'Pretty Hate Machine' has had a pretty chequered life so far. Nine Inch Nails' debut album was composed almost entirely by Trent Reznor in 1989 during his time off at a studio he was working at and initially picked up by TVT Records. So far so normal, except TVT stood for TeeVee Toons, and the label was more renowned for TV theme tune compilations than credible music. From those inauspicious beginnings it went on to charm its way onto most radio playlists (in the form of singles ‘Down In It’, ‘Head Like A Hole’ and ‘Sin’) and went platinum pretty fast.
Artwork redone for the reissue by the original artist
Then, thanks to a dispute between Reznor and TVT, the record fell out of print for eight years between 1997 and 2005. Which meant, unless you were an early Limewire nerd, you’d be looking through second hand shops to get a copy. UK and European fans were spared this, though, as Reznor and Island's Chris Blackwell managed to agree a deal for those territories and keep pressing copies on the latter's Nothing imprint. Then it got re-released and supposedly remastered by Rykodisc, although it was barely distinguishable from the original 1989 version and got pretty slated by Pitchfork.
Now, 21 years later, it’s finally been brought into the 21st century, fully remastered and offering what Reznor himself calls “an improved sonic experience”. (About time, for an unusually future-thinking band that have their own iPhone app and, lets face it, carved a new furrow for industrial rock.
Reznor says of the album: "It's been an interesting trip watching the fate of this record float from one set of hands to another, a long and depressing story, But it's finally wound up in friendly territory, allowing us to polish it up a bit and present it to you now. We had fun revisiting this old friend, hope you enjoy."
It also features an extra track, a cover of Queen’s ‘Get Down, Make Love’, from NiN’s 1990 single ‘Sin’.
‘Pretty Hate Machine’ is out next week. Head to their site for pre-order details.
What do you think of the album? How do you think it fits in 2010?