The Fragile (halo)

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Halo 14 - The Fragile

The Fragile (also known as Halo 14), released in 1999, is the fourth studio album by Nine Inch Nails.

The album features a rich array of electronic beats, ambient noise, and heavy guitar. While it received critical acclaim from many, it did not receive the commercial success that its predecessor, The Downward Spiral, did (attributed variously to the difference in musical climate, and insufficient promotion by Interscope Records).

Before the release of this full-length, the single "The Day The World Went Away" was released; following The Fragile's release, "We're In This Together" was released. A remix CD featuring several songs from The Fragile was released as Things Falling Apart.

The Fragility 2.0 tour was filmed and released as "And All That Could Have Been" on DVD and VHS. It was also released as a CD which was eventually combined with an extension called Still.

Trent Reznor on The Fragile

Reznor described The Fragile in a 1999 interview:

"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.[1]"

In terms of narrative, the album is an unofficial continuation of The Downward Spiral. Reznor compares the lyrical content of the two albums:

"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].[2]

Track Listing

CD Release


  1. "Somewhat Damaged"
  2. "The Day The World Went Away"
  3. "The Frail"
  4. "The Wretched"
  5. "We're In This Together"
  6. "The Fragile"
  7. "Just Like You Imagined"
  8. "Even Deeper"
  9. "Pilgrimage"
  10. "No, You Don't"
  11. "La Mer"
  12. "The Great Below"


  1. "The Way Out Is Through"
  2. "Into The Void"
  3. "Where Is Everybody?"
  4. "The Mark Has Been Made"
  5. "Please"
  6. "Starfuckers, Inc."
  7. "Complication"
  8. "I'm Looking Forward To Joining You, Finally"
  9. "The Big Come Down"
  10. "Underneath It All"
  11. "Ripe (With Decay)"

Vinyl Release

Disc one

  1. "Somewhat Damaged" – 4:31
  2. "The Day the World Went Away" – 5:01
  3. "The Frail" – 1:54
  4. "The Wretched" – 5:36
  5. "We're in This Together" – 7:17
  6. "The Fragile" – 4:35
  7. "Just Like You Imagined" – 3:49
  8. "Even Deeper" – 6:14

Disc two

  1. "Pilgrimage" – 3:41
  2. "No, You Don't" – 3:35
  3. "La Mer" – 5:02
  4. "The Great Below" – 5:17
  5. "The Way Out Is Through" – 4:17
  6. "Into the Void" – 4:49
  7. "Where Is Everybody?" – 5:40
  8. "The Mark Has Been Made" – 4:43

Disc three

  1. "10 Miles High" – 5:13
  2. "Please" – 3:30
  3. "Starfuckers, Inc." – 5:00
  4. "Complication" – 2:30
  5. "The New Flesh" – 3:40
  6. "I'm Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally" – 4:20
  7. "The Big Come Down" – 4:12
  8. "Underneath It All" – 2:46
  9. "Ripe" – 5:15

Cassette Release

Tape one

  1. "Somewhat Damaged" – 4:31
  2. "The Day the World Went Away" – 4:33
  3. "The Frail" – 1:54
  4. "The Wretched" – 5:25
  5. "We're in This Together" – 7:16
  6. "The Fragile" – 4:35
  7. "Just Like You Imagined" – 3:49
  8. "Even Deeper" – 5:47
  9. "Pilgrimage" – 3:31
  10. "No, You Don't" – 3:35
  11. "La Mer" – 4:37
  12. "The Great Below" – 5:17

Tape two

  1. "The Way Out Is Through" – 4:17
  2. "Into the Void" – 4:49
  3. "Where Is Everybody?" – 5:40
  4. "The Mark Has Been Made" – 5:15
  5. "Please (+appendage)" – 6:19
  6. "Starfuckers, Inc." – 5:00
  7. "Complication" – 2:30
  8. "I'm Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally" – 4:13
  9. "The Big Come Down" – 4:12
  10. "Underneath It All" – 2:46
  11. "Ripe (With Decay)" – 6:34


  • Tom Baker - Mastering
  • wp:Adrian Belew - Guitars ("Just Like You Imagined," "The Great Below," "Where Is Everybody?")
  • Heather Bennet - Vocals (Background)
  • Paul Bradley - Programming
  • Buddha Boys Choir - Choir, Chorus, Chant
  • Buddha Debutante Choir - Vocals (Background)
  • Di Coleman - Vocals (Background)
  • Charlie Clouser - Programming, Atmosphere, Synthesizers
  • Melissa Daigle - Vocals (Background)
  • Paul DeCarli - Programming
  • Jerome Dillon - Drums (on "We're In This Together")
  • wp:Dr. Dre - Mixing Assistant (on "Even Deeper")
  • wp:Bob Ezrin - Album Sequencing Assistant
  • wp:Mike Garson - Piano (on "Just Like You Imagined", "The Way Out Is Through" and "Ripe (With Decay)")
  • wp:Page Hamilton - Guitar (on "No, You Don't")
  • Tracy Hardin - Vocals (Background)
  • Leo Herrera - Engineer
  • Keith Hillebrandt - Programming, Choir, Chorus, Sound Design
  • Danny Lohner - Drum Programming, Ambiance, Synthesizers, Guitar on "Somewhat Damaged", "Just Like You Imagined", "The Great Below", "Complication"
  • Clint Mansell - Choir, Chorus
  • Alan Moulder - Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Dave Ogilvie - Engineer
  • Brian Pollack - Engineer
  • Trent Reznor - Vocals, Guitars, Cello, Piano, Synthesizers, Programming, Producer
  • Elquine Rice - Vocals (Background)
  • Terry Rice - Vocals (Background)
  • wp:Bill Rieflin - Drums (on "La Mer")
  • Barbara Wilson - Vocals (Background)
  • Leslie Wilson - Vocals (Background)
  • Steve Duda - Programming, Choir, Chorus, Percussion, Violin
  • Eric Edmonson - Choir, Chorus
  • Cherry Holly - Trumpet
  • Doug Idleman - Choir, Chorus
  • Marcus London - Choir, Chorus
  • wp:Denise Milfort - Vocals (on "La Mer")
  • Judy Miller - Vocals (Background)
  • Gary I. Neal - Vocals (Background)
  • Matthew Nicholls- Vocals (Background)
  • Christine Parrish - Vocals (Background)
  • Adam Persaud - Choir, Chorus
  • Martha Prevost - Vocals
  • M. Gabriela Rivas - Vocals (Background)
  • Nick Scott - Choir, Chorus
  • Rodney Sulton - Vocals (Background)
  • Stefani Taylor - Vocals (Background)
  • Nigel Wiesehan - Choir, Chorus
  • Willie - Cello
  • Martha Wood - Vocals (Background)

Album Credits

  • Writing and performance: Trent Reznor (except where noted on Song pages)
  • Production: Trent reznor, Alan Moulder
  • Management: John A. Malm, Jr. for Conservative
  • Engineering and mix: Alan Moulder

  • Final continuity and flow: Bob Ezrin

  • Programming: Keith Hillebrandt, Charlie Clouser, Trent Reznor, Paul Decarli, Steve Duda, Clinton Bradley
  • Second engineering: Brian Pollack
  • Additional engineering: Leo Herrera. Dave “Rave” Ogilvie
  • Supplemental drum recording: Steve Albini at Electical Studio
  • Additional sound design: Keith Hillebrandt, Charlie Clouser, Steve Duda
  • Mastering: Tom Baker at Precision Mastering

Recorded and mixed at Nothing Studios, New Orleans

  • Art direction and design: David Carson
  • Photography: David Carson
  • Artist relations: Jeff Anderson
  • Publicity: Susan Swan for Nothing
  • Legal necessities: Ross Rosen
  • Booking: Alex Kochan for Artist & Audience and Emme Banks for Helter Skelter
  • Merchandising: David "Khan" Johnson for Object
  • Web integration: Rob Sheridan
  • Being there provided by Jerry Meltzer

  • Thank you for the continuing belief and support: Steve Berman, Chris Blackwell, David Cohen, Ted Field, Jimmy Iovine, Marc Marot, Jacqueline McPherson, Michael S. Toorock, Tom Whalley

  • Thank you very much: Cemal Adiguezel, Gretchen Anderson, Simon Baeyertz, Roy Bennett, Nancy Berry, Michael Blum, Steve Bottomley, David Bowie, Steve "Coco" Brandon, Tim Buckley, Karen Ciccone, Paul Connolly, Melissa Daigle, Daisy May, Renee Dodson, Duane Fogg, Ernie Fortunato, Ken Friedman, Gerry Gerrard, Erin Gilligan, Robert Hales, Toni Halliday, Page Hamilton, Mike Harris, Dan Hill, Doug Idleman, Stuart Issleib, Leslie Kaufman, Martin Kierszenbaum, Sam Kirby, Paris Langford, John Lewis, Tim Lightfoot, Tiffany Luning, Clint Mansell, Denise Milfort, Tina Montalbano, Mike Montero, Chuck Ortner, Dean Parker, Mark Pellington, Lynn Pompey, Gina Pontius, Kim Prevost, Porter Ricks, Rodney Robertson, Lu Rojas, Mark Romanek, Rick Rubin, Barry Sanders, Trish Schultz, Nick Scott, Winston Simone, Jeff Slippen, Nick Stern, Rick Szekelyi, Tony Thompson, Tomato, Bob Uzzo, Ed Vigueira, Larry Weinstein, Nigel Wiesehan, Angele Ylisastigui, Dawn Zillich, Sioux Zimmerman, Aqua Marine, Brennan's, Clavia, DigiDesign, Jason Lamb and Dod, eMagic, Sean Wilhelmson and EMU Systems, Rob Timmons and Fernandez, Geoff Farr and GSF Agency, Id Software, Jens Gellhaar, K-Paul's, Brad Strickland and Korg/Parker, Tim Godwin and Line 6, Greg Perry, DK Sweet and Mackie, Musician's Friend (New Orleans), Bill Noll at Neoview, N.O. Music Exchange, Nola, Opcode, Pedalman, Solid State Logic, Sound Chek (New Orleans), Waves, Werlein's Music

External links