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17th August 2022
Released in 1994 by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails (aka NIN), "Closer" is the 2nd single from their 2nd studio album, "The Downward Spiral." It only achieved moderate chart success, no.3 in Australia, no.25 in the UK, and no.41 in the USA. The song is about self-hatred, although the refrain often leads to it being misinterpreted as a "fuck" anthem, and thus does well in strip clubs. Drummer Tommy Lee, of American rock band Motley Crue, summed it up nicely when he said: "you can fuck to it, dance to it, and break shit to it."
To some this industrial/alternative rock style of music is unusual. However, whether intentional or not, there are elements of artists such as Iggy Pop/David Bowie from the 1970s, and Gary Numan/John Foxx (previously the lead singer of Ultravox) from the 1980s. As an example, here's Underpass from 1980 by John Foxx:
The song has been sampled a few times, in "The Fantasy" by Thirty seconds to Mars, and "House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls" by The Weeknd:
There is a wealth of covers by numerous artists including Maroon 5, Blood on the Dance Floor, MGMT, Rosetta Stone, & Japanese Voyeurs. Many of these are by rock/metal/punk bands and our favorites are In This Moment & Asking Alexandria:
Despite a few jazz style versions, there have also been several parody versions changing the emphasis of the song to bestiality - Blue Grass band Asylum Street Spankers and "Closer to Hogs" by Nine Inch Richards:
To finish up with, check out these "Closer" dance moves:
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