Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “90’s Movie Soundtracks Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Like prom dresses and middle-school diaries, soundtrack albums are potent, often awkward reminders of a particular time and place — cultural artifacts that stir myriad memories for those who lived through the era but impossible to understand if you didn’t. The early Nineties were filled with best-selling soundtracks, everything from Dazed and Confused to Pulp Fiction, each of them catering to a specific slice of the listening public. For some fans, the period’s preeminent soundtrack belonged to 1994’s The Crow; like the movie that inspired it, the collection drips with a moody, eyeliner-smeared darkness that’s so of its time, it makes listening to it today comparable to leafing through old graduation photos.
Nine Inch Nails, Dead Souls. Album: The Crow Soundtrack (1994)
“Dead Souls” is a cover of a Joy Division song, frequently played live. It appeared in the 1994 film The Crow and was released on its soundtrack. It was also the tenth track (before “A Warm Place”) on the Japanese version of The Downward Spiral. In 2004, it was included as the fifth track on the second disc of the 10th anniversary The Downward Spiral Deluxe Edition.
The Joy Division original was recorded in 1979 and released on their compilation album Still. In commentary for The Crow with producer and musical supervisor Jeff Most, it is revealed that Nine Inch Nails were originally supposed to perform in the film instead of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. While this song appears on The Definitive NIN – The Singles, it was never released as a single or promo.
“Dead Souls” is often considered to be about a schizophrenic man, as evidenced by the lyric “a duel of personalities” and the other lyric “they keep calling me”.
Dead Souls” is a regular in setlists. In the With Teeth: Summer Amphitheater Tour, Peter Murphy joined NIN on stage to sing this song at the live radio show on July 1, 2006, and at the last show of the tour on July 8, 2006. On the Self Destruct Tour, Reznor would sing “The Becoming” lyric, “god damn this noise inside my head,” after the end of this song. It would then transition with the sound of wind into a performance of “Help Me I Am In Hell.”
Someone take these dreams away That point me to another day A duel of personalities That stretch all true reality They keep calling me Keep on calling me When figures from the past stand tall And mocking voices ring the hall Imperialistic house of prayer Conquistadores who took their share They keep calling me Keep on calling me Calling me