Nine Inch Nails - Every Album Ranked

by paul_guyet
Comments (11)

I've been a fan of Nine Inch Nails and the work of Trent Reznor for over 25 years. One thing I've noticed about other NIN fans during that time is that there is seldom 100% agreement between any two (except for the fact that seeing "The Perfect Drug" live was life-changing and that Trent needs to stop using the word 'soon'). Here's my personal ranking of the major works of Nine Inch Nails. Please note that, for me, there is no "worst" NIN album, just a "lowest ranked". Click an album below to read a review

Comments (11)

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My 2 cents:

1. The Downward Spiral
2. Pretty Hate Machine
3. Broken
4. Year Zero
5. The Slip
6. With Teeth
7. Not The Actual Bad Witch Violence (trilogy)
8. The Fragile
9. Ghosts
10. Hesitation Marks

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I'm always interested to see how divided fans are with HM. I know a lot of people that hate it and a lot of people who see it as a continuation of TDS

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Like yourself, I agree that "there is no "worst" NIN album, just a "lowest ranked".

So although I found HM to be quite underwhelming on the whole (although I really liked "Copy of A" and "Everything"), would not say it is a bad album to these...

Like yourself, I agree that "there is no "worst" NIN album, just a "lowest ranked".

So although I found HM to be quite underwhelming on the whole (although I really liked "Copy of A" and "Everything"), would not say it is a bad album to these ears, just my least favorite.

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I know you're a massive NIN fan and it's interesting that you have The Fragile at number 1. There is this theory that the music we like between the ages of 18 and 21 is what sticks with us the most. It explains why some people like one album over...

I know you're a massive NIN fan and it's interesting that you have The Fragile at number 1. There is this theory that the music we like between the ages of 18 and 21 is what sticks with us the most. It explains why some people like one album over another that is considered a band's best (The Downward Spiral). How old were you when the Fragile came out?

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Not only was I 18, but The Fragile was their first album since I got waaay into them in 1994, so a lot was riding on it for me. I think it more than delivered. And, while I think TDS is objectively the best NIN album, subjectively, for me, it's Th...

Not only was I 18, but The Fragile was their first album since I got waaay into them in 1994, so a lot was riding on it for me. I think it more than delivered. And, while I think TDS is objectively the best NIN album, subjectively, for me, it's The Fragile. Reznor just went to more places with more instrumentals and instruments.
Personally, I think the world of Year Zero and the ARG that surrounded it did so much to elevate the music, hence its high placement here.
As far as PHM at the bottom, I think it's aged badly, and Reznor's voice is way too reedy. I understand he was a kid and the album is seminal to the scene, but PHM falls victim to what I call the Gilgamesh Problem. Gilgamesh is one of the oldest written stories in the history of written stories. We study it because it is the one of the first narrative stories. It's not a great story. We give it so much credit and attention because it did something new first, and I feel that way about PHM: it was the first example of radio-friendly industrial music and it was the first album in Trent Reznor's distinguished, multifaceted career, but that's all for me.

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Comment was last edited about 2 months ago by paul_guyet paul_guyet
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I'd definitely put The Downward Spiral at the top. Of course, I was 17 when it came out and just getting really into industrial music, which by Bob's comment makes me extremely biased lol, but still. It was groundbreaking. And what was most...

I'd definitely put The Downward Spiral at the top. Of course, I was 17 when it came out and just getting really into industrial music, which by Bob's comment makes me extremely biased lol, but still. It was groundbreaking. And what was most fascinating about it was how harsh it sounded initially but how listenable it was at its core.

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I was 22 when Downward Spiral came out. Same here, I was really getting into Industrial at that time, the point when it seemed to go overground for a short while. I need to re-visit the Fragile. By the time that came out, I'd moved on a bit. I...

I was 22 when Downward Spiral came out. Same here, I was really getting into Industrial at that time, the point when it seemed to go overground for a short while. I need to re-visit the Fragile. By the time that came out, I'd moved on a bit. I bought it the day it came out and I think I only played it once.

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Where would the remix albums rank here? Fixed and Further Down the Spiral are brilliant.

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Hmm...I probably wouldn't put them in with the albums, bu as their own thing, I might say:

1. Things Falling Apart (for the explorations and new material)
2. Closer To God (the perfect amount of 'Closer' remixes, plus the reimagining of the...

Hmm...I probably wouldn't put them in with the albums, bu as their own thing, I might say:

1. Things Falling Apart (for the explorations and new material)
2. Closer To God (the perfect amount of 'Closer' remixes, plus the reimagining of the title track, and that fucked up Soft Cell cover)
3. Fixed (while this is amazing, the most impenetrable stuff NIN has ever done, I can only listen to it once every few years. It's like being inside a face that's getting punched for 40 minutes)
4. Further Down The Spiral (I think about half of this is amazing, but then it starts to spiral up its own ass)
5. Year Zero Remixed (if this were less of a mixed bag, I'd like it more. Half of it is gold ('Gunshots By Computer', the remixes of ITT, AVOTT, TGD, and 'The Warning') but the rest ranges from forgettable to absolutely-go-fuck-yourself-Olaf-you-indulgent-twat)
6. The Perfect Drug (again, not the "worst" just the "lowest ranked". A fascinating and exhaustive dissection of the original, but it has a few shitty, skipable moments and might be a bit too 1997. Love the artwork though...)

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I own all of those except the Year Zero mixes. I remember playing Fixed to a guy that was only into 90s Rave. He'd never heard of NIN or even Industrial music. When he heard Fixed he thought it was Hard House, but 10 x harder, but he liked it.

An...

I own all of those except the Year Zero mixes. I remember playing Fixed to a guy that was only into 90s Rave. He'd never heard of NIN or even Industrial music. When he heard Fixed he thought it was Hard House, but 10 x harder, but he liked it.

And you're right about that cover of Memorabilia, I'd forgotten about that.

Don't forget the Re-coiled mixes that came out a few years ago.

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The Uncoiled/Recoiled stuff is kinda sorta unofficial, so I didn't throw it up there. The majority of which were just lying around on Danny Hyde's hard drives.

But you should check out YZR when you have a moment, there really is some amazing...

The Uncoiled/Recoiled stuff is kinda sorta unofficial, so I didn't throw it up there. The majority of which were just lying around on Danny Hyde's hard drives.

But you should check out YZR when you have a moment, there really is some amazing stuff on there.

And check out the 'Me, I'm Not' remix once, just to understand how it might be the shittiest NIN remix ever.

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