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Added by the giraffe

on 22 Oct 2010 10:34

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Nine Inch Nails: From Best to Worst

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People who added this item 280  Average listal rating (159 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating
1. Broken - Nine Inch Nails
Visceral. Seething. Brutal. Mind-blowing.

Changed the way I listened to music forever the first time I heard it, with its honest lyrics delivered with such raw anger you can feel it, buzzsaw guitars and undeniable hooks.
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People who added this item 575  Average listal rating (366 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating
2. The Downward Spiral - Nine Inch Nails
Took what Reznor had tapped into on Broken and fleshed it out with sonic textures and a running theme of self-destruction. One of the best albums ever recorded.
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People who added this item 398  Average listal rating (232 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating
3. The Fragile - Nine Inch Nails
Dense soundscapes, layered arrangements, and some of the most beautiful songs in the NIN catalogue. One of the few double albums that's worth a damn.
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People who added this item 10  Average listal rating (4 ratings) 9.3  IMDB Rating
4. Still - Nine Inch Nails
The companion disc for And All that Could Have Been, this has reimaginings of past NIN songs (including an amazing stripped-down version of "something i can never have") alongside some unreleased gloom-and-doom songs that are on the mellower/minimal side of the NIN catalogue.
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People who added this item 146  Average listal rating (88 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating
5. Year Zero - Nine Inch Nails
Not just great as an album, but for the overall experience of it combined with the ARG that coincided with it. More dense sonic layers here, and this marks the first time Reznor stepped outside of his journal for lyrics. Each song is told by characters inside the Year Zero world, and the end result is more rewarding with each listen.
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People who added this item 76  Average listal rating (37 ratings) 7.3  IMDB Rating
6. And All That Could Have Been - Live - Nine Inch Nails
The 2nd best NIN live document (Closure being the first) shows the band in great shape as it tears through material off the first 4 NIN releases.
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People who added this item 408  Average listal rating (232 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating
7. With Teeth - Nine Inch Nails
Reznor reflects on his dealings with addiction and recovery, as well as opening his newly-sober eyes to the world around him. While it doesn't take any new risks sonically, the lyrics are as honest as ever and shows that, as a person, he's finally growing up.
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People who added this item 61  Average listal rating (37 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating
8. Ghosts I - IV - Nine Inch Nails
A great collection of instrumental songs/themes/ideas that fits in well with the rest of the NIN catalogue while also exploring some interesting new directions. Reznor calls this a soundtrack for daydreams.
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People who added this item 316  Average listal rating (186 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating
9. Pretty Hate Machine - Nine Inch Nails
The debut album isn't aging as well as the rest of these, which is why it's further down this list. "kinda i want to" gets more silly every year, and "ringfinger" is getting there too. Still, songs like "something i can never have", "terrible lie", and "sin" make this album worth revisiting again and again.

(personally though, I could go the rest of my life without hearing "head like a hole" again and be happy)
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People who added this item 49  Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating
10. The Slip - Nine Inch Nails
There are a couple of songs here worth listening to, but the majority of this album seems like retreads and D-sides. No honest, heartfelt lyrics here either. Good thing it was released as a free download, since that's really all it's worth.
the giraffe's rating:

People who added this item 17  Average listal rating (15 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating
11. Hesitation Marks - Nine Inch Nails
The album that dethroned NIN as my favorite working band. It's so bad I couldn't even sit through the entire thing, though I tried really hard to. The majority of the music is computer-generated, to the point I half expected the cover art to include the Apple logo. I guess some of the lyrics were OK, but honestly I was hating what I heard so much I found it hard to focus on them. Releasing these songs under the moniker DJ Trent Reznor would have been more fitting, as that's what it sounds like...shitty electronica with him singing over it. Fuck this album.
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For the complete NIN discography, please go here.

I limited this to the proper releases only (no remixes or singles).

If you enjoyed this list, please check out my other music lists

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Published 3 years, 6 months ago 2 comments

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Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Oct 23 11:35
Thanks for posting this! Never did go out of my way to listen to The Slip...guess I'm not missing much. The rest I pretty much agree with, with Broken,Downward Spiral, and The Fragile constantly playing musical chairs in the 1-3 spots.

Futher Down the Spiral is a must-have for any fan of Mr. Self-Destuct. And Things Falling Apart gets some fairly regular play in my car. But yeah...Fixed mostly just collects dust.
Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Oct 24 2:00
Yeah, I love Further Down too (both of them). I skipped the remix albums simply to leave the focus on the full, regular albums...I figured if I throw in the remix albums then I have to add in the singles too and then we're just getting carried away.

I may do another list of their complete discography at some point, and that'll have all of it.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Nov 22 22:13
Don't agree with The Slip. Last on the list is okay, but it isn't that bad. Otherwise a great list!
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Nov 22 22:44
I'd like to know, how many full length studio albums do they have and what are they?
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Nov 22 23:02
All of the above are full-length studio albums EXCEPT Broken (which is an EP), And All That Could Have Been (live album), & Still (bonus disc that came packaged with the live album). So 7 is the total (though some of us consider Broken the second album since it provides a full album experience despite only having 8 songs).
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Nov 22 23:14
Okay thanks! I've been wanting to get their albums but I just never knew how many they actually had. As for Broken being a full album, some of Pink Floyd's best albums only contain 5-6 songs but they are around 40 minutes in length making them full length albums. So maybe Broken could be long enough?
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Nov 30 23:05
From one NIИ fan to another - great list! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the list, and seeing another view of Trent's work that's similar to mine with various differences.

Why don't you like Head Like A Hole, anyway? Is it the song itself, or the fact that it's overplayed?
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Dec 1 6:23
Mostly because it's overplayed, even live. Every time I saw them they played it & after a while I began to wish they'd just stop.
Posted: 4 years, 9 months ago at Dec 1 10:54
Hmmm, yeah I'm kinda with ya on Head Like A Hole...except when a dj played it once at this 'The Cure after-party' after seeing the Cure in Charlotte a while back. It was unexpected enough to be quite welcome to my ears.

But after picking up the remastered "PHM" I gotta say... I still love 'kinda i want to'. 'ringfinger' though is definately becoming cheez-er-iffic.
Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Oct 27 16:08
@Prodigal Son - Hesitation Marks has been added to the list.
Posted: 1 year, 10 months ago at Oct 27 20:30
@Prodigal Son - That album broke my heart this year, and I've been surprised to see the positive reviews for it. I give him credit for doing something different, but hearing electronic beats (no live drums anywhere I could hear) & almost no guitars really turned me off. If that's what he's into now, fine, but I've been sick of electronic music since it first took off. And while I didn't care much for The Slip at least I was able to listen to it all the way through without turning it off.
Posted: 1 year, 7 months ago at Jan 16 7:53
@Bolshevik Gary - I LOVE Fixed and mostly enjoy the Further Down the Spiral album(s I guess as there are two versions of it). I don't listen to them often though, and thus found it unfair to rank them among their non-remix work.

My love for Year Zero largely comes from the game they built around it, as I loved the overall story Reznor came up with & the way the album fit into it.

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