Only (song)

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Album: With Teeth
Length: 4:22
Tempo: {{{BPM}}} BPM
Versions: Only
Only (Richard X Remix)
Only (El-P Remix)
Only (Beside You In Time)
Live: Live: With Teeth through Present

"Only" is the eighth track on the 2005 album With Teeth. It was released as a single in summer 2005, receiving the designation Halo 20 (see Only (halo)). It is known for its upbeat and synthesizer-driven instrumentation, and casual lyric delivery, reminiscent of 1989's "Down In It." It was censored on radio, though it was obvious that the word "fucking" was being cut out.

"Only" was the last song finished for With Teeth.[1] It was the second song that saw the release of its master tracks for fan remixes.


Like most NIN songs, the true inspiration for the lyrics has never been revealed. The lyrics suggest that this song is about internal identity struggles, possibly relating to split personalities. Themes in this song are similar to the film Fight Club, which was directed by David Fincher, who directed the music video for this song.

"Down In It"

"Only" contains a verse that is very similar to a verse in the 1989 song "Down In It." Both mention a small dot that caught the attention of the singer, who couldn't let go of it.

Song Credits





This is the original album version.

Only (Richard X Remix)

Coming soon

Song Credits

  • Remix and additional production: [{Richard X]] for
  • Mix: Pete Hofmann for Miloco Management

Only (El-P Remix)

The dance-oriented beat is gone, replaced by a heavier beat and finger-snap percussion.

Song Credits

  • Production: El-P
  • Mix: Joey Raia, NASA

Only (Richard X Dub)

Coming soon

Only (Richard X Edit)

Coming soon

Only (El-P Instrumental)

Coming soon

Only (Beside You In Time)

This live version is found on the Beside You In Time DVD.

Fan Remixes

Because the master tracks were released to facilitate fan remixes, hundreds exists.

Music Video

The video for "Only" was directed by Fincher and was largly created using advanced CGI by visual effects company Digital Domain. It features a desk with a laptop (A 17" Mac PowerBook), speakers, a cup of coffee, a Newton's cradle and a Pin Art desk toy being brought to life and animated by the music.

The video starts with a hand pressing the space bar on the computer, which starts its music program (iTunes with the Visualizer turned on). The Newton's cradle begins to sway to the beat as ripples appear in a cup of coffee. Reznor appears in the Pin Art, singing the song. As it gets to the second verse, the songs builds and the vibrations get more intense. Reznor seems to almost break out of the Pin Art as the balls on the cradle sway almost uncontrollably. The ripples in the coffee also have greater frequency. The climax of the song dislodges the top-most apple in a nearby bowl, after which Reznor's impression walks off and the scene dies down. At the very end, a blurry image of a car can be seen driving away.

The video was almost entirely computer-animated, with Reznor filmed live in front of a green screen and then mapped onto the Pin Art. It is reported that the only parts that were live-action were the hand at the very beginning (that of Fincher) and the bowl of apples at the end.


  • Director: David Fincher
  • Production Company: Anonymous Content
  • Agency: Interscope Records
  • Visual Effects: Digital Domain
    • Eric Barba
    • Lisa Beroud
    • Jay Barton
    • Jim Gaczkowski



    I’m becoming less defined
    As days go by
    Fading away
    (You might say)
    I’m losing focus
    Kind of drifting into the abstract
    In terms of how I see myself
    Sometimes I think I can see right through myself
    Less concerned about fitting into the world
    Your world, that is
    Because it doesn’t really matter
    None of this really matters anymore
    Yes I am alone
    But then again I always was
    As far back as I can tell
    I think maybe it’s because
    Because you were never real to begin with
    I just made you up
    To hurt myself
    And it worked
    Yes it did
    There is no you
    There is only me
    There is no fucking you
    There is only me
    [Pt. 2]
    Well the tiniest little dot caught my eye
    And it turned out to be a scab
    And I had this funny feeling
    Like I just knew it's something bad
    I just couldn't leave alone
    And I kept picking at that scab
    Like it was a doorway trying to seal itself shut
    But I climbed through
    And now I'm somewhere I am not supposed to be
    And I can see things I know I really shouldn't see
    Now I know why
    And now I know why
    Things aren't as pretty
    On the inside
    There is no fucking you
    There is only me

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