Wish (Nine Inch Nails song)

"Wish" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails from their debut EP Broken (1992). It was released in 1992 as a promotional single from the EP. The drumming on the track was performed by Martin Atkins.[4]

Promotional single by Nine Inch Nails
from the EP Broken
Songwriter(s)Trent Reznor
Music video
"Nine Inch Nails - Wish" on YouTube

"Wish" was remixed twice for the companion disc to the EP, Fixed, as "Wish (Remix)" and "Fist Fuck". Both remixes were produced by J. G. Thirlwell.[5]

"Wish" won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1993. Referencing a lyric from the song, Trent Reznor later joked that his epitaph should read: "REZNOR: Died. Said 'fist fuck' and won a Grammy."[6][7]

Music videoEdit

Nine Inch Nails playing inside of a cage in the "Wish" music video

The music video for "Wish" was directed by Peter Christopherson, who also directed the music video for "March of the Pigs" and Broken's eponymous film.[8] The video shows Nine Inch Nails (Trent Reznor on vocals, Chris Vrenna on drums, Richard Patrick on guitar and James Woolley on keyboards) playing inside high, caged walls while hordes of angry men assault the exterior of the cage. The band is eventually accosted: Woolley is lifted off his feet by a suspended man, Vrenna is lifted off by a crane hook and Patrick is grabbed through the sides of the cage. The video ends with a brief scene of men breaking open the gate of the cage and storming into the cage with bats and clubs.[9] MTV felt that the ending scene was too violent and alternate footage was used for network airplay.

A second video is a live performance filmed by Simon Maxwell in 1995 and was released on Closure in 1997.[10] This performance was taken from a concert film originally intended for release in 1996, but was subsequently shelved because Reznor was not satisfied with the final product.

Track listingsEdit

  • US promotional CD single[11]
  1. "Wish" (No Bad Words Mix) – 3:37
  • US promotional 12" single[12]
A1. "Wish" (Fixed version) – 9:08
A2. "Wish" (Broken version) – 3:47
B1. "Wish" (Fixed version) – 9:08
B2. "Wish" (Broken version) – 3:47
  • UK promotional CD-R single[13]
  1. "Wish" (radio version) – 3:51
  • UK promotional 7" single[14]
A. "Wish" (radio edit) – 3:37


Chart (1993) Peak
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[15] 25

Cover versionsEdit

Appearance in other mediaEdit

The song was featured on an episode of Beavis & Butthead.[25] While most music videos are typically made fun of, the animated duo ultimately approved of "Wish".

The song is used and heard on the debut trailer of the first-person shooter by Electronic Arts and People Can Fly, Bulletstorm.[26]

The song is featured as a playable track in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, although incorrectly listed with a 2002 release date.[27]


  1. ^ Ramirez, AJ (November 12, 2014). "Caught in the Machine: Nine Inch Nails - "Pinion" and "Wish"". PopMatters. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  2. ^ Terich, Jeff; Blyweiss, Adam (October 3, 2012). "10 Essential Alternative Metal Singles". Treblezine. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Nettleton, Chris (March 5, 2007). "Nine Inch Nails - Live: Beside You In Time (DVD)". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved December 25, 2016.
  4. ^ Atkins, Martin (2007). Tour:Smart: And Break the Band. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1556529740. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  5. ^ "J.G. Thirlwell Discography - Credits - Remix". Discogs. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  6. ^ *Huxley, Martin (September 1997). Nine Inch Nails: Self Destruct. St. Martin's Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-312-15612-X.
  7. ^ Taylor, Steve (2006). The A to X of Alternative Music. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 165. ISBN 0826482171. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "Broken (Video 1992)". IMDb. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  9. ^ new sweat to drown me in: wish
  10. ^ "Simon Maxwell". IMDb. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "Wish" (US promotional CD single). Nine Inch Nails. Interscope Records. 1992. PRCD 4893-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ "Wish" (US promotional 12" single). Nine Inch Nails. Interscope Records. 1992. DMD 1947.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ "Wish" (UK promotional CD-R single). Nine Inch Nails. Island Records. 1992. IS 552 DJ.CS1 maint: others (link)
  14. ^ "Wish" (UK promotional 7" single). Nine Inch Nails. Island Records. 1992. IS 552 DJ.CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  16. ^ "Silverstein – Transitions". Discogs. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  17. ^ "Dillinger Escape Plan, The – Plagiarism". Discogs. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  18. ^ "NIN: Wish live w/ Dillinger Escape Plan, Perth 3.02.09 [HD]". YouTube. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  19. ^ "Beatsteaks – Die Wohnzimmer-EP". Discogs. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  20. ^ Sciaretto, Amy (April 18, 2011). "Behemoth Reissuing Out of Print EPs, Nine Inch Nails and Danzig Covers". Noisecreep. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  21. ^ "Linkin Park Live @ Rock A.M Ring Concert". YouTube. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  22. ^ Ruhlmann, Williams. "Stemm - Blood Scent". AllMusic. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  23. ^ "Brand New - Wish (Nine Inch Nails Cover) (LIVE HD)". YouTube. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2013-03-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "Beavis and Butt-Head Season 2 Episode 4 - Baby Makes Uh, Three". TV.com. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  26. ^ Bulletstorm Video Game, Debut Gameplay Trailer HD | Video Clip | Game Trailers & Videos | GameTrailers.com
  27. ^ "Nine Inch Nails, A Day To Remember Added To Guitar Hero". Ultimate-Guitar. January 13, 2011. Retrieved December 4, 2012.