"The Day the World Went Away" is a song by Nine Inch Nails, released in 1999 as the first single from the act's then-forthcoming album The Fragile (1999). Labeled as "Halo 13," The single is the thirteenth official Nine Inch Nails release. It was the band's first Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at number 17, which remains the group's highest ever position on that chart.
"The Day the World Went Away" contains no drums. To date, it is the only NIN single to reach the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was a staple in the encore during the Fragility tour, and has been performed in many shows since.
The compact disc single contains three songs: the original version and a "quiet" remix of "The Day the World Went Away," and "Starfuckers, Inc." another song from The Fragile. The 12" vinyl single replaced "Starfuckers, Inc." with another version of "The Day the World Went Away," this one remixed by electronic music artist Porter Ricks. The main version of the title track featured on the single is approximately 30 seconds shorter than the version found on The Fragile and features slightly different vocals.
The version of "Starfuckers, Inc." featured on the single is almost identical to the album version, except that this version ends with the sound of Paul Stanley yelling "Goodnight!" to a cheering crowd. The yelling and crowd cheering are sampled from a KISS concert recording. The opening to "Complication", the track which follows "Starfuckers, Inc." on The Fragile, can be heard faintly alongside the crowd noise, augmented to sound like part of the concert.
The flower depicted on the cover of the single is a Kangaroo paw.
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