Gave Up

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"Gave Up"
Album: Broken
Length: 4:08
Tempo: 144 BPM
Versions: Gave Up
Gave Up (Fixed)
Gave Up (The Young Americans version)
Gave Up (Open My Eyes)
Gave Up (Closure)
Gave Up (Live)
Gave Up (And All That Could Have Been)
Gave Up (Beside You In Time)
Live: Further Down The Spiral Tour through NIN 2013 Festival Tour
NIN 2014 Japan Tour through present

"Gave Up" is the sixth track on the 1992 Broken EP.

Song Credits





  • Broken Movie
  • Alternative Press Presents Industrial Strength Machine Music: The Framework of Industrial Rock 1978-1995


Gave Up

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)

Running Time: 5:25

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 (The Young Americans version)

Running Time: 3:52

Released on the soundtrack to The Young Americans. A shortened version of Coil's mix from Fixed.

Gave Up (Open My Eyes)

Running Time: 5:28

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) show appears on the Alternative Press compilation Industrial Strength Machine Music: The Framework of Industrial Rock 1978-1995, released in 1999.[1]

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 version 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).

Music Videos

Screenshot from the "Gave Up" video
Screenshot from "Gave Up" from the Broken Movie

There are two music videos for "Gave Up": a performance video directed by Jon Reiss ("Happiness In Slavery"), and the finale to the Broken Movie, directed by Peter Christopherson.

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.


  • Director: Jon Reiss
  • Producer: Adam Stern
  • Cameraman: Gary Tieche
  • Editor: Peter Christopherson & Scott Richter


"Gave Up" has seen regular playing time in live shows since its debut on August 27, 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
    Throw it away

External Links

Previous track - "Happiness In Slavery" Track 6 from Broken Next track - "Physical"
This page was last modified on 20 December 2019, at 20:06. This page has been accessed 167,983 times.