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Pretty Hate Machine
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Product Description

Considered the breakthrough album that delivered a more palatable version of industrial music to the commercial audience, Pretty Hate Machine left its dingy mark on pop culture. The abrasive "sonarchy" of the album was first churned by despondent club-goers who roiled with the rhythms and aligned with the angst-ridden convictions. Since its release, the album's tempered deviations came to signify an aesthetic reverie for machine-driven martyrdom. Permeated by hissing engines and dissonant strains, the tracks cascade outside channels of modern complacency. Hits like "Head Like a Hole" and "Down in It" are recognized by the acidic beats, piercing riffs, and lyrical hostilities which snare the listener with disparaging rhapsody. Not for the light-headed, Pretty Hate Machine afflicts the inner sanctum and strikes a nerve. --Lucas Hilbert

Unavailable domestically for a number of years and with his new album 'With Teeth' due at the end of April, there is bound to be renewed interest in his ground-breaking debut. Originally released in 1989, this Interscope Import version features the same 10 tracks as the TVT edition. Includes the singles, 'Head Like A Hole', 'Sin' and 'Down In It'. Nothing/Interscope.

Trent Reznor and Company's Groundbreaking Album that Includes the Hit Singles "Head Like a Hole" and "Sin".

Customer Reviews:

  • Pounding Rhythms and Angst Ridden Lyrics
    Singer Trent Reznor (who pretty much is Nine Inch Nails writing the majority of music and lyrics on the album) made a great album with Pretty Hate Machine. He brought this particular form of harsh industrial dance music into the mainstream. Singles "Head Like A Hole" and "Terrible Lie" became immediate underground classics, still played on the dance floors of clubs year after year. I still see strippers dancing to it in the local strip clubs or should I say "gentlemen's clubs".

    Pretty Hate Machine is filled with unforgettable synthesizer hooks, pounding rhythms and angst ridden lyrics song after song. Most lyrics are about relationships or love gone wrong, but he writes in the abstract aloof way which does make it more interesting. Trent Reznor is an extremely talented artist....more info
  • Where it all began
    Trent Reznor's first album as Nine Inch Nails and still to this date one of his best pieces of work. I haven't listened to this in such a long time, that I had forgotten just how raw, yet powerful, it was. I highly recommend this album to anyone curious about NIN. I think it speaks volume of Reznor's head space at this time in his life. He has really grown as a person, his music reflects that growth, but the depth of his older work still rings true today. This album really helped put industrial music on the map and change the shape and form of our music today. Pick it up, and get blown away....more info
  • God Money, Let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised
    Young Trent Reznor, full and engorged on a diet on Ministry, Devo, Depeche Mode and (according to the CD liner notes) Prince and Public Enemy, decided to make the music that really spoke to his angst and general teen-aged misery. On his first try, he created a masterpiece. Thick with synths and sampled beats, he snarled and shouted, bashing his way through his conflicts.

    From the opening zap of "Head Like A Hole" to the surprisingly funky "Down In It," Reznor threw down his blueprint for world domination. It strikes a nerve even today, almost 20 years later. His soft/loud dynamic would soon be the formula every grunge band would adopt, while his self-flagellating anger captured the souls of a fresh generation of teens dead certain that they were the downtrodden new caste of misunderstoods. As Reznor put it in the brilliant "Sin"

    "You gave me the reason, you gave me control.
    I gave you my Purity, my Purity you stole."

    At the same time Reznor was venting his frustrations, his music was packing dance floors with the disenfranchised. The singles from "Pretty Hate Machine" were notoriously remixed for clubs where the candy-coated RnB of the Jacskon clan (in 1989, think of Control or Bad) was not as welcome, but the forboding Ministry or Skinny Puppy might not have fit in. Nine Inch Nails bridged that gap with the debut...and then launch into Reznor's singularly twisted visions. When you consider that the follow-up, The Downward Spiral, was about one man's descent into suicidal madness, "Pretty Hate Machine" is light-hearted by comparison. As the 80's drew to their close, Trent Reznor delivered the first indispensable CD of the 90's....more info
  • An Incredible Display of Brilliance
    This is one of the primary influences that changed 80's music into the 90's, and the 90's into today. This is Trent's first official album, and is very ballad influenced. This is his most mesmerizing set of darkness, wonder, anguish and love. If you have never bought a NIN CD before, even though this is an outstanding album, start with the Downward Spiral. The Downward Spiral is harder and more complicated, but if you go from that album to this album, you will understand it better. If you have Downward Spiral, and want to see Trent's original ballad type style, buy this album.

    DM...more info
  • Groundbreaking.
    Hailed as the album that brought pop sensibilities into industrial music, "Pretty Hate Machine" is a real breakthrough in its genre. Nine Inch Nails (aka Trent Reznor) constructed an album of pain and anguish, of a mood of loss and anger, or mourning. The arrangements are sparse, far moreso than Reznor's later work, and its a much more pop record than any of his other material, and its got its own unique charm to it.

    The album succeeds best when Reznor keeps the backgrounds simple enough to really allow his voice to carry the work-- blessed with the ability to really invest passion into his singer, he excels at the morbid ballad "Something I Can Never Have", prodded gently by the mournful piano line and the fantastic "Sin"-- full of anger and rage over a straightahead beat, Reznor really cuts right into it and the results are nothing short of stunning. The infectious rhythms and the great delivery together with an irresistable chorus hook sink the song right in your head. Add to that a couple really great angry tunes to open the record up (the anthemic "Head Like a Hole" and "Terrible Lie"), a great wacky piece with a funky bass line that threatens ballad form even as it rejects it ("Sanctified"), and a couple pieces with confessional lyrics and great delivery ("Kinda I Want To", "The Only Time") and you've got a great record. In fact, the only thing on here that doesn't really work for me is closer "Ringfinger"-- it always seemed a bit lifeless.

    One thing Reznor excels at is a sense of unity in his works-- "Pretty Hate Machine" is successful not just as a collection of songs, but as an album with a unified feel. It does drag a bit on the second half (although "Sin" is there to shake it up), but overall its a fantastic debut. Recommended.

    A note for longtime fans-- this reissue is unchanged sonically from the previous release. Apparently, the goal was to get it on the market, not do some sort of deluxe edition. Hopefully one day we'll see that....more info
  • Fantastic Album
    A must for any NIN fan. Not quite as dark as many of Trent Reznor's other albums, it's staccato beats, frenzied synthesizers, and deep lyrics are still blissfully depressing. ...more info
  • An Excellent Debut
    I've been a fan of Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor since the early to mid 1990s. I had every album he made along with some remix EPs. I didn't think The Fragile was anything special, giving up on NIN with the live album- I was getting old slowly but surely. I almost totally quit listening to music last year- it was getting in the way of school- I embarasingly got a bad repuation at a university. Now that I'm a senior and will definately graduate next year I picked this album up again. This reissue is a lot better than the one I had- it sounds better because it must've been remastered. Head Like a Hole remains a masterpiece of the industrial genre and the rest of the songs are just as good. This has stood the test of time as one of the best industrial albums ever made. When Marilyn Manson first hit big, most of the acclaim went to Trent Reznor. I can't take Manson seriously any more because he became silly when I saw him live years ago. But Trent Reznor I can take seriously. ...more info
  • I'm not angry, just disappointed
    Introducing the world to Industrial music in 1988, Pretty Hate Machine set the standard for the underlying trend of pop sensibility/ depressing atmospheric sound NIN was about. However, this is NIN's first album, and it definitely shows.


    The album spawned a couple of still-thriving radio hits in "Head Like a Hole" (a catchy synthesizer-driven ballad about how dollar signs can be the only things in peoples' eyes sometimes), "Terrible Lie" (an isolated, lonely song about being abandoned by God), and "Down in it" (regretful song about being caught up in your own hubris).


    Maybe I'm just comparing this to Trent's progressively darker material, but this album just isn't heavy at all. If you're looking for that consult "The Downward Spiral". This album is more about wallowing in misery than anything else and it comes off as too- what's the word? - foreign sounding?? I don't know maybe, youll get a different impression. Certainly not the best the NIN catalog has to offer....more info
  • 1989..
    1989, the year Trent Reznor got pissed enough to write a masterpiece of anger and resentment about a girl.

    A girl.

    One single chick.

    ..it's a masterpiece.

    And it sounds like it could debut tomorrow......more info
  • Finally back in print but disappointingly nothing new
    It's finally back in circulation. No need to look for the expensive import versions of this CD.

    Rykodisc is famous for re-releasing back catalogs of music releases and repackaging them as greatest hits or just another re-release to get it back into circulation.

    Sadly, Rykodisc didn't ask Trent Reznor to participate in its re-release. Trent had originally wanted to do a remastering with bonus tracks and/or a DualDisc release similar to what he did with the re-release of the Downward Spiral.

    It's not even remastered. It's the same CD that you bought way back in the old days.

    It's a good introduction to the poppy side of Trent Reznor. He has always known how to write a good hook and this was the birth of a superstar.

    I bought the double disc and DualDisc edition of the Downward Spiral and had hoped that Trent would give us some bonus treats to go with Pretty Hate Machine. It's sad to see that Rykodisc was only interested in profitting from the re-release of PHM but treated it in the same manner that TV did.... just another business decision.

    Well, we won't see it this time around. I don't know if Rykodisc even cares anymore.....

    I'm glad it's back in circulation but disappointed that there were no new goodies to attract old fans.

    4 stars for the music.... 1 star for Rykodisc not allowing Trent Reznor any input on this important re-release....more info
  • Amazing album
    I've been a die-hard NIN fan for years, and 'Pretty Hate Machine' holds a special place in my heart as the album that introduced me to the band and Trent Reznor's beautiful music. From the very first track, you are drawn into a world of emptiness, longing, anger, power, pain and pleasure. The sound, power and raw emotion are incredible. very different from some of NIN's later albums, but still amazing and perfect for new fans....more info
  • WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF INDUSTRIAL ROCK
    NIN. Trent Reznor, basically, a genius behind the boards, and a wierd mother F on the mic. This, his first project PRETTY HATE MACHINE was released in 1989. NOBODY, had anything that sounded like this then, and really nobody does now (unless old Trent set it up for them.) Technically, this is not his most sophisticated stuff (as far as layers and uncontrolable production values- flash ahead to about '95 when his DOWNWARD SPIRAL album would break out). In 1989, this was insane enough, and nobody really knew what the hell sort of trip they were on (although the METH heads were definately having fun..)
    This album is ROCK to a very intense degree. Industrial music, always has remained underground, pretty much, but the kids down there have always been tearing (...) up ever since! THis whole album weaves and flows, much like a FLOYD album would, but where FLOYD is there to sort of mellow you out, NIN is there to clench fists, teeth, pull hair, and just freak the F out!!!!! VERY COOL! Later NIN albums branch out into stuff that contains more melody, harmony, softer songs, darker songs. Take this one for the head trip that it is. BOW DOWN BEFORE THE ONE YOU SERVE!...more info
  • A masters work.
    In my mind this is one of those albums that should be issued to everyone the moment that they become an angsty teenager. I'm going to be very biased as this is one of the first cd's I ever bought upon finding it used at the local record store, but its also one of the few albums that I still enjoy listening to after all this time.
    Pretty Hate Machine has an edge to it that can't be made by any level of techincal knowledge, but must have someone behind the controls who has a high level of pure imagination, creative ability,sheer drive and inspiration.
    I find it quite sad that this work is often overshadowed by later works such as Broken, and of course the Downward Spiral. While both are good, this album vibes in a way that the later two can't reach.
    Essentially what i'm saying is, if you don't own this, you should....more info
  • Great Price for a Great Album!
    This is a classic Nine Inch Nails album and one that should complete any collection, however it is surprisingly difficult to locate. Finding this album, in new condition and at this price was terrific and I was extremely pleased. Shipping was fast and the product was just as described....more info
  • Honesty
    This I would have to say is there best album ever!!! This is what NIN was all about, not that popy crap you here now, if you want popy crap go listen to Justin Temberlake and die, and stop ruining good bands like these to go gay. This and Downward spiral are there best, must own, if you have emotions you would agree and love this, thank you Hope to help....more info
  • Pounding Rhythms and Angst Ridden Lyrics
    Singer Trent Reznor (who pretty much is Nine Inch Nails writing the majority of music and lyrics on the album) made a great album with Pretty Hate Machine. He brought this particular form of harsh industrial dance music into the mainstream. Singles "Head Like A Hole" and "Terrible Lie" became immediate underground classics, still played on the dance floors of clubs year after year. I still see strippers dancing to it in the local strip clubs or should I say "gentlemen's clubs".

    Pretty Hate Machine is filled with unforgettable synthesizer hooks, pounding rhythms and angst ridden lyrics song after song. Most lyrics are about relationships or love gone wrong, but he writes in the abstract aloof way which does make it more interesting. Trent Reznor is an extremely talented artist....more info
  • This one kicked it off
    This is techno after a long line of coke. The first song, Head Like a Hole, is probably my favorite song NIN ever did. Terrible Lie is probably my 2nd choice of this album (a distant 2nd.) This album is good, but kind of soft. It one of those albums that if your in the mood for it, you think it is the best album ever, but if your not, it will get on your nerves. Honestly, the album is worth buying just for Head Like a Hole. This album blends together with their album Broken to give us The Downward Spiral, which is, in my opinion, by far their best overall album....more info
  • NIN Halo 2 - Pretty Hate Machine
    Gah, words can't describe this album, besides awesome and ground breaking. This was the first LP release from Trent Reznor which put NIN on the map and brought Industrial Rock to the mainstream in the America . Possibly one of the best NIN albums, put I don't know about all that. Released in 1989 with singles from the album in 1988 and 1990... no doubt about it amazing album. Anyone who likes electronica should check this album out...and pretty much every NIN album....more info
  • great debut from a great artist!
    Pretty Hate Machine is an undeniably catchy album. It's a mixture of industrial music mixed with pop music(as is all of NIN's work), making it an easy listening. I got this album for Xmas and I haven't stopped listening to it since. From the opening lyrics of Head Like A Hole: God Money I'd do anything for you. to the closing lyrics on Ringfinger:When I do it, I only think of you. PHM is enjoyable for the whole family! If there's one NIN song that every one knows, it's Head Like A Hole, and it's a catchy song that'll make you continuously sing hte chorus:Head like a hole! Black as your soul! I'd rather die than give you control. In Terrible Lie, it's a song that makes you look back on all the crap that's gone on in your life and makes you think: Yeah God, why are you doing this to me?(line from the sky). Down In It sounds like it was from a rap/rock rock band with a fast little up beat and a memorable chorus of:I was up above it! Now I'm down in it. It eventually takes the turn on to sesame street.Rain rain go away, come again some other day! Sanctified is the most underrated song on PHM and I consider it to be one of the highlights of the album. With the bizzare gothic sound that sounds like it came out of a Wishmaster episode and a sneaky little bass line in the beginning, combined with the gothic chorus:I am sanctified! I am purified! Inside you. You can't help but hum to this song. In Something I Can Never Have, Trent delivers a beautiful but miserable piano solo that sets the perfect atmosphere for a slow dance. The beginning of Kinda I Want To starts out with bizzare sounds that sound like a disfunctoning television set, then the lyrics punch you in the face unexpectedly with:I can't shake this feeling from my head! definately not a weak song. Sin is another popular song from PHM with a catchy chorus of:It comes down to this! Your kiss! Your first!and your strain! In That's What I get, Trent Reznor delivers a haunting gothic organ solo and a haunting voice with gothic lyrics of:Just when everything was making sense, you take away my self-confidence! Not a track to be ignored. Trent Reznor has a very creepy voice on The Only Time and when you here the beginning lyrics:I'm drunk, you'd think that Trent was drunk(I'm sure he wasn't though). Ringfinger, the ending track, starts off with some jumpy synth and after about 40 seconds of this, Trent's angry voice comes in with the opening lyrics of:Well, you've got me working so hard lately. Also, Trent's voice sounds like it's coming from very far away, but that just adds to the strength of the song.

    All in all, this is a great album and definately worth your $13. What's surprising is how everybody seems to miss that PHM is a concept album. That's right, The Downward Spiral wasn't NIN's only concept album. I believe it's about a man who lives off of God for happiness but after denying God's demands, God turns his back on the man. Eventually this man turns to a woman who he thinks will help him get away from all his misery, but eventually this woman kinda makes this man into her slave and he just blindly obeys all of her demands. The only reason I figured all of this is because I studied the lyrics of the songs. If I'm wright or wrong, don't tell me, let Trent confirm that for me(man that would be awesome!). So go pick up PHM because otherwise, you're missing out on a lot!...more info
  • Simply NIN
    This NIN album is of excellent musical quality. As a fan who owns all of his major albums and many remix albums, I consider this album in the top three. It is an excellent representation of the originality of the band, and when listened to directly before or after later albums, it helps bridge the gaps in the styles of the albums. It seems as if Trent Reznor completely reinvents his style with each album, and this album is easily one of his heaviest. While TDS is encased in distortion and lots of "industrial" sounds, this albums has more synthesizers and has a much heavier sound. All in all, a must ahve for any NIN fan....more info
  • Pretty "Hate"
    Woe. Pain. Anger. Rejection. And some very catchy industrial beats.

    Trent Reznor has become legendary for the sound he perfected in "Pretty Hate Machine," his exceptional debut album. Wrapped in catchy industrial beats and sizzling basslines, he exposes all the rage and pain from being betrayed. Like a bad breakup, it's raw and rough and painful, but there's a strange catharsis once it's over.

    It opens on a high note with the ear-blowing "Head Like A Hole," which alternates between dark techno and explosive hard-rock. "Bow down before the one you serve/you're gonna get what you deserve... Head like a hole, black as your soul/I'd rather DIE than give you control!" Reznor snarls. And he sounds like he means it, too.

    That mix of rage and bitterness permeate the songs that follow. Not every song is a rockin' ragefest: "Something I Can Never Have" is a sweeping, haunted ballad with Reznor lamenting that "I'm starting to scare myself." It's one of the most powerful songs on a hard-hitting record, and shows Reznor's anguished vocals at their best.

    But the majority are harder, angrier songs with Reznor's rough industrial-pop, raw singing and sparse electronic beats. The second half does drag a bit, but is pulled back up by the explosive "Sin" ("You give me the reason/you give me control/I gave you my purity/and my purity you stole!") and hauntingly out-there "Ringfinger."

    "Pretty Hate Machine" could, in a sense, be seen as a concept album -- a mapping of the painful emotions in a breakup. Okay, painful breakups are not a big deal in the musical world -- every cheesy popstar does them. The difference is, Trent Reznor does them with passion, genuine anger, and explosive music that mirrors the betrayed feelings.

    Reznor gets much flack for his angsty songwriting and accompanying vocal style. But it has to be admitted that even when the songwriting is sub-par -- the rather whiny, it's-God's-fault "Terrible Lie" -- Reznor's rough vocals bring them to life in all their painful glory.

    This is also Nine Inch Nails' most minimalist album -- no soundscapes, just the guitars and electronics. The instrumentation matches the theme of inverted love -- Reznor throws in some poppy industrial beats, which manage to be darkly catchy and gritty at the same time. Underlying all of this is some smoldering, twisted guitar and drum machines.

    Explosive rage, betrayal, confusion and pain lie at the heart of "Pretty Hate Machine," an unforgettable debut that Reznor has yet to equal in pure emotion....more info
  • Sixteen years and the legacy lives on.
    It's hard to believe that the original edition of Nine Inch Nails' first album has gone out of print. Even bigger shame is just finding out that the Rykodisc reissue was going to be remastered in 5.1 audio with new packaging and extra tracks added in, all by Trent Reznor himself. But he wanted a paycheck out of it that Rykodisc wasn't willing to cough up. So that's officially defunct, and to much dismay.

    Still, the album stands as a modern masterpiece. Every track is stellar mayhem, and the fine craftsmanship is mesmerizing. No track feels out of place. "Something I Can Never Have" is the true standout track, as it's the slowest, moodiest song on the album. "Pretty Hate Machine", as a whole, evokes a certain feeling, as if it's the soundtrack to some beautiful, twisted dream. It's best described as a party album having some sort of psychotic episode. The dark, chaotic synth-pop stylings of this landmark industrial record work perfectly in making you bang your head while maintaining a definite atmosphere throughout.

    As delicious as this entire record is, it's just missing something. More specifically, it's missing the tracks "Purest Feeling" and "Maybe Just Once", two stellar tracks that were on the original demo (entitled "Purest Feeling" and available on eBay as well as the Limewire file-sharing service). I don't know why Mr. Reznor didn't include them on "Pretty Hate Machine", as they would've completed the recipe to one mind-blowing album. But oh well, I guess....more info