Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Nine Inch Nails - Head Like a Hole

Nine Inch Nails blasted onto the music scene in 1989 with Pretty Hate Machine, their debut album.  Complex, diverse and dark, the band sounded unlike anything else at the time.  While their music reflected clear industrial influences (particularly Ministry), the focus on melodic, complex sounds (and lyrics) was truly refreshing.

For those who don't know, Nine Inch Nails (NIN) is Trent Reznor; while he uses a backup band to tour, he alone is responsible for the music.  "Head Like a Hole" is a great early example of the band's sound,  with multiple melodies, a driving beat, and a dark, rocking chorus.

The video is also classic NIN, with rapid cut black and white images interspersed with the band.  Definite art house movie feel, and more than a little bit strange.  Again, seriously ahead of its time.

"Head Like a Hole" was the first NIN song to chart, but it did not break the top 100 (it peaked at #109).  The Pretty Hate Machine album did better, peaking at 75.  NIN would go on to have tremendous success in the early to mid 1990's, and their next 5 albums would break the top 10.

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