The Greater Good
"The Greater Good" is the twelfth track on the 2007 release Year Zero.
The song tells the assimilation of people into believing and following the government of Year Zero. They are now part of the "Greater Good."
The Greater Good
This is the original album version. Its introductory string sample beginning as "Meet Your Master" fades out, the track index begins this song when its beat begins, which is looped throughout most of the track. Various layers of samples and percussive loops ebb and flow around Reznor's whispered and effects-ridden vocals. Its most prominent melody is played with a bell-like synthesizer and is played a couple of different times during the song. A prominent ringing synthesizer tone fades in through the last lyric section, which is then left as the sole accompaniment to Reznor's final mantra, "breathe us in slowly." The song's structure on the whole resembles that of "The Great Collapse," while its lyrical composition is remarkably similar to "The New Flesh," including the repeating, overlapping lyrics.
The Greater Good (Instrumental)
This instrumental version is on the Survivalism single. The only significant differences between this and the original are the lack of vocals and an additional 10 seconds of the opening sample that begins during the last few seconds of "Meet Your Master" on Year Zero.
"The Greater Good" made its live debut at a dress rehearsal performance in Los Angeles, California, on July 19, 2008. The instrumental accompaniment is simply the instrumental mix of the studio version, though Reznor's vocals are live. The lyrics of the second section are changed live sometimes, with "persuasion" becoming "temptation." It was performed on the 2008 legs of the Lights In The Sky Tour as a segue into the third part of the performance, with a screen dropped down on the stage featuring textures responding to the beat of the music as Reznor's image appeared on it, filmed with a hand-held camera.
1 Breathe us in Slowly Slowly 2 Persuasion Coercion Submission Assimilation 3 Welcome to your new point of view We have disappeared into you 4 Everything you do Everywhere you go Anything we want Anything 5 Now it's all just a matter of time
Sections 1, 2, and 4 are clearly audible in the song. Sections 3 and 5 may not have made it onto the final recording.