"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 for their 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.
"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".
This version is on both the Crow soundtrack and both the Japanese and 2-disc Deluxe Edition of The Downward Spiral.
Dead Souls (Instrumental)
"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