Reznor's underlying pop music sensibility, and credit his ability to blend it with typically taboo themes (as seen in the catchy "Closer"). Other critics have cited a "calculated nihilism" as the album's main weakness. Reznor has publicly stated that he has suffered from depression, and has been reported as suffering from bipolar disorder.

The Downward Spiral propelled NIN into much greater prominence, especially after the release of the popular second single, "Closer", which was released with a controversial video directed by Mark Romanek.

The Downward Spiral produced a remix album entitled Further Down the Spiral.

"Hurt" has been covered by Johnny Cash, the video for which was directed by Mark Romanek.

The Downward Spiral was recorded at Le Pig in Beverly Hills, California, a studio space located in the house where Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson Family. Reznor has made conflicting statements regarding whether he knew of the house's history before choosing to record there.

In 2001 Q magazine named The Downward Spiral as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time.

Contents

Plot

The Downward Spiral is a concept album. Its plot follows a character trying to rid himself of the controls of religion and society as he uses sex as an escape. Eventually, this character has to face his internal void. The album reaches its climax in the title track. The final track, "Hurt", acts as an epilogue of a sorts. Many critics believe that the character resolves this conflict through suicide (lending to complaints of severe nihilism); others have taken the album's final self-destructive episode as representative of the death of the character's old identity.

Releases

Tenth Anniversary Re-releases

On November 23, 2004, The Downward Spiral was re-released to celebrate its tenth anniversary. It is available in two versions: as a 2-disc hybrid SACD set and as a DualDisc (DVD-A on one side and CD on the reverse). The SACD version is known as The Downward Spiral: Deluxe Edition and the DVD-A version is known as The Downward Spiral: DualDisc.

Deluxe Edition

The SACD version consists of two discs and each disc is dual-layered. Disc one has a the original album, digitally remastered, in SACD 5.1 surround and SACD stereo on one layer (only playable in SACD players) and regular CD stereo on the other layer (playable in normal CD players). Disc two consists of bonus tracks and is presented in SACD stereo and regular CD stereo.

This version is labeled "halo eight DE" and is also known as halo 8 DE.

DualDisc

CD side

Contains the original album, digitally remastered. Playable on most regular CD players.

DVD side

  • 5.1 surround and stereo version of the original tracks, digitally remastered
  • Downward Spiral Artwork (plays with the music in DVD-A players, viewable as a slideshow on DVD-Video players)
  • Music Videos
    • Closer (available in 5.1 surround and stereo)
    • March of the Pigs (stereo)
    • Hurt (stereo)
  • Discography, including selected bits of music from each album (starting with Broken) that run about a minute each

This version is labeled "halo eight DVD-A" and is also known as halo 8 DVD-A.

Track Listing

Original version

  1. "Mr Self Destruct" - 4:30
  2. "Piggy" - 4:24
  3. "Heresy" - 3:54
  4. "March of the Pigs" - 2:58
  5. "Closer" - 6:13
  6. "Ruiner" - 4:58
  7. "The Becoming" - 5:31
  8. "I Do Not Want This" - 5:41
  9. "Big Man With a Gun" - 1:36
  10. "A Warm Place" - 3:22
  11. "Eraser" - 4:54
  12. "Reptile" - 6:51
  13. "The Downward Spiral" - 3:57
  14. "Hurt" - 6:13

The Japanese version also has the Joy Division cover "Dead Souls", from the soundtrack to The Crow, between "Big Man With a Gun" and "A Warm Place".

Deluxe Edition

Missing image
Halo8deluxe.jpg
Deluxe Edition cover

(disc 1)

  • identical to the original version

(disc 2)

  1. "Burn" - 5:00
  2. "Closer (precursor)" (remixed by Coil, Danny Hyde) - 7:16
  3. "Piggy (nothing can stop me now)" (remixed by Rick Rubin) - 4:03
  4. "A Violet Fluid" - 1:04
  5. "Dead Souls" - 4:53
  6. "Hurt (quiet)" (remixed by Trent Reznor) - 5:08
  7. "Closer to God" (remixed by Reznor, Sean Beavan, Brian Pollack) - 5:06
  8. "All the Pigs, All Lined Up" - 7:26
  9. "Memorabilia" - 7:22 (originally by Soft Cell)
  10. "The Downward Spiral (the bottom)" (remixed by John Balance, Peter Christopherson, Drew McDowall, Hyde) - 7:32
  11. "Ruiner (demo)" - 4:51
  12. "Liar (reptile demo)" - 6:57
  13. "Heresy (demo)" - 4:00

Personnel

  • John Aguo - Engineer
  • Tom Baker - Mastering
  • Sean Beavan - Mixing
  • Adrian Belew - Ring mod & texture generating guitars
  • Flood - Producer
  • Bill Kennedy - Mixing
  • Andy Kubiszewski - Drums
  • Tommy Lee - Steakhouse
  • Danny Lohner - Guitar
  • Alan Moulder - Mixing
  • Stephen Perkins - Drums
  • Brian Pollack - Engineer
  • Trent Reznor - Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Arranger, Producer
  • Chris Vrenna - Drums, Programming, Sampling

Chart Positions

Album

1994   The Downward Spiral    The Billboard 200                    No. 2
1995   The Downward Spiral    The Billboard 200                    No. 2
1996   The Downward Spiral    The Billboard 200                    No. 2

Singles

1994   Closer                 The Billboard Hot 100                No. 41
1994   March Of The Pigs      The Billboard Hot 100                No. 59
1994   Closer                 Mainstream Rock Tracks               No. 35
1994   Closer                 Modern Rock Tracks                   No. 11
1994   Closer To God          Hot Dance Music/Club Play            No. 29
1994   Closer To God          Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales   No. 29

External Links


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