Brent Porche

Brent Porche

Brent Porche

The cover art was designed by Gary Talpas, which is a photo of the blades of a turbine stretched vertically to create the illusion of a rib cage.

Pretty Hate Machine, the debut studio album by Nine Inch Nails, was released by TVT Records on October 20, 1989. NIN frontman Trent Reznor was the band’s production manager. He had assistance from the English producer Flood, John Fryer, Keith LeBlanc, and Adrian Sherwood.

While working nights as a handyman and engineer at the Right Track Studio in Cleveland, Ohio, Reznor used the studio during its downtime to record and develop his own music. He recorded a demo playing most of the keyboards, guitars, drum machines, and samples himself.

Considered a landmark album in the industrial rock genre, Pretty Hate Machine features a heavy, synth-driven electronic sound combined with industrial and rock elements. Trent Reznor’s lyrics on the album contain themes of angst and betrayal delivered with a raw intensity. It now reminds listeners of the band’s later work.

The record featured the singles “Down in It”, “Head Like a Hole”, and “Sin”, and it had an accompanying tour.

Pretty Hate Machine

Pretty Hate Machine was a critical and commercial success, while also developing an underground following, selling over three million copies in the United States alone.

The album’s opening track, “Head Like a Hole”, is one of Nine Inch Nails’ most iconic songs. It features a catchy guitar riff, pounding drums, and Reznor’s distinctive vocals.

The lyrics are about feeling alienated and misunderstood, and they resonated with many listeners at the time. The music video was just as crazy with performance footage combined with trippy imagery flashing on the screen almost in a kind of strobe-light fashion.

Some of my favorite tracks on the album include “Down in It,” “Terrible Lie,” “Sin,” and “Something I Can Never Have.” Each song showcases Reznor’s songwriting skills and his ability to create dark and atmospheric music. All have been staples in Nine Inch Nails live concert setlists.

In 2010, Bicycle Music Company acquired the recording rights to Pretty Hate Machine, an independent music publishing company. They reissued the album with new cover art and the bonus track “Get Down, Make Love,” a Queen cover originally issued as the B-side to the single “Sin.”

Pretty Hate Machine has been a staple in my music collection for decades now. In fact, you can still see the old “The Wall” Lifetime Music Guarantee sticker on my copy! I’m surprised I haven’t worn it out yet!

A MUST-LISTEN album from a MUST-SEE live band, Nine Inch Nails!

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  • Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine (Inside Cover)

    A picture of the inside cover of Nine Inch Nails debut album 'Pretty Hate Machine'

    I have had this album for so many years, that it still has The Wall sticker on it! I was always a fan of keeping all of the album’s contents intact, including the fan club mailer cards.

  • Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine (Inside Booklet)

    A picture of the inside booklet of Nine Inch Nails debut album 'Pretty Hate Machine'

    The CD booklet inside the album was more so a mini poster.

  • Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine (Back Cover)

    A picture of the back cover of Nine Inch Nails debut album 'Pretty Hate Machine'

    The cover art was designed by Gary Talpas, which is a photo of the blades of a turbine stretched vertically to create the illusion of a rib cage.

  • Nine Inch Nails - "Head Like a Hole" (Official Video)

  • Nine Inch Nails - "Down In It" (Official Video)

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