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Thread: Live NIN songs you prefer over the studio versions

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    Live NIN songs you prefer over the studio versions

    I had a long, almost complete list that I accidentally deleted (but might try again with it later). In short, there are a lot of songs, often with distinctive arrangements, that I prefer over the studio versions. These include most songs on AATCHB and some songs on BYIT. That said, I don't enjoy some live songs as much when they try to replicate the album versions.

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    Get Down Make Love slaps so hard, and Somewhat Damaged is also an obvious answer.

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    Closer and Sanctified come to mind immediately. I like the Only Time break and the bassline immediately thereafter in the former and the alternate (current) live version of the latter.

    (strictly speaking live vs studio, that is. I wouldn't mind seeing Closer re-retired for a bit)
    Last edited by cdm; 05-03-2022 at 03:23 PM.

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    The Mark Has Been Made is one because of how wild it gets at the end and you gotta love Trent’s spiraling “whooooaaaaaa ohhhhhhh ohhhhhhh oh ohhhh oh oh ohhhhhhh OH!!!”

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    Love Is Not Enough and The Great Destroyer for sure. Will likely edit in more as I think of them.

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    All of year zero

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    I know I could come up with a long list here, but I can say without a moment's hesitation that The Big Come Down would top it.

    The song never really clicked for me until I heard it live, and following the release of BYIT, I've probably listened to that version 10x more frequently than the original studio version. Probably courting controversy here, but it was really Aaron's shredding from 3:05-3:35 that hooked me. With all due respect to Robin, I'll always mentally insert those wild, high-pitched noises if I'm listening to another live recording of it.

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    NIN is such a great live band, that I think if I made a list of the songs where I preferred the studio versions, that would probably be a shorter list.

    I think the one that changes the most for me is probably Only. That song was incredible on the LITS tour.

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    I think Terrible Lie is the MOST obvious answer (love the studio version, but he has always sung it with so much more emotion when they play it live and I love the little things they add to it), but Love is Not Enough and Down In It also come to mind. I think most of the others listed so far (The Great Destroyer, The Mark Has Been Made, Closer, Sanctified), while sounding fantastic live, DO have studio versions that hold up and don't leave me wanting to play a live version instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roolfdriht View Post
    I know I could come up with a long list here, but I can say without a moment's hesitation that The Big Come Down would top it.

    The song never really clicked for me until I heard it live, and following the release of BYIT, I've probably listened to that version 10x more frequently than the original studio version. Probably courting controversy here, but it was really Aaron's shredding from 3:05-3:35 that hooked me. With all due respect to Robin, I'll always mentally insert those wild, high-pitched noises if I'm listening to another live recording of it.
    "The Big Come Down" is one of the most obvious. The the BYIT version's distorted guitars replacing the studio version's detuned acoustic guitars, as well as Trent's ad-libs over the lengthy instrumental part, make the studio version feel a bit empty by comparison.

    Other obvious ones include:

    Terrible Lie
    Sin
    March of the Pigs
    Piggy
    The Frail (studio version is just a handful of piano chords; live version shows a noteworthy glimpse of Trent's musicianship on stage, especially if it appears relatively early in the set)
    The Day The World Went Away (pre-2014, with the instrumental midsection; studio version is still one of the oddest choices for a lead/pre-album-release single for a NIN album)
    Starfuckers, Inc. (heavier and less drum-and-bassy than the studio version)
    Hurt (especially the 2005-07 piano version and the 2013-present version with the [sampled] mellotron)
    Burn (after they dropped the studio version's distorted vocals while Trent took over on rhythm guitar so there can be some bass in the song)
    Closer (with "The Only Time" breakdown, and also the 2005-09 guitar part)
    The Hand That Feeds
    Only (pre-2013, before they started trying to replicate the studio version)
    The Way Out Is Through (2013 festival tour version)
    1,000,000 (pre-2013, before Robin switched from guitar to keyboard)
    Disappointed (2013, with Josh Eustis' erhu)
    Shit Mirror (with Robin's verses)

    Those were just from the top of my head. In general, I also like when Trent adds some swearing to some lyrics that didn't already have it ("Terrible Lie" et al).

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    Still have never listened to the studio version of burn and never plan too. I first heard it on the with teeth tour and only listened to live versions since.

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    Piggy by a mile. It’s transformed live.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan_NIN65 View Post
    Still have never listened to the studio version of burn and never plan too. I first heard it on the with teeth tour and only listened to live versions since.
    I don't like the deconstructed version they were playing live during the With Teeth tour and for a while after. I was happy/relieved when they played the proper album version in Chicago back in 2018. The other version takes all of the bite out of a song that's usually seething with anger, IMO. You should at least give the studio version a listen once. How do you know you won't like it even more?

    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    Piggy by a mile. It’s transformed live.
    Yes, I agree with you on that.

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    Love Is Not Enough, so much better live.
    The Day The World Went Away, the ending with drums is amazing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trollmanen View Post
    The Day The World Went Away, the ending with drums is amazing.
    Agree with this, I love the original live arrangement of the track.

    On the opposite end though ... I think Burn is a much better studio song. Something about the drums live never sounds right to me compared to how it sounds on the recording.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WorzelG View Post
    Piggy by a mile. Itís transformed live.
    This. Studio version is fine, but I never really cared for it much until I heard it live ó then, WOW.

    They didnít play it in Franklin and I was actually pretty sad it got left out that night.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Agreed with Piggy. I find the studio version absolutely boring. But it’s one of my favorite live tracks. I’ll add Sin and Terrible Lie also.

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    I agree with those bringing up Piggy. The studio version isn't really that boring, with the catchy bassline and the drum solo near the end, but it's still one of the weakest TDS tracks and is generally quite monotonic due to the vocals being pretty much whispered all the way through. It's a lot stronger live, especially the second verse/"hey mother fucking pig" and the piano solo at the end.

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    Surprised Wish hasn't been mentioned yet. The studio version of the track is great, but I think the live version is heavier. Particularly during the Tension tour when there were like.....4 guitars playing.

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    Sanctified is just so much better live...

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    best answer in here is Shit Mirror. Robin getting to sing some bad ass lead vocals after so many years in the band feels like some sort of deserved reward or vindication.

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    BETCHA BETCHA BETCHA BETCHA BETCHA

    didn't think of HEAD DOWN!

    I fucking love the live versions of that song so much, especially the squealing synth breakdown at the end. Man.... BADASS, had to believe that shit was almost 15 years ago

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    Speaking of songs from The Slip, "Echoplex" is one I forgot to mention, particularly with the drum machine intro and the addition of live drums starting with the second verse.

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