Down In It is halo one, Nine Inch Nails' first release. The three song single was released in 1989 by TVT Records (catalogue number 2611), much to Trent Reznor's general dismay. Reznor didn't want it to be released as a single and his version of "Down In It" didn't even appear on the release (or any other Nine Inch Nails release after that). The version of the song that appears on the album Pretty Hate Machine (the third track), which is the same as the "skin" version on the single, is actually a remix of the song done by Adrian Sherwood. Musically, the song is a rip off of Skinny Puppy's "Dig It" (by Reznor's own admission). The two songs have the same beat and synth style, though quite different vocals.

Track list:

  1. Down In It (skin) (3:46)
  2. Down In It (shred) (6:56)
  3. Down In It (singe) (7:03)
Total running time: 17:45.

According to the single's packaging (done by Gary Talpas, working for föhn at the time), the following studios played some part in the mixes as they're listed: Right Track in Cleveland; Unique in New York; and Roundhouse in London. The "shred" and "singe" mixes both appear on the later released US version of the Head Like A Hole maxi-single. Since the "skin" mix is the album version and the other two mixes appear elsewhere, those unconcerned with a complete NIN collection who own Pretty Hate Machine and Head Like A Hole (US version) need not bother picking up this release.

The music video for "Down In It" (available on the NIN two VHS release, Closure) uses slightly dizzying shakey camera angles and light warping to show Reznor running through an alley and up an apartment building's fire escapes to the roof in an attempt to elude his pursuers: Two guys dressed in somewhat punkish attire. The video ends with Reznor lying face up, presumably dead, back on the ground having apparently fallen from the roof. Filming for this shot was done with cameras attached to helium filled balloons, one of which floated away from the crew. A farmer found the video in his field some time later and, not knowing what the footage was for, notified authorities of the film. There was a short-lived investigation as a result to see if the camera was used in shooting a snuff film.

Video production credits:
Directors: Eric Zimmerman, Benjamin Stokes
Producer: Jim Deloye
Cameramen: Eric Zimmerman, Benjamin Stokes, Eric Koziol, Eric Matthies
Editor: Eric Zimmerman, Benjamin Stokes

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