Here’s your #TapeTuesday! Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)

Here's your #TapeTuesday. Nine Inch Nails with their second full length album The Downward Spiral. Released March 8th, 1994, The Downward Spiral helped catapult Nine Inch Nails into the alt-rock stratosphere, eventually selling over 4 million copies worldwide. Catching Trent Reznor at his nihilistic, abrasive peak (or low point), the recording began in earnest after Reznor moved into 10050 Cielo Drive, the house where Sharon Tate was murdered by the Manson Family in 1969. Trent was already knee-deep in bad vibes, splitting with his first label TVT, a recent tour ending with interband turmoil and Reznor's own alcoholism. Rebranding the Tate house "Le Pig" after the message scrawled on the front door by Tate's murderers, Reznor bought a large recording console and Macintosh computers set up with an early version of Pro Tools and began slowly dismantling the radio friendly sound of the first NIN album Pretty Hate Machine. Adrian Belew recorded shards of noise guitar which he would record, then sample and further treat with effects creating a guitar sound that barely resembled an actual six string. Lyrical concerns on the album reflected the skinny, depressed, tortured young artist, far from the sober, well-built, tech-mogul Reznor we know in 2017. One day Sharon Tate's sister Patti met with Trent and asked him if he was exploiting her sister's death to sell records. At that point Trent woke up and realized the atrocity of what the Manson Family had commited, giving Trent a push to finish the complex album. Complete with the Russell Mills painting "Wound" as cover art & an interesting slip case packaging, the album was released to a confused Interscope with it's dark sound considered commercial suicide. However with the dark, minimal funk of "Closer" catching heat as well as a pay-per-view of their Woodstock '94 performance being watched in 24 million homes, the album eventually eclipsed its predecessor as NIN's biggest album. 8 years later country music icon Johnny Cash released his cover of the Downward Spiral's closing balled "Hurt" to massive critical and commercial success mere months before his passing. A testament to the power of The Downward Spiral.

A post shared by Andy Derer (@andyderer) on


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