Pretty Hate Machine
|Pretty Hate Machine|
|Studio album by Nine Inch Nails|
|Released||October 20, 1989|
|Recorded||May–June 1989, Right Track, Cleveland; Blackwing & Roundhouse, London; Unique, New York City; Synchro Sound, Boston|
|Genre||Synthpop, industrial rock, electronic|
|Label||TVT – HALO 2|
|Producer||Trent Reznor, Flood, Adrian Sherwood, Keith LeBlanc, John Fryer|
|Nine Inch Nails chronology|
|Singles from Pretty Hate Machine|
|Original LP Edition|
Pretty Hate Machine is the debut album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released October 20, 1989, on TVT Records. Pretty Hate Machine is compiled of reworked tracks from the Purest Feeling demo, as well as tracks recorded after its recording. The album spawned three singles, the most successful being "Head Like a Hole", which has become a staple in Nine Inch Nails live performances.
The album became one of the first independently released records to attain platinum certification. On 12 May 2003 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album triple platinum, denoting sales of three million in the United States. It was commercially and critically successful for an independent label, but Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails' only constant band member) feuded with TVT (the original publishing label of the album) during promotion. The album was out of print from around 1997 to 2005, due to the much publicized falling out between Reznor and the record label. Rykodisc re-released the album around the world in 2005, effectively putting the album back into print. A remastered version was released on November 22, 2010.
Slant Magazine listed the album at #50 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s" saying "Before attempting suicide in The Downward Spiral and living with the wrist scars in The Fragile, Pretty Hate Machine sent out sleek, danceable warning shots".
Working nights at Right Track Studio as a handyman and janitor in Cleveland, Ohio, Reznor used studio "down-time" to record and develop his own music. Playing most of the keyboards, drum machines, guitars, and samplers himself, he recorded a demo. The sequencing was done on a Macintosh Plus.
Teaming up with manager John Malm, Jr., they sent the demo to various record labels. Reznor received serious offers from many of them, but eventually signed a deal with TVT Records who, until then, were known mainly for releasing novelty and television jingle records. Pretty Hate Machine was recorded in various studios around the world with Reznor collaborating with some of his most idolized producers: Flood, Keith LeBlanc, Adrian Sherwood, and John Fryer. Much like his recorded demo, Reznor refused to record the album with a conventional band, recording Pretty Hate Machine mostly by himself.
Since the album was released, a recording known as Purest Feeling surfaced. This bootleg album contains the original demo recordings of most of the tracks found on Pretty Hate Machine, as well as a couple that were not used ("Purest Feeling", "Maybe Just Once" and an instrumental introduction to "Sanctified" called "Slate").
Pretty Hate Machine is a synthpop album that incorporates industrial and electronic styles. Unlike the industrial music of Nine Inch Nails' contemporaries, the album's music employed catchy riffs and verse-chorus song structures rather than repetitive electronic sounds. Of its industrial influence, Pitchfork Media's Tom Breihan writes that the album is informed by "the genre's nascent new-wave period rather than its subsequent styles." Music journalist Jon Pareles characterizes the album's music as "electro-rock or industrial rock, using drum machines, computerized synthesizer riffs and obviously processed sounds to detail, and usually denounce, an artificial world." Reznor's lyrics express adolescent angst and feelings of betrayal by lovers, society, or God. and juxtapose themes of despair with lovelorn sentiments.
The bands listed in the liner notes (Prince, Jane's Addiction and Public Enemy, amongst others) were sampled on the album. Parts of Prince's "Alphabet St." and Jane's Addiction's "Had a Dad" are prominently heard in "Ringfinger", while other samples were either edited or distorted to be unrecognizable, such as the introduction to "Kinda I Want To".
A speech from Midnight Express was sampled at a very low volume during the music break in "Sanctified". On the 2010 reissue of the album, this sample is no longer present, most likely due to clearance issues.
In 1990, Reznor quickly hired a band, including guitarist and future Filter frontman Richard Patrick, and began the Pretty Hate Machine Tour Series, in which they toured North America as an opening act for alternative rock artists such as Peter Murphy and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Nine Inch Nails' live set during the time was known for louder, more aggressive versions of the studio songs. At some point, Reznor began smashing his equipment while on stage (Reznor preferred using the heel of his boots to strip the keys from expensive keyboards, most notably the Yamaha DX7); Nine Inch Nails then embarked on a world tour that continued through the first Lollapalooza festival in 1991 and culminated in an opening slot to support Guns N' Roses on their European tour which was poorly received.
Pretty Hate Machine went out of print through TVT Records, but was reissued by Rykodisc Records on November 22, 2005 with slight changes in the packaging. Reznor had expressed an interest in creating a "deluxe edition" with surround sound remastering and new/rare remixes, similar to the re-release of The Downward Spiral. Rykodisc liked the idea, but wanted Reznor to pay them to do so.
On March 29, 2010, the master recording rights of Pretty Hate Machine were acquired by the Bicycle Music Company and on October 22, 2010, Reznor announced that a remastered reissue of the album would be released by UMe and Bicycle Music Group on November 22, 2010. The re-release includes new cover art by Rob Sheridan and the bonus track "Get Down, Make Love", a Queen cover originally found on the "Sin" single. The 2010 remastered reissue was mastered by Tom Baker at Precision Mastering in Hollywood, California.
Leading up to the re-release of the album, a website was put up for fans featuring content from videos and tours for Pretty Hate Machine. The videos for "Head Like a Hole" and "Down in It" featured newly remastered sound, the uncut video for "Sin" (a remix for the video was used, which did not lead to the song being remastered) and two early live video segments, one with interviews.
Released on October 20, 1989, the album was a commercial success, receiving radio airplay for the singles "Down in It", "Head Like a Hole" and "Sin". The songs "Terrible Lie" and "Something I Can Never Have" also received moderate airplay along with the three lead singles. Pretty Hate Machine also gained popularity through word-of-mouth and developed an underground following.
Although the album failed to break into the Top 70, after spending 113 weeks on the Billboard 200 and peaking at number 75, Pretty Hate Machine became one of the first independently released records to attain platinum certification. On 12 May 2003 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album triple platinum, denoting sales of three million in the United States.
|The A.V. Club||B–|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Pretty Hate Machine was well received by contemporary music critics. Rolling Stone's Michael Azerrad called the album "industrial-strength noise over a pop framework" and "harrowing but catchy music"; Reznor proclaimed this combination "a sincere statement" of "what was in [his] head at the time". Robert Hilburn, writing in the Los Angeles Times, found Reznor's "dark obsession" compelling. Q magazine said that he "scans the spectrum of modern dance" with a "panoramic vision" that is "both admirably adventurous and yet accessible." Jon Pareles of The New York Times critiqued that the album "stays so close to the conventions established by Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and New Order that it could be a parody album", but ultimately complimented its "music that has a sure beat and enough unexpected jolts to support [Reznor's] posturing." Mark Jenkins of The Washington Post called its songs "competent but undistinctive stuff" and felt that the "angry denunciations" of songs such as "Terrible Lie" are overshadowed by the "nursery-rhyme" chants of "Down In It". Tom Popson of the Chicago Tribune wrote that "the playing and production get points for introducing some variety to the industrial style, but the moments of soap-on-a-rope singing tend to cancel them out."
In a retrsopective review of the album, Allmusic editor Steve Huey commended Reznor for giving "industrial music a human voice, a point of connection" with his "tortured confusion and self-obsession", and felt that "the greatest achievement of Pretty Hate Machine was that it brought emotional extravagance to a genre whose main theme had nearly always been dehumanization." Upon its 2010 reissue, Will Hermes of Rolling Stone called it "the first industrial singer-songwriter album" and commended the sound produced by Flood and Keith LeBlanc, whom he said "taught Reznor a lot." Piero Scaruffi wrote that the album's "brutal music, nihilistic lyrics and claustrophobic atmospheres turned" it into "the manifesto/diary of an entire generation." Kyle Ryan of The A.V. Club felt that the album "remains the work of an artist just discovering his voice" and said that "20 years later, it doesn’t warrant repeat listens like its successors." He found some of its synth and sampled sounds to still be dated after the album's remastering and Reznor's lyrics "mopey" and "silly".
All songs written, composed and performed by Trent Reznor.
|1.||"Head Like a Hole"||4:59|
|3.||"Down in It"||3:46|
|5.||"Something I Can Never Have"||5:54|
|6.||"Kinda I Want to"||4:33|
|8.||"That's What I Get"||4:30|
|9.||"The Only Time"||4:47|
|11.||"Get Down, Make Love" (Queen cover, bonus track on 2010 reissue only)||4:19|
|United States||3x Platinum|
- Breihan, Tom. Review: Pretty Hate Machine. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved on 2010-11-24.
- Pareles, Jon. Review: Pretty Hate Machine. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
- Huey, Steve. "Nine Inch Nails". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
- "RIAA.com". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-06-16. Note: User must define search parameters, i.e. "Nine Inch Nails".
- Mathew Honan (1 February 2002). "Pro File: Nailing a New Look". Macworld. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
- Huxley (1997), p. 45
- Huey, Steve. "Nine Inch Nails". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 2006-11-24.
- Duemling, Keith (March 1996). Sympathy for the Devil (transcript). Spin. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Trent Reznor talks about PHM re-issue, touring. The NIN Hotline. Last accessed January 10, 2008.
- Pretty Hate Machine Press Release. The Bicycle Music Company. Accessed October 26, 2010.
- 2010 remastered reissue credits
- "The Billboard 200 - Pretty Hate Machine". Billboard. Nielsen Company. Retrieved 2007-10-08.
- "Nine Inch Nails Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
- "Canadian Recording Industry Association–Search Certification Database". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2008-03-08. Note: User must define search parameters, i.e. "Nine Inch Nails".
- "Blue Lines Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2009-08-26. Note: User must define search parameters, i.e. "Nine Inch Nails".
- Ryan, Kyle (November 23, 2010). "Pretty Hate Machine: 2010 Remaster". The A.V. Club (Chicago). Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- Popson, Tom. "Review: Pretty Hate Machine". Chicago Tribune: 69–70. December 22, 1989.
- "Review: Pretty Hate Machine". Q (London). March 1991.
- Hermes, Will (November 22, 2010). "Pretty Hate Machine Reissue". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (November 2, 2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 587. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
- Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Nine Inch Nails". Piero Scaruffi. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- Azerrad, Michael (1990). "Nine Inch Nails". Rolling Stone.
- Martin, Steve (1990). "Nine Inch Nails". Thrasher.
- Hilburn, Robert. Review: Pretty Hate Machine. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
- Jenkins, Mark. "Review: Pretty Hate Machine". The Washington Post: February 2, 1990.
- "Nine Inch Nails". The Official Charts Company.
- "Pretty Hate Machine - Nine Inch Nails". Billboard.
- "Nine Inch Nails Alternative Songs Chart History". Billboard.
- "Nine Inch Nails Dance Songs Chart History". Billboard.
- "Nine Inch Nails". Allmusic.
- "BPI certifications". British Phonographic Industry.
- "RIAA - Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America.
- Nathan Brackett, Christian Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.