The Downward Spiral, the magnificent second album from Trent Reznor, aka Nine Inch Nails, features 14 recordings showcasing Reznor’s rich, emotive voice and some of the strongest and melodic negative energy ever put on wax. Its creation, its impact and the traumatic past and present of Reznor is all there to hear. It not only crysalized everything Reznor might have felt about his past, but it changed his future to something he fought against for years – a household name. It’s hard to believe 20 years has passed since the release of the album, so let’s take a look at 20 Facts about The Downward Spiral.
1. Co-produced by Trent Reznor and Flood (U2, Depeche Mode,) The Downward Spiral was conceived after the Lollapalooza 1991 festival tour as a human release for the negative energy felt in the concerts.
2. His record label, TVT, also had him angry, so Reznor co-founded Nothing Records with his former manager John Malm, Jr. and signing with Interscope for distribution. This was pivotal, as Reznor could now take all the time he wanted to record the album without record label suits watching him.
3. Reznor was so depressed that his friends suggested that he should be on Prozac. Reznor felt it would be better to channel the energy into his music.
4. Reznor began renting a house at 10050 Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, California to record the album in 1992 and had a recording studio built inside.
5. This was the same house Charles Manson visited in late 1968, when it was occupied by couple Terry Melcher (the son of actress Doris Day) and Candice Bergen with roommate/talent manager Roger Hart. In February 1969, Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate began renting the home from Altobelli. On August 9, 1969, the home became the scene of the murders of Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent at the hands of the Manson “Family.”
6. Reznor’s home studio, dubbed Pig (sometimes called Le Pig) is a reference to murderer Susan Atkins writing “Pig” in Tate’s blood on the front door of the house.
7. In December 1993, Reznor was confronted by Patti Tate, who asked if he was exploiting Sharon Tate’s death in the Tate house. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reznor recalled:
While I was working on [The] Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister [Pattie Tate]. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: ‘Are you exploiting my sister’s death by living in her house?’ For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, ‘No, it’s just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I’m in this place where a weird part of history occurred.’ I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don’t want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, ‘What if it was my sister?’ I thought, ‘Fuck Charlie Manson.’ I went home and cried that night. It made me see there’s another side to things, you know?
8. That same studio was also used for the recording of Marilyn Manson’s debut album Portrait of an American Family, which Reznor co-produced. Marilyn Manson was the first band other than Nine Inch Nails to sign with Nothing Records.
9. Adrian Belew, who played in several bands, including King Crimson and the live band for David Bowie, recorded what became the odd ending of “Mr. Self Destruct,” the opening song of the album.
10. In 1996, a remix of “Mr. Self Destruct” (“The Art of Self Destruction, Part 2″) was used in a Levi’s television advertisement, which was directed by David Fincher. Reznor and Fincher would later collaborate for the soundtracks to the films The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
11. The frantic drumming “Piggy” is Reznor’s only attempt at performing drums on the record, and one of the few “live” drum performances on the album. The recording was from him testing the microphone setup in studio, but he liked the sound too much not to include it.
12. Go on, YOU try drums for “March of the Pigs” with it’s unusual meter. It alternates three bars of 7/8 time with one bar of 8/8 time, making in effect, a 29/8 time signature. The song’s Beats Per Minute? 269.
13. 13 years after its release, “March Of The Pigs” debuted at #9 and peaked at #6 on the Canadian Singles Chart. Chalk it up to record stores carrying the physical single CD again.
14. “Closer”‘s drum track features a heavily modified bass drum sample from the Iggy Pop song “Nightclubbing” from his album The Idiot. In 2006, “Closer” was voted number one in a VH1 Classic poll titled “20 Greatest Music Videos of All Time.” Strangely enough, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra have played it a number of times on the Late Show with David Letterman.
15. Senator Bob Dole, then head of the Republican Party, sharply criticized Time Warner (who distributed the album) after a meeting between Michael J. Fuchs (head of the Warner Music Group), William Bennett, and C. Delores Tucker, at which Tucker and Bennett demanded that Fuchs recite lyrics from “Big Man with a Gun” because they thought the lyrics were an attack on the United States Government. Reznor denied any political interest, and that “Big Man With A Gun” was a satire of the gangster rap genre.
16. “Hurt” received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Song in 1996 but lost to Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know”.
17. In 2002, Johnny Cash covered the song for his album, American IV: The Man Comes Around. Not only did Cash remove the swear words in the song, but he used his tone more directly to reference Christ and Cash’s devout Christianity. Its accompanying video, featuring images from Cash’s life and directed by Mark Romanek, was named the best video of the year by the Grammy Awards and CMA Awards, and the best video of all time by NME in July 2011. The cover was released on a single with the B-side ‘Personal Jesus’, a cover of the Depeche Mode single.
18. When Trent Reznor was asked if Cash could cover his song, Reznor said he was “flattered” but worried that “the idea sounded a bit gimmicky.” He became a fan of Cash’s version, however, once he saw the music video.
“I pop the video in, and wow… Tears welling, silence, goose-bumps… Wow. [I felt like] I just lost my girlfriend, because that song isn’t mine anymore… It really made me think about how powerful music is as a medium and art form. I wrote some words and music in my bedroom as a way of staying sane, about a bleak and desperate place I was in, totally isolated and alone. [Somehow] that winds up reinterpreted by a music legend from a radically different era/genre and still retains sincerity and meaning — different, but every bit as pure.”
19. Before the Columbine High School massacre, two Columbine High School student mass murderers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold referenced lyrics from Nine Inch Nails multiple times in their journals, with the latter specifically naming The Downward Spiral as a symbol of his depression.
20. The critics loved the record from the start. Entertainment Weekly says “Reznor’s pet topics (sex, power, S&M, hatred, transcendence) are all here, wrapped in hooks that hit your psyche with the force of a blowtorch.” Rolling Stone gave the album five out of five stars and called it “a powerful statement, and one of the landmark albums of the Nineties.” The album entered the Billboard 200 at number two and was certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of four million copies in the United States.
Remember as a kid there were cereal boxes with records attached to them? Here’s one for The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar” that is named the Most Manufactured Record Ever:
Kellogg’s also produced a 33 1/3 RPM record, but it didn’t contain music – it was all about their most popular products in 1971, which, they proclaim, would be “A Kellogg’s Year”.
There are eight songs in total, ranging from just under a minute to just over two minutes. It wasn’t made for the general public, but for internal use, perhaps for the sales and marketing staff.
Track three, “Low Noon”, is easily the strangest part of the record. It’s a parody of Johnny Cash’s singing style and musical style, in which the lyrics make repeated fun of those who claim that that Frosted Flakes have little or no nutritional value. It predates snarky by a few decades, and it would be a bad PR move it was ever released to the public at the time.
1.) Kellogg’s – Overture (MP3)
2.) Kellogg’s - The K-‘71 March (MP3)
3.) Kellogg’s - Low Noon (MP3)
4.) Kellogg’s - Wakin’ Up (Rice Krispies) (MP3)
5.) Kellogg’s - The K-‘71 March (Reprise) (MP3)
6.) Kellogg’s - The American Breakfast (Corn Flakes) (MP3)
7.) Kellogg’s - The Hard Rider (Sugar Pops) (MP3)
8.) Kellogg’s - Finale – It’s a Kellogg’s Year (MP3)
Tim Bergling, or Avicii, as he’s otherwise known as has been ranked at number 3 on DJ Magazine’s annual Top 100 DJs poll in 2011, in 2012 and again in 2013. His hit “Wake Me Up” featuring Aloe Blacc sold 2,867,000 copies, and is the fifth best-selling dance/electronic songs in SoundScan history. So, to follow it up, what’s he doing to do? Go to the country charts, of course.
“Hey Brother” isn’t your typical pop song, and it’s not straight country, it falls somewhere in the middie, and it’s about to debut on the country music radio charts. Featuring uncredited vocals from American bluegrass singer Dan Tyminski, there’s no doubt radio will give it a chance there – pop superstars like Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift continue find a home in the land of cowboy hats, so Avicii might just expanding his audience even more.
Katy Perry claims the record for the most weeks at No. 1 in the 21-year history of Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart all to herself, as “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, spends a fourth week on top, upping her career count to 46 weeks at No. 1. With her latest frame in the lead, Perry passes Mariah Carey, who’s totaled 45 weeks at No. 1.
Here’s an updated look at the acts to spend the most time at No. 1 dating to the Oct. 3, 1992, launch of the Nielsen BDS-based tally, which measures the most weekly plays at mainstream top 40 stations:
Weeks at No. 1, Artist
46, Katy Perry
45, Mariah Carey
29, Ace of Base
26, Maroon 5
25, Christina Aguilera
23, Boyz II Men
Today marks the launch of the 2014 JUNO Awards “What Do You Do?” initiative, an online awareness campaign designed to inspire conversation and action around sustainability. The initiative kicks off with the release of a video which features Canadian musicians and celebrities including Billy Talent, Chris Hadfield, and Said the Whale amongst others, talking about the steps that they take in their daily lives and work to be more sustainable. The video is available at www.junotv.ca.
To get involved, people are encouraged to get online, engage and tweet @TheJUNOAwards the answer to the question: What Do You Do to live more sustainably using the hashtag # JUNOWDYD. Participants will be entered into a draw for JUNO merchandise and tickets to 2014 JUNO Week events. The initiative will run throughout the month of March, with subsequent videos being released each Thursday to spark ongoing creativity and dialogue, and the final draw set to be held on March 27, 2014.
The launch of the What Do You Do initiative is complemented by the return of 11-year-old Hannah Alper a well-known speaker, activist and writer, as the JUNO Awards eco-blogger. Her blogs will be posted on junoawards.ca on Mondays throughout March.
These efforts are part of a larger strategy designed to enhance the sustainability performance of CARAS operations and JUNO Week events. The strategy entails collaborating with partners and suppliers to reduce resource consumption, manage waste, mitigate climate change impacts, integrate sustainability considerations into purchasing decisions, and create positive legacies in the host community.
Initiatives put in place through the strategy are enabling CARAS to deliver JUNO Week events in accordance with CSA Z2010, a national event sustainability management standard, for the fourth consecutive year.
Several key partners support the CARAS sustainability initiatives: Strategin Solutions, Less Emissions Inc. andBullfrog Power.
For more information about the 2014 JUNO Awards and associated upcoming events, visit junoawards.ca.
“Happy” maintains its Hot 100 command with gains in all three of the charts metrics (sales, airplay and streaming), while sales continues to make up the majority (53%) of its chart points. It leads the Digital Songs chart for a third week with a 3% increase to 413,000 downloads sold. Having sold 402,000 last week, “Happy” is the first song to earn two straight weeks of more than 400,000 in sales since another Williams-assisted track, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring Williams and T.I., reached the number in the three consecutive weeks last June.
“Happy” becomes Williams’ first No. 1 as a lead artist on Radio Songs (2-1) with an 18% surge to 164 million all-format audience impressions, according to Nielsen BDS. He’d previously topped the airplay tally three times as a featured act: on Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” (three weeks, 2004), Ludacris’ “Money Maker” (two, 2006) and Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (11 weeks, 2013). Reaching the top of Radio Songs in just its sixth week, “Happy” ties Eminem’s “The Monster,” featuring Rihanna (2013), and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” (2011) for the fastest trip to the top this decade. (The last song to soar to No. 1 more quickly? Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor,” which bolted to No. 1 in five weeks in 2001.)
Did you know Seth Meyers won the third season of Celebrity Poker Showdown in 2004. In the first game, one of his opponents was fellow SNL cast member and future Weekend Update co-host Amy Poehler. He then went on to the championship game and he beat David Cross, Steve Harris, Jeff Gordon, and Dave Navarro. Don’t expect him to brag though. He claimed, “When ‘Celebrity’ is in front of [the title], that means ‘worse.’”
Via Mental Floss
Since 2008, CARAS has worked closely with their partner Strategin Solutions to put in place a comprehensive strategy for improving the sustainability performance of internal operations and JUNO Awards events.
The strategy involves collaborating with partners and suppliers to reduce resource consumption, manage waste, mitigate climate change impacts, opt for environmentally and socially responsible goods and services, inspire people to get involved, and create positive legacies. In the lead up to the 2014 JUNO Awards, CARAS is launching the “What Do You Do” initiative, a new and exciting online awareness campaign designed to inspire conversation and action around sustainability.
The initiative kicks off with the release of a video which features Canadian musicians and celebrities, including Billy Talent, Chris Hadfield, and Said the Whale amongst others, talking about the steps that they take in their daily lives and work to be more sustainable. Check it out!
To get involved, all you need to do is get online and tweet @TheJUNOAwards the answer to the question: What Do You Do to live more sustainably? Participants will be entered into a draw for JUNO merchandise and tickets to 2014 JUNO Week events. The initiative will run throughout the month of March, with subsequent videos being released each Thursday to spark ongoing creativity and dialogue, and the final draw set to be held on March 27, 2014.
As with past years, CARAS will continue to use CSA Z2010, a national event sustainability management standard, to guide the design and delivery of the 2014 JUNO Awards events. For the seventh consecutive year, CARAS and the JUNO Awards will be bullfrogpowered with 100% green electricity. This means that Bullfrog Power injects renewable energy onto the grid to match the amount of electricity used by JUNO Week events, hotel stays and the CARAS office. In addition, CARAS is partnering with Less Emissions Inc. to offset carbon emissions resulting from heating/cooling of JUNO Week event venues and travel by CARAS Members, 2014 JUNO Award Nominees, organizers, production crews, and JUNO Week event attendees. –
What You Can Do
If you are planning to attend the 2014 JUNO Awards events, you too have a key role to play in contributing to event sustainability. Below is a list of suggested actions that you can take:
Travel to and from JUNO Week events by foot, bicycle or public transit
Dispose of waste and recyclables in appropriate receptacles
Use your own reusable mug and/or water bottle when possible
Get to know the local culture and purchase locally produced goods
Turn off any lights, TVs, air conditioners or heaters when leaving your hotel room
Opt into towel and linen reuse programs if your hotel offers the service
Book your travel via the most direct route to reduce travel related emissions
Offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated as a result of your travel