Nine Inch Nails EP released in 1992 (Nothing/Interscope Records) full of remixed material from Broken. Fixed, contrary to its name, sounds more broken than Broken: Even some of the biggest Nine Inch Nails fans I've talked to haven't liked this release, going so far as to nickname it "fucked." The music is more experimental than anything else, at times holding onto ear drum-shattering dissonance for longer than can be pleasant even to appreciators of experimental sounds. Some of the songs' sounds more closely resemble malfunctioning factory machinery than actual instruments. Even a remix of "Wish" not transformed into a mechanic hell daunts listeners with a length of over nine minutes and repetitive guitar abuse. A lot of the same remixers involved with Fixed worked on remixes for Further Down the Spiral (The Downward Spiral's remixed counterpart), which is much more ear-friendly (but still more inventive than an everyday pop dance mix).
The US version of Fixed was originally printed in a limited edition. Several years later, Fixed was rereleased by Nothing Records and can be found in record stores today. The UK version of Fixed never went out of print and, in the place of Interscope Records, is distributed by Island Records. While the US version wasn't being printed, many US record stores carried imported copies of the UK version, usually at a higher price.
Fixed's track list is as follows:
- Gave Up (5:25)
Remixed by Coil with Danny Hyde (who has since officially joined Coil).
- Wish (9:10)
Remixed by J.G. Thirlwell (of Foetus).
- Happiness in Slavery (6:08)
Remixed by Trent Reznor and Chris Vrenna (of Tweaker) with foundation loops by P.K.
- Throw This Away (4:14)
Assembled (contains pieces from "Suck" and "Last") by Trent Reznor and Chris Vrenna with end portion created by Butch Vig (of Garbage).
- Fist Fuck (7:20)
Remix of "Wish" by J.G. Thirlwell. Contains samples of Dr. Timothy Leary speaking and Show Boat
- Screaming Slave (8:01)
"Given birth" (somewhat remixed from "Happiness in Slavery") by Trent Reznor, Chris Vrenna, Bill Kennedy, Sean Beavan, and Martin Brumbach with (samples of screams of) pain courtesy of Bob Flanagan.
Impressions of the Songs
Responsible parties: Coil and Danny Hyde.
This remix, when compared some of the others on this release, is easily listenable. It focuses on the fast drum machine-generated beat heard in the original version of "Gave Up." Most of the vocals have been chopped up to match the brief, quick beats of the drum machine. They are pretty much indiscernable in this version of the song with the exception of the chorus which, though altered, is still coherent. Various guitar pieces from the original version also show up in this mix. The remix ends with one being clearly heard which, in the original, can be heard but is somewhat hard to concentrate on with all the other instruments and electronic manipulations overlapping it.
Responsible party: J.G. Thirlwell.
Anyone who really likes "Wish" will probably enjoy most of the remix. Jim Thirlwell has managed to extend "Wish" into a nine minute and ten second movement by repeating the first half of the song once and inserting a couple lengthy moments of mind-numbing repetition of guitar work from the original. The music is altered a bit. There seems to be some phlange effect on the entire song, along with a few other warped sounds here and there.
Happiness in Slavery
Responsible parties: Trent Reznor, Chris Vrenna, P.K.
The foundation loops created by P.K. for this mix begin pounding away right at the start. The song continues with pieces of the music from the original version of "Happiness in Slavery," all digitally transformed somehow to go along with the beats, and repeating samples of a man screaming in pain (presumably Bob Flanagan). A warped vocal from Trent Reznor screaming "slavery" taken from near the end of the original version also appears in this mix. Aside from this and the screams, there doesn't seem to be any other vocals here. This remix could be danced to, in some fucked up way, most likely thanks to P.K.'s beats.
Throw This Away
Responsible parties: Trent Reznor, Chris Vrenna, Butch Vig.
One half a quiet, sinister-sounding remix of the portion of "Suck" (featuring the lyrics "I am so dirty on the inside") and of "Last" (featuring the lyrics "I want you to make me, I want you to take me, I want you to break me, and I want you to throw me away") and one half a loud, harsh remix featuring the same lyrics from "Last." The second half was created by Garbage's Butch Vig prior to forming the band. Rumour has it that the full remix Vig had created Reznor rejected, calling "garbage," which inspired Vig to name the band he would later form. Whether there's any truth to this I don't know for sure but there is a "Trent" thanked in Garbage's liner notes.
Responsible party: J.G. Thirlwell.
Another lengthy remix of "Wish" from Thirlwell, this one differs by being a little shorter and containing an amazing amount of samples. Most of them are of Dr. Timothy Leary1 sounding rather creepy, though the cheerily-spoken lines "Oh Julie, that's wonderful. I could feel that way too." and "I bet you will someday." that appear roughly five and half minutes into the song are taken from the musical Show boat (spoken by Kathryn Grayson and Ava Gardner).2 This remix gets its name from the "Wish" lyrics "gotta listen to your big time hard line bad luck fist fuck" despite that the line isn't heard in this version.
Responsible parties: Trent Reznor, Chris Vrenna, Bill Kennedy, Sean Beavan, Martin Brumbach, Bob Flanagan.
There are pieces of this song clearly taken from "Happiness in Slavery" and then there are pieces that don't resemble much of anything anymore. The song begins with a noise that most closely resembles a drill and continues as such for a couple minutes before actually becoming something more traditionally thought of as a song. Before it's done it will fade back in and out of being something of a song to be a completely experimental mesh of what sound waves would sound like if it were possible to grind them up and throw them back into the air in shredded little bits. This song also contains samples of S&M footage with (in)famous artist/masochist Bob Flanagan (and others presumably inflicting the pain). Weird, somewhat crazy, and at times hard to listen to, but enjoyable in a strange way. People who like some of the industrial music genre's really weird stuff would probably appreciate this.
1Source: "The Top Sampling Group List: Nine Inch Nails" (http://www.sloth.org/samples-bin/samples/group/exact/Nine+Inch+Nails/), "Nine Inch Nails Lyrics and Info" (http://www.fortunecity.com/tinpan/portishead/158/lyrics.htm)
2Source: The Official Unofficial NINFAQ version 7.7 (http://www.9inchnails.net/ninfo/ninfaq-v77.html).