Nine Inch NailsPretty Hate Machine

Label:TVT Records – TVT 2610-1, TVT Records – TVT 2610
Series:NIN – halo two
Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre:Electronic, Rock
Style:Industrial, Synth-pop


A1Head Like A Hole
Engineer [Engineering]Doug De Angelis*, Ken Quartarone, Kennan Keating
Post Production [Additional Remix Production], Mixed By [Mix], Engineer [Engineering]Keith LeBlanc
Producer [Production]Trent Reznor
Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]Flood
A2Terrible Lie
Engineer [Engineering]Doug De Angelis*
Engineer [Engineering], Mixed By [Mix]John Fryer
Mixed By [Mix]John Fryer
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production]Trent Reznor
Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]Flood
A3Down In It
Engineer [Engineering]Kennan Keating
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]Adrian Sherwood
Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]Keith LeBlanc, Trent Reznor
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production], EngineerJohn Fryer
Producer [Production]Trent Reznor
A5Something I Can Never Have
Guitar [Drone Guitar At End Of]Richard Patrick
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production], EngineerJohn Fryer
Producer [Production]Trent Reznor
B1Kinda I Want To
Engineer [Engineering]Ken Quartarone, Kennan Keating
Mixed By [Mix], Engineer [Engineering]Keith LeBlanc
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production]Trent Reznor
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]John Fryer
Engineer [Engineering]Ken Quartarone, Kennan Keating
Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]John Fryer
Producer [Production], Mixed By [Mix]Trent Reznor
Remix, Mixed By [Mix], Engineer [Engineering]Keith LeBlanc
B3That's What I Get
Producer [Production], Mixed By [Mix], Engineer [Engineering]John Fryer
B4The Only Time
Engineer [Engineering]Ken Quartarone, Kennan Keating
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]Keith LeBlanc
Producer [Production]Trent Reznor
Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]John Fryer
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production]Trent Reznor
Mixed By [Mix], Producer [Production], Engineer [Engineering]John Fryer

Companies, etc.



Includes lyrics sheet with credits. Lyric sheet has a slight typo where it misses to list the track 10 header for "Ringfinger".

Mastered at Masterdisk, NYC.

Studios: The Right Track (Cleveland), Blackwing (London), Unique (New York), Synchro Sound (Boston), Roundhouse (London).

Thank you: Bart Koster (The Right Track), Mike Shea, Michael S. Toorock, Roz Earls, Seb Shelton, Bryan Grant, Larry Bole, Alison Fryer, Michelle de Frasia, Gerry Gerrard, Martin Horne, Sioux Zimmerman, Paul Conelly, Ron Musarra, Steve Woolard, Mark Jowett and all at Nettwek, Howie Klein, Preston Sullivan/Carlysle, Kevin Donoghue/Native, Frederic Walheer/Sub Rosa.

Special Thanks: All at TVT Records.

Kicking Ass way beyond the call of duty: John A. Malm, Jr.

Ideas and sounds (with all due respect): Clive Barker, Jane's Addiction, Prince, Public Enemy, This Mortal Coil, Success (Screaming Trees U.K.), various unknown others.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Printed): 0 1658-12610-1 3
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, side A, variant 1): MASTERDISK TD TVT-2610-A-2 1-1
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, side B, variant 1): TVT-2610-B-2 1-1
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, side A, variant 2): MASTERDISK TD TVT-2610-A-1 Emw #05257X
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, side B, variant 2): TVT-2610-B-RE1 Emw #05257X
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, side A, variant 3): MASTERDISK TD TVT-2610-A-1 Emw #05257
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout, side B, variant 3): TVT-2610-B-RE1 Emw #05257X

Other Versions (5 of 156)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Pretty Hate Machine (CD, Album)TVT Records, TVT RecordsTVT 2610, 2610-2US1989
Recently Edited
Pretty Hate Machine (CD, Album, DADC)Island Records, TVT Records261 314Europe1989
Recently Edited
Pretty Hate Machine (Cassette, Album)TVT Records, TVT RecordsTVT 2610-4, TVT 2610US1989
Pretty Hate Machine (LP, Album)Island Records, Island RecordsILPS 9973, 848 358-1UK1989
Recently Edited
Pretty Hate Machine (CD, Album, Club Edition, DADC Edition)TVT RecordsTVTD 2610US1989


  • I1athieu's avatar
    So this is the first US pressing, as opposed to this one: that's the Canadian first pressing?
    • myownbiggestfan's avatar
      I wish I had voting privileges because the deletion of pop rock and synthpop to just industrial in the genre field is BS. If we were talking about Einstürzende Neubauten then sure, but this is synthpop. It's just a bit more aggressive than usual. I say this as someone who has listened to this album for 30 years.
      • aphexacid's avatar
        I own this pressing and the SRC, as well as the 2010 bicycle 2LP. The 2010 is quieter and sounds lifeless. What’s up with that? I thought Reznor was good with the 2010 pressing?

        I didn’t really dig the Downward Spiral “definitive pressing” compared to the original either.
        • Wreckard's avatar
          Really great sounding pressing for the most part; because they squeezed a lot in, the last song on each side gets a touch of groove distortion, but otherwise it’s very impactful with tight quick bass and great imaging on the vocals. Can’t compare it to the remasters but definitely a winner.
          • bigmood's avatar
            Edited one year ago
            looking to buy just the insert, if possible. let me know if you're willing to sell. my copy is missing it
            • scott_o_k's avatar
              Edited 2 years ago
              It's sort of like INXS on acid haha ha haha
              • Rushfan123's avatar
                Edited 2 years ago
                Does anyone know why the 2017 LP remasters for pretty hate machine didn't include a liner notes booklet like the remasters for Broken, TDS, the fragile and with teeth? I know Trent said he was going to remaster all of his albums in series of definitive editions, but pretty hate machine doesn't seem to be a part of that series, as it doesn't include a liner notes booklet or that black shrinkwrap sticker saying "The definitive version of etc.". Those liner notes are my favourite thing about these remasters, its so interesting hearing what Trent has to say about looking back on the making of the albums. Its just a shame pretty hate machine didn't get the same treatment.
                • southpawgrammar's avatar
                  Edited 2 years ago
                  Largely disregarded and derided upon its initial 1989 release, “Pretty Hate Machine” holds a special place in many a Nine Inch Nails fan's heart. Judged purely on its merits, not least its panoramic new wave texture, it holds up incredibly well, but anyone expecting an onslaught of dense guitar riffs and computerised beats tempered by sparse passages akin to "Hesitation Marks" will be taken aback upon first listening to the one that started it all. Whilst every maximal context features disparate instrumentation, they, along with their contents, are irrevocably linked in terms of motifs and themes, all loosely tethered individual works existing within a heterogenous discography. An unauthorized keystone in the NIN canon and often considered a “cult debut” or a stepping stone rather than a classic in its own right, this glorious album continued to languish in the shadow of its successors until a relaunch - and the associated reappraisal and renewed interest from critics - finally highlighted its singular greatness. Nearing its 30th anniversary, a lavish repackage of "Pretty Hate Machine" was touted - most likely due to the album’s growing prominence signalling potential high sales - and in 2019, the long-overdue reissue of such a neglected milestone was finally ordered, which thankfully prevented it from falling into obscurity.

                  Recorded extemporaneously and incrementally during down time at the Cleveland studio where he worked, Trent Reznor’s “Pretty Hate Machine” encompasses reworks of a demo tape titled “Purest Feeling”. As is often the case, debut albums - usually unfocused DIY substantiations of concepts ruminated on during adolescence or young adulthood - tend to present as spiffy versions of demos. And this is no exception; despite a lack of definition, it is ostensibly the culmination of a lost singer-songwriter drawing from his own pathology and influences to figure out his true identity as an artist. Inspired by Prince’s recording methods as well as his own stint in a synth-pop band, Reznor became an electronic auteur of sorts, programming all of the instrumental parts himself in quick succession to avoid a laborious, fractious group setup with other musicians. Uncustomary of the format, synths and drum machines dominated the presentation, with distorted guitars providing an additional rhythmic element instead of primary hooks. In spite of its lo-fi noise pop glory, “Pretty Hate Machine” is routinely dismissed as immature by Reznor; an unwanted reminder of his fishnet-sleeve-wearing period, during which time he was elevated to rock star status due to his onstage antics, i.e. smashing up his equipment and vacillating between intensity and vulnerability. Quelling his relative inexperience and manifest indignation, Reznor demonstrated a flair for fusing musicality, immediacy and permeating dread, with many other likeminded underground artists following his lead in order to infiltrate the mainstream.

                  Very much in the same tortured existential vein as his later work, Reznor’s roaring delivery of his rancorous cogitations accentuate the emotional catharsis and melodrama at the core of the album, with its pervasive misanthropy and sleaze providing an early indication of the sex-obsessed misfit persona that Reznor would successfully market to his ardent followers. Many of its inherent elements would come to be further defined in Reznor’s work, surfacing to great effect on the convoluted, sludgy and sombre “The Downward Spiral”, which consummated what “Pretty Hate Machine” codified. Unlike its bleak spiritual sequel though, the galvanizing “Pretty Hate Machine” can be absorbed synchronously without adverse side effects. From the richly textured, competently executed electro-industrial framework replete with claustrophobic atmosphere and metallic gleam to Reznor’s commanding presence, it all has the desired result. Ably assisted by well-suited producer Flood on engineering duties, Reznor conceded that the recordings required finesse to divert from the somewhat striking fact that he had eschewed live instrumentation in favour of cold, grinding drum fills and tracks derived from looped, heavily distorted samples. Utilizing a vortex of blistering beats, ripples, scrapes and sputters to create an entirely spellbinding tidal wave of sonic discordance, Reznor more than prevailed over the impediments of the production, he conquered every aspect of recording and materialized a masterpiece in the process. Of course, those more inclined towards NIN’s distinctly experimental intervals will take the immediate view that nothing herein strikes a tone of detachment, intimidation and rage comparable to their latterly output. Normal listeners will be even less impressed. Only those partial to Depeche Mode’s rock-inflected material will completely appreciate and be instantly engaged by the interlinked, unreservedly perplexing synthetic soundscapes contained within.

                  Contrary to popular belief, “Pretty Hate Machine” contains nary a duff track, with all wielding sufficient creative spirit, cohesivity and momentum to form a congruous and coherent whole. In fact, it includes several impossibly catchy and durable fan favourites: “Head Like a Hole,” “Ringfinger,” “Something I Can Never Have,” and “Kinda Want To”, all of which popularized the power noise style. Indisputably qualifying as one of NIN’s strongest and most consistent records, “Pretty Hate Machine” overcomes its unoriginality and datedness by transposing any commonplaces into unrecognizability. Not only did the album make waves in the industrial scene for daring to edge towards synth-pop and ballad territory, it also preceded the accessible verse-chorus-verse song structures that would earn Nine Inch Nails such a massive following by at least five years. Certainly nowhere near as nightmarish and hard-edged as their more widely recognized output, this astonishing landmark debut should at the very least be accepted as a precursor to industrial rock, even if it is outside the realm of most true exemplars of this style. Without it, Reznor may not have established his credentials as an influential producer, nor would he be worshipped as a pain-and-sorrow-driven, frustrated avenging angel with a facility for club-friendly synthesized nihilism.

                  Rating: 5/5
                  • waxtraxnstax's avatar
                    My copy of this 1st US pressing
                    is translucent brown when held to the light like quiex ii vinyl, anyone/everyone have this w/ this pressing?
                    • jenknee's avatar
                      Good album even though Track 4 sounds like the Seinfeld theme



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