Rock Radio Pumps Up Volume
On New NIN Single
Third cut from The Fragile, 'Into the Void,'
getting heavy airplay as album spirals down
While Nine Inch Nails' acclaimed double album The
and quietly slips toward chart oblivion, the album's
third single is
gaining momentum on rock radio.
And some industry professionals say the moody
"Into the Void" could be the break NIN leader Trent
Reznor needs to lift
the album out of its downward spiral.
"Every record, by the time they get to the third
single, that's sort of a
fork in the road," Sky Daniels, general manager of
Radio & Records, said.
"Into the Void" (RealAudio excerpt)
radio this week, has been added to 23 of
biggest alternative-rock stations that
report to Radio
& Records, according to Daniels.
"It's nearly closed out alternative radio
in its first
week, which, if it was any other artist,
be saying was really great," Daniels
said. "A lot of
times with megastars like NIN, people
expectations that you can't live up to,
no matter how
successful you are."
The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard
albums chart upon its Sept. 21 release,
228,000 copies, but it quickly began to
slide and will
land at #178 on this week's chart,
Thursday (Dec. 2).
"If [The Fragile] is out of the top 200, it's not Nine
Inch Nails' fault,"
said Oedipus, program director at Boston's
taste-making rock station
WBCN-FM. "They delivered an amazing record that needs
A spokesperson for NIN could not be reached for
While fans may not be buying into Reznor's latest
as enthusiastically as expected, critics have been
raving about the
album. In its upcoming January issue, Spin magazine
Fragile album of the year.
Daniels said "Into the Void" was added to 36
alternative stations this
week, bringing its total up to 70 stations,
hard-rock outlets. Total spins of the song have jumped
from 200 to 700
a week nationwide in three weeks. "That's a pretty
amazing jump for
the warm-up period for a song," Daniels said.
Before the album's release, radio stations got a
"The Day the World Went Away" (RealAudio excerpt) and
"Starfuckers, Inc." (RealAudio excerpt). The second
single sent to
radio, "We're in This Together," was accompanied by a
filmed in Mexico, in which singer Reznor can be seen
the streets amid a crowd of black-clothed men.
A video for "Into the Void" will be filmed in London
according to a Nothing Records statement.
The song's chorus, "Trying to save myself, but myself
away," was used in a televised teaser campaign for the
debuted in November 1998. The funk-inspired song
begins with a
familiar wash of keyboards and electronic sounds but
into the roaring blast of feedback-laden rock the
bandleader has made
his calling card.
WBCN is one of the two leading alternative stations
that have not yet
added "Into the Void," Daniels said. Oedipus, who goes
only by that
name, said that's because the station is still playing
"We're in This
"We've had great success with ['We're in This
Together'], and it's still
riding high, so we don't want to water that down," he
said. He said the
song is getting positive feedback from listeners and
being played three
to four times daily.
"I'm sure we'll add 'Into the Void' when the time is
right," he said.
The group was scheduled to wrap up a European tour
the Brixton Academy in London. Plans call for NIN to
begin a tour of
Japan in January, followed by a
headlining the Big Day Out festival in Australia and
New Zealand. The
band is slated to perform in the U.S. after Big Day
The touring version of the group includes
guitarists/keyboardists Robin Finck and Danny Lohner,
Charlie Clouser and drummer Jerome Dillon.
The Fragile has sold just more than 530,000 copies,
sales-tracking company SoundScan.
The band's previous album, The Downward Spiral (1994),
quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry
Association of America,
meaning more than 4 million copies have been shipped
in the U.S.
Pretty Hate Machine (1989) is certified double
"You either continue forward or move on to the next
album and wash
your hands of it. But I would not have put money on
this closing out
alternative radio in its first week," Daniels said of
the new single. "Will
this be the song that generates rabid acceptance of
the album? Who
"But I think people will point to the fact that he's
not touring the U.S.
as one of the reasons sales haven't met expectations
Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports: [ Thurs., December 2, 1999 3:02 AM EST ]
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