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Discipline (Nine Inch Nails song)

A geometric pattern of five black squares in front of a gray background.  A red line comes from the right and goes around one of the squares.
Single by Nine Inch Nails
from the album The Slip
Released April 22, 2008 (2008-04-22)
Format Digital download
Recorded April 2008
Genre Industrial rock, alternative rock, electronic rock
Length 4:30
Label The Null Corporation
Writer(s) Trent Reznor
Producer(s) Trent Reznor, Alan Moulder
Nine Inch Nails singles chronology
"Capital G"
"Came Back Haunted"
The Slip track listing
"Letting You"

"Discipline" is a single by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It is the band's first single since severing its ties with Interscope Records and publishing music independently. Unlike previous NIN singles, no physical release of the song was issued. The song was first released to radio stations on April 22, 2008, sent by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor.[1]

The MP3 download contains an embedded album art image, full lyrics, and the comment: "Go to May 5".[2] Subsequently on May 5, 2008 a new Nine Inch Nails album, The Slip, was revealed for download. "Discipline" charted on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts, and was Nine Inch Nails' sixth consecutive top ten single on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.[3]


  • Recording 1
  • Music and lyrics 2
  • Release and reception 3
  • Track list 4
  • Chart positions 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor announced in 2007 that the band had completed its contractual obligations to its record label, Interscope Records, and would no longer be working with the company. Reznor also revealed that Nine Inch Nails would likely distribute music independently.[4] Since the announcement, Nine Inch Nails released the 36-track instrumental album Ghosts I–IV in March 2008 on Reznor's independent label The Null Corporation. After the release of Ghosts, Reznor began writing and recording what would become the next full-length album, The Slip.

During recording sessions for The Slip, Reznor sent the track "Discipline" to radio stations himself on April 22. The track was sent before the remainder of the album was completed, and less than 24 hours after the track had been mastered by Alan Moulder.[5] On the same day, the track was also made available for download at the official Nine Inch Nails website for free, as well as multitrack files of the song for remixing.[6][7] Reznor reflected on the quick turnaround by saying "that was fun [...] you never could have done that before", referring to his past career on major record labels.[8] "Discipline" was the first Nine Inch Nails single to be released independently via The Null Corporation.[9]

Music and lyrics

The largely electronic instrumentation of "Discipline" has been compared to

External links

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Chart (2008) Peak
US Billboard Alternative Songs[3] 6
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[3] 24

Chart positions

  1. "Discipline" (Trent Reznor) – 4:30

Track list

Pitchfork Media's review of The Slip called the track "another solid pop song about constraint from the guy who, following Prince, brought kinky sex odes to strip-mall bars."[12] Spin magazine's review of the album called "Discipline" "the most conventional tune" from The Slip.[13]

"Discipline" reached number six and number 24 on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, respectively, and failed to top any charts.[3] The song was the band's sixth consecutive top ten single on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, but had no involvement at Top 5.[3] The song also charted at number nine on Billboard's "iLike Libraries: Most Added" chart, which tracks total downloads over the iLike online service.[21]

"Discipline" was only made available for airplay and download; a physical release was never issued. Though no music video was created for the song either, retail versions of The Slip included a [19][20]

"Discipline" was released on April 22, 2008, and was the first and only single from The Slip. The song was also the first single released from the band under Reznor's newly formed independent label, The Null Corporation. The ID3 tag of the downloadable track came with the message "Go to May 5", the day that The Slip would eventually be released as a free download.[14]

Release and reception

Lyrically, Spin magazine wrote that "As is true of nine out of every ten NIN tracks, 'Discipline' is about submission and domination".[13] Harvey compared "Discipline" to one Nine Inch Nails's first singles, "Head Like a Hole", saying "['Discipline'] comes from a long-established and now label-free artist trying to reflexively reassert his position in the pop landscape, on his own terms. [...] 'Discipline' evinces Reznor's desire for some sort of framework [...] In relative terms, 'I need your discipline/ I need your help' is sure a long way from the nearly 20-year-old 'Head Like a Hole' refrain 'I'd rather die/ Than give you control'."[12]

[12], saying that the song "eschews a typically monstrous chorus for an airtight industrial disco grind ventilated by an airy piano and falsetto cooing."disco also compared the song to Pitchfork Media Eric Harvey of [11] magazine described the track as "the closest Reznor has ever come to disco, right down to a splashing high-hat, boosted way up in the mix".Rolling Stone [11][10]

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