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Rare Footage: David Bowie and Trent Reznor Performing “Hurt”

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trentbowie Rare Footage: David Bowie and Trent Reznor Performing Hurt

These days, hardcore music fans are spoiled with the technological advances that make capturing the modern music experience all too easy with HD film or advanced smartphones able to record every minute of a performance and upload it for eternity on YouTube for all to enjoy.  Back in 1995, times were a little simpler and the instantaneous turnaround of concerts was unheard of and fans had to actually wait for performance footage to be formally released on…ahem, VHS, if at all.

Unfortunately the technologically primitive days of the ’90s overlooked a slew of monumental performances that weren’t properly recorded and archived for later viewing. But goth/rock/psychedelia lovers can rejoice over recently unearthed footage of the epic collaboration between the “Space Oddity” [lastfm]David Bowie[/lastfm] and the heavy industrial genius [lastfm]Trent Reznor[/lastfm] on NIN’s timeless somber classic, “Hurt.”

On one of the most illustrious tours of the ’90s with the double-billed [lastfm]David Bowie[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Nine Inch Nails[/lastfm] both performing full sets of dark and heavy classics from Bowie’s Outside and NIN’s The Downward Spiral, the two often covered each other’s hits or even appeared onstage together to bring a whole new mysterious element to their music. 

For years, fans have been deprived of high quality footage of this tour until recently when film editor David Williams released professionally recorded live clips of the two performing together.  The rare performance of a much heavier version of “Hurt” captures the two in a thick cloud of smoke complete with close-ups of Reznor dripping with sweat and passionately conveying the pain of “Hurt” through his raspy vocals with the support of Bowie at his side adding his distinct voice.  You can almost taste the pain…and the mass amount of drug concoctions loaded up in a pre-sober Reznor. 

Ooh, my bones are chilling from that duet. The masters of gloom and oddity aren’t strangers to collaborating, releasing the remixed version of Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans” in 1997. If all Americans looked like the soul-patched stalker Trent Reznor from the video, I would be afraid too.  

[Source: Consequence of Sound]

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