The music video for "Head Like A Hole" by Nine Inch Nails (which uses a remix of the song as its soundtrack):

The video begins with blurred colours moving vertically on the screen in between black and white footage of someone hopping from one foot to the other while twirling some sort of staff or other fancier-than-a-stick object. There's a hood blocking any light from this person's face and a crowd is watching behind him/her. When Trent Reznor finishes repeating "Bow down before the one you serve You're going to get what you deserve" the drums and quickly thereafter other instruments kick in and the view changes to a drummer playing with another drummer behind him facing the opposite direction. (No, that's not a mirror - The drummers, while dressed similarly, have different hairstyles. One has a shaved head and the other a sort of 80s-ish, puffy... thing.)

The video then shows someone else twirling the previously mentioned staff (still in black and white) while flashing the image of a spinning mold of Reznor's head (open from behind and showing some piping or similar material on the inside). This image changes to a colour version of the head that's purple and grey after a few seconds.

The chorus brings us back to the room with the drummers, where Trent and pals sing and play the song in colour. For the latter part of the chorus, shown in black and white, is footage of Reznor dunking his head in a bucket of water, played forward and backward a few times, while flashing parts of film audiences usually don't see at a theatre, which have words like "head" and "picture" printed on it.

Next verse, back to the spinning head/fancy stick barrage of imagery. The head changes a bit, from a purpley circuit-laced mold to a blue one with orange eyes. Next chorus and the video is back showing the band playing the song again (at a different angle this time). Plus some more of the Trent's-head-in-a-bucket/technical black and white film bits footage.

As the bridge plays, we see the band continue to play as now-noticeable amounts of tape (as in what's used for audio/video recording, not to stick things together) litters the floor and partially covers the band members. The final chorus shows more shots of the band playing and then being consumed by the tape. The drummer with the 80s hairstyle (the late Jeff Ward) tosses something at his drum set and walks off while the rest of the band is engulfed in the tape. Trent Reznor ends up twisting around, suspending from the ceiling, entangled in tape.

The song ends with a clear view of one of the spinning head molds, some more brief clips of the spinning stick footage and the word "HEAD" in grey flashed over a black background.

Production Information
Director: Eric Zimmerman
Producer: Jim Deloye
Cameramen: Eric Zimmerman, Benjamin Stokes, Eric Koziol, Eric Matthies
Editors: Eric Zimmerman, Benjamin Stokes


Head Like A Hole is also the title of halo 3 (that is, the third NIN release), which was released in 1989. The US version is a maxi-single or EP focused primarily around a single song (as a single would be). The EP has eleven tracks, which are:

  1. Head Like a Hole (slate) (4:13)
  2. Head Like a Hole (clay) (4:30)
  3. Terrible Lie (sympathetic mix) (4:26)
  4. Head Like a Hole (copper) (6:26)
  5. You Know Who You Are (5:40)
  6. Head Like a Hole (soil) (6:38)
  7. Terrible Lie (empathetic mix) (6:11)
  8. Down In It (shred) (6:51)
  9. Down In It (singe) (7:21)
  10. Down In It (demo) (3:55)
  11. secret track (0:04)
Total running time: 56:49.

The secret track is only a few seconds long and consists of a woman saying "Let's hear it for Nine Inch Nails! Woo! They're good!" This is from NIN's appearance on Dance Party USA. The woman was the show's host. All the versions of "Down In It" (except the demo) that appear on this disc also appear on halo 1, Down In It. Nothing else appears on halo 1, so if you're not interested in collecting all the releases and don't want any duplicate songs in your collection, owning Down In It is pretty much pointless if you own the US version of Head Like A Hole.

Tracks one through seven (except two) were produced and mixed by Flood and Trent Reznor. Tracks eight and nine were produced and mixed by Adrian Sherwood and Keith LeBlanc. The second track was produced by Flood and Reznor and mixed by Keith LeBlanc. Everything on track ten was done by Reznor. The cover of the US version features the lyrics of the song with an inverted black and white image of Reznor's face in the background.

The UK version of halo 3 is not a maxi-single. It contains only three tracks: The "slate," "copper," and "opal" mixes of "Head Like a Hole," the last of which is five minutes, eighteen seconds long and doesn't appear on the US version. The UK version's cover has the band name and release title with a cool mix of reds, blues and oranges over most of the cover.

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