CRC Sessions - Seven Never Released Tracks recorded during the Fragility 2.0 Tour
Back in 2000 during the North American Fragility 2.0 tour, Nine Inch Nails recorded seven tracks at the Chicago Recording Company. Seated in front of a handful of lucky fans, they performed an unplugged acoustic set, with Reznor showing the true beauty of his work. For unknown reasons, these tracks were never officially released but eventually sifted onto the Internet to the joy of many fans. Sadly, some greedy individuals have been selling copies of the performance on eBay. However, if you look hard enough you can find them floating around on the Internet.
The set opens with a piano intro and acoustic guitar of "Something I Can Never Have" that nearly lulls you to sleep it is so peaceful. Trent's voice is far more calm and relaxed than in the original track from his first album Pretty Hate Machine (1989). You can quickly pick out the maturity between the two tracks, as eleven years will often do, with no synths, distortion, or drum machines in this track; it's simply pure heart.
"The Day the World Went Away" is definitely one of the most tantalizing tracks in the set. The acoustic guitar is reminiscent of the bass line "The Day The World Went Away (Quiet)" from the Halo 13 (1999) single and is astonishing without all the distortion of the original version. Trent's voice has a calming effect that blends with the piano and leaves you feeling relaxed.
The Set contains two takes of "Hurt", presumably because Trent was unhappy with the first, or possibly because as Trent has said numerous times it is his favourite song to perform live. Trent's voice is almost sad in both tracks, there are no sharp edges to his voice like the original; each verse only flows into the next. There is power and conviction when in the last minute when Trent cries "I will let you down, I will make you hurt...". The guitar is more full than the original, and there is a nice absence of 'fuzz' in the background.
"Even Deeper" is nearly identical to The Fragile (1999) album version, until just before the last two minutes where there is some interesting work with the guitar. It then moves to Trent's voice carrying out the ending, very differently from the album
"The Big Come Down" is an interesting take on the original, and is the only track where you can easily detect the use of a drum machine. While still as powerful as the original track from The Fragile (1999), it is less aggressive and fits better with the rest of the set. The drums have less of a 'pop' to them when compared to the original version making it easier on the ears. Especially when preceded by the calm prowess of the earlier tracks.
Much like the live performance at the MTV Much Video Awards in 1999, the CRC version of "The Fragile" shines with its intensity. You can feel the tension winding with each verse only to be snapped as Trent pulls us into a quiet whisper, and then picks us back up and carries us along for another roller coaster verse. Finally, in the end, Trent releases into a long flood of feeling before the song ends abruptly leaving one desiring more. At this point Trent, for the first time during the set, says something to the audience, and in a typical Trent style he leaves it to a simple "Thank You".
The set winds down by returning to the sad quiet guitar of "Hurt" leaving you relaxed and satisfied. Although a short set with only the seven tracks, this recording definitely doesn't disappoint. The quiet applause at the end of each track gives you a close intimate feeling that makes you only wish you could have been there. One can only hope these are someday officially released so more fans will have the privilege of listening to what only a handful experienced.
The quality of the CRC recording is flawless, leaving one with the only assumption that it is straight off the soundboard, and is debatably better than And All That Could Have Been (2002). Some tracks are very similar to Still (2002), yet they have more soul behind them, most likely due to the audience's presence. Each and every track is a polished piece of work that if they were to have replaced the original album versions no one would have know. The CRC Sessions is a unique live recording that until And All That Could Have Been (2002) was released was by far the highest quality recording of live Nine Inch Nails, and still could be, you decide.
Auszug aus dem Spin-Chat vom 21.01.00
crimsonplague: Can we expect the lost Fragile/acoustic (from Chicago) tracks ever to be released?
Good question. We did a radio show in a somewhat scaled down acoustic capacity, of a few songs. We spent maybe three days preparing for it and it turned out better than I thought it would. One idea I had was to go in fairly soon and do a record of half old songs and half new songs in a real stripped down capacity. Stripping away the noise and focusing on the song beneath it. I'm not sure if I'm going to do that or not. The new music I'm working on with NIN is very abrasive. So I have a split personality -- I'm not sure what to do. The kinder, gentler, sad me, or the "I'm gonna stab you in the eyeball" are fighting for attention right now.
Meine kleine Übersetzung:
Crimsonplague: Können wir damit rechnen, das die "verlorenen" Fragile/Akustik Songs von Chicago jemals veröffentlicht werden?
Gute Frage. Wir machten eine Radioshow mit ein paar Liedern in einer irgendwie reduzierten akustischen Ausrüstung. Wir verbachten vielleicht 3 Tage mit den Vorbereitungen dafür und es lief besser als ich es erwartet hatte. Eine Idee die ich dann hatte war, so schnell wie möglich eine Platte mit zur Hälfte alten Liedern und zur anderen Hälfte mit neuen Liedern in einem wirklichen reduzierten akustischem Sound zu machen. Die neue Musik an der ich gerade mit NIN arbeite ist sehr aggressiv. Also habe ich eine gespaltene Persönlichkeit - Ich bin mir nicht sicher was zu tun ist. Das nette, freundlichere, traurigere ich und das "Ich werde dir die Augen auskratzen" kämpfen gerade um Aufmerksamkeit.