Nine Inch NailsNine Inch Nails were formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1988 as an industrial rock band.
The founder of the band, Trent Reznor, is its principal member and does most of the work on Nine Inch Nails albums; when the band plays live he is joined by a full line-up which has rotated considerably since the band's formation. Reznor's creative control over the band's output is reflected by the statement "nine inch nails is trent reznor" included in the credits on all of their albums.
The second major Nine Inch Nails release is Broken (1992), an EP of six tracks and two hidden tracks. The song "Wish" won a Grammy, oddly enough, in the "metal" category. An album of remixes from Broken, entitled Fixed, is also available.
The second album, 4x platinum The Downward Spiral, was released in 1994. It helped the band to much greater prominence, especially through the second single from the album, "Closer." The other single from the album was "March of the Pigs." Like Broken, The Downward Spiral produced a remix album, this one entitled Further Down the Spiral. The Downward Spiral powerfully evokes images of both aggressive and depressive states, and many people find it unlistenable. Others consider it to be Reznor's finest work. Reznor has publicly stated that he has suffered from depression, and has been reported as suffering from bipolar disorder.
Considerably different versions of this album were released in the UK and the US.
There was a long gap before the release of the next album, The Fragile (1999). It produced three singles, one released in the US ("The Day The World Went Away"), one in the UK ("We're In This Together") and one in Japan and Australia ("Into The Void"). Like the previous two albums, it was followed by a remix album, entitled Things Falling Apart.
Each Nine Inch Nails release is given a matrix number using the form: Halo x, where x is a positive integer. Many independent and new wave records follow similar numbering schemes. The currently releases are as follows:
- Halo 1 - Down in It
- Halo 2 - Pretty Hate Machine
- Halo 3 - Head Like a Hole
- Halo 4 - Sin
- Halo 5 - Broken
- Halo 6 - Fixed
- Halo 7 - March of the Pigs
- Halo 8 - The Downward Spiral
- Halo 9 - Closer
- Halo 10 - Further Down the Spiral (US release)
- Halo 10 v2 - Further Down the Spiral (UK release)
- Halo 11 - The Perfect Drug Versions
- Halo 12 - Closure (double video set)
- Halo 13 - The Day the World Went Away
- Halo 14 - The Fragile
- Halo 15 - We're in This Together / Into the Void (both labelled Halo 15)
- Halo 16 - Things Falling Apart
- Halo 17 - And All That Could Have Been (live single and double albums, as well as concert videos on VHS and DVD)
Reznor also recorded the background music for the id software computer game Quake, released in 1996, but this is not considered a canonical Nine Inch Nails release. Reznor was also put in charge of compiling the soundtrack to the film Natural Born Killers. Some of the tracks on the soundtrack to the David Lynch film Lost Highway are credited to Reznor alone, in addition to it featuring the Nine Inch Nails track "The Perfect Drug." Reznor also contributed the track "Deep" to the soundtrack for the movie Tomb Raider.
Trent has collaborated with such artists as Tori Amos, adding backing vocals to "Past the Mission" from Under the Pink. He has also worked with David Bowie, Pigface, Marilyn Manson, The Neptunes, 1000 Homo DJs, and Peter Gabriel. TapeWorm is Reznor's own collaborative band, with a rather enigmatic line-up, tentatively featuring Danny Lohner and Maynard of Tool. The general audience has yet to hear any official release from the band, outside of a live performance of a single TapeWorm song (Vacant) which A Perfect Circle has arranged for its own 2001 live tour, to the initial irritation of Trent Reznor.