Nine Inch Nails – Closer (Director’s Cut)
Music video by Nine Inch Nails performing Closer. (C) 1989 Interscope Records
“Closer” is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their second studio album, The Downward Spiral (1994). It was released on May 30, 1994 as the album’s second single. 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.) Labeled “Halo 9”, the single is the ninth official NIN release.
A promotional single provided by the label to radio stations included both long and short vocal-censored-i.e.: silenced profanity-versions. In spite of misinterpretations of the song as a lust anthem, “Closer” became Nine Inch Nails’ most successful single up to that time, cemented Reznor’s status as an industrial rock icon, and remains arguably his best-known song. Censored versions of the song and its Mark Romanek-directed music video received substantial airplay on radio and MTV.
Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN (stylized as NIИ), is an American industrial band founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. The band released two influential albums during the 1990s—The Downward Spiral (1994) and The Fragile (1999)—and has record sales exceeding over 20 million copies worldwide, with 10 million sales certified in the United States alone.
Despite its success, the band has had several feuds with the corporate side of the recording industry. The first was its notable conflict with TVT Records regarding the band’s first album, Pretty Hate Machine, which led Reznor to record his follow-up album in secrecy to avoid the label’s influence. Nine Inch Nails signed to Interscope Records afterward, but after the release of the band’s fifth studio album Year Zero in 2007, Reznor announced that Nine Inch Nails would release future material independently. The band signed with Columbia Records for the release of its eighth album Hesitation Marks (2013), and two EPs: Not the Actual Events(2016) and Add Violence (2017).
As the band’s founder and primary producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor has been considered the only constant member and creative force within the group through much of its history. However, this changed in 2016 when English musician Atticus Ross was introduced as a permanent member of Nine Inch Nails, alongside the announcement of the Not the Actual Events EP. Furthermore, Reznor typically assembles a live band to perform with him onstage. These touring bands comprise a revolving lineup, and often rearrange songs to fit a live setting. Nine Inch Nails often employs thematic visual elements to accompany on stage performances as well, which frequently include elaborate light shows.
Nine Inch Nails has been nominated for thirteen Grammy Awards, winning twice for the songs “Wish” and “Happiness in Slavery” in 1992 and 1996, respectively. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine’s list of the year’s most influential people, and Spin magazine has described him as “the most vital artist in music”. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed Nine Inch Nails at 94 on the magazine’s list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. In 2014, Nine Inch Nails was named as a nominee for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the band’s first year of eligibility. In 2015, Nine Inch Nails was nominated a second time.