"Metal" is the eighth track on Things Falling Apart, a cover of Gary Numan from his 1979 album The Pleasure Principle. An early, partial leak of the cover from The Fragile era was remixed and shared under various names, most often the "Lee Completion Mix".
Initial work on the cover was begun in 1995. It was rumored to have been created and submitted for the long-gestating Gary Numan tribute album, Random, but it did not appear on the final release. It was later slated to appear on The X-Files: The Album, and was even solicited as such on the label's website. Reportedly, however, Trent Reznor changed his mind for unknown reasons and withdrew it from the album.
- Writing: Gary Numan
- Published by Beggar's Banquet Music/Momentum Music Ltd. (PRS)
- Manipulation: Trent Reznor, Alan Moulder
- Things Falling Apart
- The Definitive NIN - Deep Cuts - online playlist(s); not on original Seed release
This is the only available version. The end of the song features a drawn-out instrumental referencing several other Numan songs: the higher-pitched synth line is sampled from "M.E." (also from The Pleasure Principle), while the piano line references "Remember I Was Vapour" (from 1980's Telekon). There is also a sample of "UFO" by ESG.
"Metal" was performed live for the first time on the opening date of the NIN|JA 2009 tour and was performed frequently through the final Wave Goodbye dates. The song returned after nine years when it was played a few times in 2018.
We're in the building where they make us grow And I'm frightened by the liquid engineer Like you My Mallory heart is sure to fail I could crawl around the floor just like I'm real Like you The sound of metal I want to be you I should learn to be a man Like you Plug me in and turn me on Oh everything is moving I need my treatment it's tomorrow they send me Singing "I am an American" Do you? Picture this if I should make the change I'd love to pull the wires from the wall Did you? And who are you and how can I try? Here inside I like the metal Don't you? All I know is no one dies I'm still confusing love with need