Only (Nine Inch Nails song)

Only (Nine Inch Nails song)
Single by Nine Inch Nails
from the album With Teeth
Released July 25, 2005
Format Compact Disc, DVD, 9" vinyl, 12" vinyl
Genre Industrial rock, electronica
Length 4:22
Label Island, Interscope
Writer(s) Trent Reznor
Producer Trent Reznor, Alan Moulder
Nine Inch Nails singles chronology
"The Hand That Feeds"
"Every Day Is Exactly the Same"

"Only" is a song by Nine Inch Nails. It was released as the second single from Nine Inch Nails' fourth album With Teeth. "Only" reached number one on the Billboard Modern Rock chart, where it stayed for seven weeks. It is the second successful release that Nine Inch Nails has had in the UK, peaking at number 20.


Recording and release

"Only" was the last song completed for With Teeth.[1]

Like the previous single, "The Hand That Feeds", "Only" was only widely-released in Europe. European releases include a CD, a DVD, and a 9" vinyl. The only United States release is a vinyl format—a remix record with mixes from Richard X and El-P.

Like "The Hand That Feeds", "Only" was released as a GarageBand multitrack file, as well as for DigiDesign Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Sony ACID Pro. A fan remix community page was set up on MySpace.[2]

Music video

A screenshot from the music video, depicting Trent Reznor's face in pin art, the central image of the video.

The music video for "Only", directed by David Fincher and relying almost entirely on CGI created by Digital Domain,[3] shows various objects in an executive's office coming to life with the propulsion of the song and was released on July 12, 2005 at[4]

The main focus is Trent Reznor's face appearing on the novelty Pin Art that sits on the desk. The only non-CGI components of the video are a person's hand[citation needed] (Fincher's, who owns the PowerBook in the video[citation needed]) and the cars in the background[citation needed].

Track listing

  • Interscope Records INTR-11468-2 - CD
  1. "Only" [(Radio Edit)] – 4:01"
UK single
  1. "Only" – 4:24
  2. "The Hand That Feeds" (The DFA Remix) – 9:01
  3. "Love is Not Enough" (Live at Rehearsals) – 3:50
  4. "Only" (music video) – 4:27
UK single/DVD
  1. "Only" – 4:24
  2. "Love is Not Enough" (Live at Rehearsals) – 3:50
  3. "Only" (music video) – 4:27
UK 9" vinyl
  1. "Only" – 4:24
  2. "The Hand That Feeds" (The DFA Remix) – 9:01
9" vinyl and promo CD
  1. "Only" [Richard X Remix] – 7:24
  2. "Only" [El-P Remix] – 4:21
  3. "Only" [Richard X Dub] – 7:51
  4. "Only" [Richard X Edit] – 3:46
  5. "Only" [El-P Instrumental] – 4:21

Chart positions

Chart Peak
Austria Singles Chart[5] 87
UK Singles Chart[6] 20
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[7] 34
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[7] 90
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[7] 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[7] 22

Song Meaning

Listeners have suggested a variety of meanings for the song:

  1. The concept of referring to oneself as "you" in one's inner mental dialog. The logical construct which refers to oneself as "you" can become very critical (e.g. "You are so stupid"). If one thinks of oneself in terms of "me", there is less of a tendency for self-attack. One may develop the "you" construct when trying to see oneself through the eyes of others. There is then the danger of internalizing the construct, leading to potentially damaging self-critical and self-aggressive thinking. The song discovers that the construct referring to oneself as "you" is not real. The only thing that actually exists is "me". Hence the chorus, "there is no you, there is only me."
  2. The song's lyrics may focus on the concept of solipsism.

See also


Preceded by
"Feel Good Inc." by Gorillaz featuring De La Soul
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
October 22, 2005
Succeeded by
"DOA" by Foo Fighters
Preceded by
"DOA" by Foo Fighters
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
December 10, 2005
Succeeded by
"DOA" by Foo Fighters

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