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<p>"Hello everybody. I've been doing a lot of European press lately and they've been mentioning the various configurations of 'the fragile' and wondering if there was a reason (other than to make the hard-core fan buy them all) to have some different tracks on them.
If you're curious, here's why. We agonized over the sequencing of the record and focused solely on the CD config. as the definitive one. After the decision was made to move to two CDs the problem then became removing tracks to get the right feel and flow.
For the vinyl, the decision to move to three discs was based on fidelity. (you can only fit so many minutes on a side of vinyl before it degrades the sound)
So now we are faced with SIX beginnings and endings. Simply splitting the sides up didn't work as well this time so we decided to include the other two tracks we had been considering ('10 miles high' and 'the new flesh') as well as use the full unedited versions of all the other songs on the record. The vinyl sequencing has actually grown on me lately as a viable alternate! -just thought you might want to know…"</p>
<p>—Reznor []</p>
<p>"Trent was anything but brain addled at the time we were completing the Fragile. He was brilliant and feverishly recording and mixing in 3 rooms at the same time to complete the project on time for its scheduled release. What he had realized was that he'd created a work that was much longer than was practical to release and that wasn't quite hanging together the way he had hoped when he created its individual parts. Remember, there are thousands of bits of music and lyric that went into this record and they were recorded asynchronously. So he called me for help. Luckily, I had just come off another project and was able to head to New Orleans immediately—supposedly for a few days.</p>
<p>My job was to take all of this work and reorganize it to more practically and effectively tell the story that originally generated all these bits. Sort of like editing a film. Trent had "shot" more than he needed and it wasn't hanging together the way he wanted. But he was also tied to the other studios recording and mixing while this was going on so he needed someone he trusted to come in and take over the "editing" process and help his "film" hang together better.</p>
<p>And it was a totally thrilling process. We had SO much stuff and so much to say but we needed to tighten it up and review the pacing etc. So we were literally working round the clock for what turned out to be weeks until we finally nailed it and I was able to go home.</p>
<p>I loved working with him - and his whole team in fact - on this project. It just increased my respect for him as an artist and a man."</p>
<p>— Bob Ezrin</p></blockquote>
In a February 2014 interview with New Zealand's ''News 3'', Reznor gave the following update:
<blockquote>"<p>Yeah, we've done a lot of the work for that. Really what it's come down to is with all the other stuff going on, the Fragile thing in particular, I want to make sure I get it right. You know, we've mixed everything in surround, it sounds amazing, we have a great package ready to go. I just stumbled across 40-or-so demos that are from that era that didn't turn into songs, that range from sound effects to full-fledge pieces of music, and I kind of feel like - something should happen with that.</p> <brp>And I think it has something to do with that package, and I just need the bandwidth to kind of calmly think about it, and decide how much effort I want to devote into that and what to do with it. I have a lot of ideas that could eat up immense amounts of time and I'm trying to weigh out - just think it through. I don't want to pull the trigger on something and go, 'Man, I should have done it in this way.' And I just haven't had a chance to be in a calm place where I can think it through completely and make that decision."[]</p></blockquote>
===Definitive 2017 Edition Vinyl===
A vinyl reissue was announced in December 2016 and began shipping in August 2017, with further vinyl reissues of the other major NIN releases to follow.[]
<blockquote>"Trent Reznor and NIN art director [[John Crawford]] set out to make the “definitive editions” of all the main NIN releases on vinyl. Reznor: 'We want to present the catalog as it was intended to be, with no compromises. That means a careful remastering of the audio from the original sources, a careful and painstaking recreation of the artwork, pristine materials, some surprises and an insane attention to detail that you probably won’t notice… but it matters to us. No extra bullshit and gimmicks – the “real” records in their truest form available at a reasonable price.'"</blockquote>
This edition of the vinyl also comes with a booklet containing photos and an essay about the sequencing of the album, written by Bob Ezrin.
<p>"There's a general theme to the album of systems failing and things sort of falling apart. In keeping with the idea of making everything sound a little broken, I chose stringed instruments because they're imperfect by nature. Although it may not sound like it, most of the album is actually guitar - and that includes the orchestral sounds and weird melodic lines. When it came to instruments that I didn't really know how to play - like the ukulele or the slide guitar - we were able to get some really interesting sounds by making the studio the main instrument".</p>
<p>—Reznor []</p>
<p>"I wanted this album to sound like there was something inherently flawed in the situation, like someone struggling to put the pieces together. Downward Spiral was about peeling off layers and arriving at a naked, ugly end. This album starts at the end, then attempts to create order from chaos, but never reaches the goal. It’s probably a bleaker album because it arrives back where it starts—[with] the same emotion”. The album begins “Somewhat Damaged” and ends “Ripe [With Decay]".</p>
<p>—Reznor []</p>
<p>"I got involved pretty early on. Trent had one song written and about 15 demos. He also had about sixty 'bits,' varying from a riff or noise loop to a more evolved drum pattern with a bass or guitar line. We sorted through these and decided which ones to work on. Sometimes we combined drums from one piece with a guitar loop from another and a piano piece from another to make one new track.</p>
<p>We also started a lot of tracks from scratch. This is unusual as I am normally brought in at a later stage when the songs have been written. It was great to be involved from the 'blank canvas' stage. We would go through the tracks and pick one to work on. Then we'd spend a couple of days evolving that and messing around with the structure, adding new sections and instrumentation.</p>
A look through David Carson's book ''Fotografiks'' reveals that the top section of the album cover is from a photo of Öxarárfoss waterfall in Iceland and the bottom section is from a closeup photo of the inside of some kind of seashell. The flowers on the back cover are widely assumed to be a variety of Indian Paintbrush. He explained further in an image on his website:
<p>"packaging for trent reznor, back was going to be the front till the last moment. trent changed it saying it was kinda irritating yet something about it we liked so maybe it fit the music. front cover flowers i shot outside of austin texas. the 1 hour place called and said they messed up and used the wrong chemicals and the film was ruined. i said lemme see em anyway. this is how they came out. cover image is a waterfall in iceland and a seashell in the west indies."</p>
<p>—David Carson</p>