Sin (song)

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Single by Nine Inch Nails
from the album Pretty Hate Machine
B-side "Get Down Make Love"
Released October 10, 1990
Format CD, 12"
Recorded 1989, 1990
Length 4:06 (album), 5:51 (long), 4:19 (short)
Label TVT (US), Island (UK)
Writer(s) Trent Reznor
Producer(s) Adrian Sherwood, Keith LeBlanc, Hypo Luxa
Nine Inch Nails singles chronology
"Head Like a Hole"
"Happiness in Slavery"
Halo numbers chronology
"Halo 3"
"Halo 4"
"Halo 5"

"Sin" is the third single by American artist Nine Inch Nails from the album Pretty Hate Machine. Released in October 1990, the song peaked at #35 in the UK Singles Chart.[3]

"Sin" has been commonly a staple of Nine Inch Nails live performances for many years; lists it as the artist's eighth most played live song.[4] Its versions on the single differentiate heavily from the album cut, with more an EBM sound with distorted vocals and alternate instrumentation that became the foundation for its many live renditions, as opposed to the Synthpop style featured on Pretty Hate Machine.


Stylized as 5in, it is the fourth official Nine Inch Nails release and final single for Pretty Hate Machine, containing three variations of the track and Nine Inch Nails' first cover song. The spine of the US version refers to the single as "Sin Long, Dub & Short". The lyric "Stale incense, old sweat, and lies..." directly quotes the short story "In the Hills, the Cities" by Clive Barker, from Books of Blood. All three versions were produced by Keith LeBlanc and Adrian Sherwood of Tackhead.

"Get Down, Make Love" is a cover of the Queen song originally released on News of the World. This version of "Get Down, Make Love" samples Dan O'Herlihy from The Cabinet of Caligari, as well as a brief snippet of "We Will Rock You" in the final seconds. It was co-produced by Al Jourgensen of Ministry under the alias of Hypo Luxa and was later released again as a bonus track on the 2010 remaster of Pretty Hate Machine.

The single was included in the Record Store DayBlack Friday exclusive box set, Halo I–IV.[5][6]

Music video[edit]

Image from the "Sin" music video showing one of the gay lovers

A music video, directed by Brett Turnbull and produced by Sarah Bayliss was released, using the "(short)" remix of the song. It features two girls dancing with each other at the beginning, cutting to a black-and-white footage of a woman, naked except for what looks like straps to spelunking gear and a halogen lamp, walking a wrist-bound Trent Reznor with a bag over his head through what looks like an industrial warehouse complex and eventually to strap him into an Aerotrim where he spins him throughout the video. These scenes are intercut with two young gay lovers, a man and woman wearing ritualistic dressings and dancing, as well as visuals of a pierced phallus and clitoris, all reflecting the song's dark, sexual aspects.

Though the video never aired, an edited version appears on Closure. The original video later became available through TVT's website.[7][8]

Track listing[edit]

US version[edit]

No. Title Remixer Length
1. "Sin" (long) Adrian Sherwood, Keith LeBlanc 5:51
2. "Sin" (dub) Sherwood, LeBlanc 5:00
3. "Get Down, Make Love"   Engineered by Jeff "Critter" Newell, Al Jourgensen, Trent Reznor, Sean Beaven 4:19
4. "Sin" (short) Sherwood, LeBlanc 4:19
Total length:

UK version[edit]

No. Title Remixer Length
1. "Sin" (short) Sherwood, LeBlanc 4:19
2. "Sin" (long) Sherwood, LeBlanc 5:51
3. "Get Down, Make Love"   Engineered by Jeff "Critter" Newell, Al Jourgensen, Trent Reznor, Sean Beaven 4:19
4. "Sin" (dub) Sherwood, LeBlanc 5:00
Total length:


  1. ^ Schafer, Joseph (September 10, 2013). "Trent Reznor Albums From Worst To Best: Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine (1989)". Stereogum. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  2. ^ Childers, Chad. "10 Best Nine Inch Nails Songs". Loudwire. Retrieved October 29, 2015. 
  3. ^ "NINE INCH NAILS". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Tour statistics - songs played total". Retrieved June 9, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ Kaye, Ben (October 28, 2015). "Nine Inch Nails releasing Halo I-IV vinyl box set for Record Store Day Black Friday". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ Grebey, James (October 28, 2015). "Nine Inch Nails to Release Vinyl Box Set, 'Halo I-IV,' for Record Store Day Black Friday". Spin. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Full Sin video online at TVT Records". The NIN Hotline. 2001-11-04. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  8. ^ "Nine Inch Nails on TVT TV". TVT Records. 2001-11-04. Archived from the original on 2002-03-11. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 

External links[edit]