When Broken was first released, this and another extra track, "Suck," were on a Mini CD that was packaged with the EP. But after allegations that some music stores were removing the mini CD and selling it separately, the two tracks were incorporated onto the EP as tracks 98 and 99, with tracks 7–97 consisting of one second of silence each.
At the beginning (approx. 27 sec.) of the song, Trent Reznor can be heard saying, "Eat your heart out, Steve." This is possibly directed towards Steve Gottlieb of TVT Records with whom Reznor had been feuding, as Gottlieb would not let him out of his contract. The entirety of Broken was created without the knowledge of TVT.
In the credits, "Barks and Roars" are attributed to Maise, Trent's dog at the time of recording. At 3:36, barking and "Ow! Fucker" is heard being played at half speed over the track, as Maise - then a puppy - was playing with someone in the studio, and bit that someone. (One of the recording techniques employed on both Suck and Physical was to play the guitar riff at double the speed of the track, and play the resulting recording back at half speed, for a unique, extra thick sound)
According to a previously unreleased interview Reznor did with Melody Maker magazine, "Physical" was supposed to be a "tongue-in-cheek" cover.
It should be noted that the Adam and the Ants version is named "Physical (You're So)" and features an extra verse.
This is the original version found on the Broken EP. It begins with layers of ambience and feedback before erupting into a guitar- and drum-heavy first verse. The chorus introduces a new, chugging chord progression before returning to the power chords and riff of the second verse. A bridge after the second chorus leads to the climactic final chorus variation, which descends into more feedback and whispering.
Physical (Mass Consumption mix)
A mix only found on radio promos released in the US
This track was rarely played live post-1993, but resurfaced on the Wave Goodbye Tour. In 1995, Nine Inch Nails performed this song live with Adam Ant for two nights in a row in New York City. After Reznor introduced Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni on the second night, Adam Ant proclaimed to the audience, "It's nice to be on stage with the best fucking band in the world."
I want to date you maybe I want to take you out I want to wine and dine you I want to twist and twist and shout I want you hard in my arms So soft on my bed You get the keys to my heart When you wear that sweet dress (You know, the short one) You're so physical, physical for me You're just too physical, physical, for me I want your roughhouse baby I want this night in your ear Let me feel you danger I want to make this feeling clear I want the touch of your charms The heat of your breath I want to say all those things (Those dirty things) That would be better unsaid