Before he was a two-time Academy Award winner (for 2010’s The Social Network and 2020’s Soul), Trent Reznor melted brains and faces with his hardcore industrial music as the sole member of Nine Inch Nails.
The Downward Spiral, released in March of 1994, was NIN’s second full-length album, following the critical and commercial favorite Pretty Hate Machine.
Industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails (the brainchild of one-man band Trent Reznor) was first eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. They were nominated that year and the following year, unsuccessfully, then missed the ballot for a few years before earning a spot in the 2020 class.
Reznor is no doubt a major influence on a genre of music I don’t much like, and his commercial and critical success — particularly in the 90s — makes him a no-brainer for the Rock Hall.
This week’s Doubting Thomases (in the form of Monsters of Folk and U2) have been rather polite in their lashing out at a God they’re having difficulty believing in. Today’s artist goes in quite the other direction.
Nine Inch Nails released its debut, Pretty Hate Machine, in late 1989 and this furious, gaping wound of an album was a perfect antidote to the superficial decade it left behind. Front man Trent Reznor (actually, he’s the only member of the band) poured his anger and pain into ten industrial rock songs that tore a hole in your heart as well as your head.