Closer (6:13)

Cover of The Downward Spiral

From The Downward Spiral and 188 other releases

Closer” (also known as Halo 9) is a song written by Trent Reznor and featured on the 1994 Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral. In mid-1994, the song was released as the second single from the album. Most versions of the single are titled “Closer to God,” a rare example in music of a single’s title differing from the title of its A-Side. (“Closer to God” is also the title of an alternate version of “Closer” featured on the single. ) This single is numbered as Halo Nine under Nine Inch Nails’ system of Halo numbers. In spite of the blunt and profane sexual content contained in the song’s lyrics, (the chorus infamously begins with the couplet “I wanna fuck you like an animal/ I wanna feel you from the inside”) “Closer” became Nine Inch Nails’ biggest hit up to that time, cemented Reznor’s status as an industrial rock superstar, and remains arguably his best-known song. Heavily censored versions of the song and its equally explicit and controversial music video (directed by Mark Romanek) received substantial airplay on radio and MTV.

“Closer“‘s drum track features a heavily modified bass drum sample from the Iggy Pop song “Nightclubbing” from his album The Idiot.

Radio edits of “Closer” were created by muting the vocal track for the duration of each deleted obscenity, an early prominent example of this now-common censorship technique. This technique is considered less distracting than the earlier common censorship method, overlaying an electronic tone or “bleep” over each instance of profanity.


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