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Album: The Fragile (Right)
Length: 5:14
6:34 (With Decay)
Tempo: 80 BPM
Versions: Ripe
Ripe (With Decay)
Ripe (With Decay) (Alt)
Ripe (With Decay) (Instrumental)
Live: Unperformed

"Ripe" is the final track, an atmospheric instrumental, on The Fragile vinyl. "Ripe (With Decay)" is the final track on The Fragile CD and cassette, with an extra part at the end.

The song "Ripe" is a very moody, dark finale to The Fragile. The cassette and CD versions of the song feature an additional section, "Decay". Many of the instruments sound out of tune or oddly tuned, and some of the parts seem to be incomplete. Trent Reznor spoke on this, saying that The Fragile was supposed to be a continuation of The Downward Spiral, with the protagonist going from happy to depressed on the first side (Left), then finding new hope on (Right) only to lose it again.

It is worth noting that since the Apple Music release of The Fragile Instrumental, as well as Deviations 1, the title has lost its parentheses and is printed as "Ripe With Decay". It is unclear if this was intentional or an oversight.

Screenshot showing synthesizer tweaks used in "Ripe".

Song Credits






This version is available on the vinyl edition of The Fragile, including the 2017 DE download. After the slinking guitar riff returns post-piano improvisation, a loop of it and the insect noises below simply fade out.

Ripe (With Decay)

This version is on the original CD and audio cassette releases of The Fragile. The song mutates from a very beautiful piano improvisation by Mike Garson above a methodical, slinking guitar riff in 6/8, gradually descending into chaos with several instruments playing wildly and disharmoniously before all the sounds stop at once. The opening riff returns, this time with insect loops and a deep bass pad, crossfading with "Decay"; this movement initially builds on the "Ripe" riff with horns, bleating synth and piano, then slows down to a cadence of the bass pad surrounded by crickets. The second part of "Decay" begins in 4/4 with a new bass guitar riff, gradually joined by distant drum loops, strange acoustic and electric guitars, and Reznor's wordless, harmonized vocals, which cut off layer by layer.

Ripe (With Decay) (Alt)

Running Time: 4:34

Released exclusively through Apple Music. Doesn't actually contain "Decay." The various layers built atop the 6/8 riff are joined by manipulated beats.

Ripe (With Decay) (Instrumental)

Running Time: 7:35

The Fragile: Deviations 1 version. It seems to be a combination of the Apple Music alt version and the same arrangement of "Decay" (including the crossfade with the "Ripe" riff) as the original album.


"Ripe" / "Ripe (With Decay)" has never been played live.

Previous track - "Underneath It All" Track CD:23, Vinyl: 25 from The Fragile Right (CD), Side F (Vinyl) Next track - "N/A"
This page was last modified on 15 December 2018, at 23:32. This page has been accessed 76,753 times.