The Downward Spiral album cover
The Downward Spiral

Nine Inch Nails

Interscope Records

Trent Reznor’s full breakout into wider public attention came with The Downward Spiral, one of the most notable albums of its era, synthesizing industrial influences on a broad scale while touching on everything from his youthful classic rock obsessions to his own general persona’s knack for intense drama (or more accurately melodrama). “Closer” was the full on hit, a coldly lascivious seething stomp of a number, but the eventual standard, cemented by Johnny Cash’s famed cover a decade later, was the dark end of the rope/end of the album “Hurt.”

Ned Raggett

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