"Gave Up" is the sixth track on the 1992 Broken EP.
This is the original album version. Fading in with an ambient pad, the quick drum loop soon enters, with Reznor's quiet and filtered vocals soon after. His singing builds in intensity until launching into the pre-chorus, which is considerably louder and guitar-centric, also featuring yelled vocals. The chorus continues this abrasion but with high-pitched vocal layering before dying down to a keyboard solo and the second verse. After another pre-chorus and chorus, it transitions into the bridge, which strips the layering down to percussion loops and guitar along with Reznor's repeated lyric, "I tried, but I gave up." This soon leads into a loud synthesizer solo and two repeats of the chorus, the song then descending into chaos and ending the album. Its first music video, included in the Broken Movie, uses this track.
Gave Up (Fixed)
This remix, done by Coil and Danny Hyde, appears on Fixed. Its most prominent feature may be the splicing and rearranging of vocal syllables. It is musically similar to jungle or drum 'n' bass music, focusing on layering the frantic drum loops and guitar riffs.
Gave Up (Open My Eyes)
Released on the semi-official Recoiled EP. A variation on Coil's mix from Fixed.
Gave Up (Closure)
A re-recorded version of the song appears as the soundtrack to the song's music video. A different vocal recording and repetition of the chorus riff by the guitars to end the song are perhaps its most notable features.
Gave Up (Live)
An otherwise unavailable live recording of this song from the Civic Arena, Omaha, NE (2/13/95) appears on the Alternative Press compilation Industrial Strength Machine Music: The Framework of Industrial Rock 1978-1995, released in 1999.
Gave Up (And All That Could Have Been)
This version does not open with the ambient pad and retains the guitar ending found in the music video version, but otherwise uses the album arrangement, indicative of most performances of the song.
Gave Up (Beside You In Time)
Just like the And All That Could Have Been version, the Beside You In Time is performed very closely to the album version. The only difference is the keyboard solo by Alessandro Cortini, which sounds different than Charlie Clouser's in the previous DVD (which was nearly identical to the album version).
The video directed by Reiss, as stated earlier, is a performance video. It features the band (Reznor, Richard Patrick, Chris Vrenna and temporary member Brian Liesegang) along with Marilyn Manson performing the song in a studio at the notorious Tate Mansion. Noticeable in the video is a message on a computer monitor that reads "FUCK YOU STEVE." Many consider this to be another jab at TVT Records owner Steve Gottlieb, with whom Reznor was feuding at the time over his contract and creative control. This video clip can be found in Closure. The audio from this video is from the actual video shoot and is not the same as on Broken.
The video directed by Christopherson is the finale to the Broken Movie. The victim is strung up to the ceiling where he is burned, mutilated, and beaten. He is then taken down and tied to a board, where the killer takes a chainsaw to the victim's appendages. The killer unmasks himself, revealing his identity in the victim's final moments. After having his way with the dying victim, the killer cuts out the victim's heart and eats it. All the while, Reznor can be seen on the television singing the song. Intercut with the violence is footage of various body parts in freezers and the fridge, a police officer (played by either Richard or Robert Patrick) coming into the crime scene, and a crowd of rubbernecking bystanders.
"Gave Up" has seen regular playing time in live shows since its debut in 1994. When performed live, the high pitched vocals in the choruses and the drum loop at the beginning are from the album version, played back in time with the rest of the band playing live.
Perfect little dream the kind that hurts the most Forgot how it feels well almost No one to blame always the same Open my eyes wake up in flames It took you to make me realize It took you to make me realize It took you to make me realize It took you to make me see the light Smashed up my sanity Smashed up integrity Smashed up what I believed in Smashed up what's left of me Smashed up my everything Smashed up all that was true Gonna smash myself to pieces I don't know what else to do Covered in hope and Vaseline Still cannot fix this broken machine Watching the hole it used to be mine Just watching it burn in my steady systematic decline Of the trust I will betray Give it to me I throw it away After everything I've done I hate myself for what I've become I tried I gave up I don't know Throw it away