40 Years of Noe

#1994 #NIN #Downward Spiral

I graduated from high school, was attending various graduation parties and this album was playing at one of them. It immediately grabbed my attention. The summer of 1994 I started to believe I was Trent Reznor. I loved his music featured in the films Natural Born Killers and The Crow. When I bought the cd, I listened to it on buses, car trips, in my college dorm and just simple walks around the neighborhood. I was absolutely OBSESSED!!!
This album is considered Nine Inch Nails’ most controversial and disturbing work. They (He) completely change the image that was first seen on “Pretty Hate Machine” to something much more darker and emotional. The result is a very successful and complex masterpiece that takes you to places you have never been in the music world. With each track you step in further and further into Reznor’s mind. “The Downward Spiral” is an outstanding album and will always remain a classic.

The songs are much more complex and have more structure to them than the ones that appear on “Pretty Hate Machine” and “Broken.” There are heavy songs, and there are soft songs. There are disturbing songs, and there are beautiful songs. You get to experience something different with each song.

The great thing about this album is, just like with any other NIN album, no two songs are the same. Each one has its own identity and feeling to it. Another plus is that there is not a single bad song on the entire album. My favorites are “mr. self destruct,” “march of the pigs,” “closer,” “the becoming,” “a warm place,” “eraser,” “I do not want this,” “ruiner,” and “hurt.” I might as well say ALL OF THEM!!! LOL

“The Downward Spiral” is an amazing album. Reznor knows how to make great music and continues to impress us even to this day. Be warned, though. This album isn’t for everyone. It is indeed a very controversial and even sometimes offensive album. But if you love Nine Inch Nails, then this is a must-have. It is a CD I continue to listen to over and over again. It never ceases to amaze me. A classic to the very end.
40 Years of Noe

My Favorite One From #1989 Pretty Hate Machine #NIN

……and so it begins


1989 was a very good year

Just because Taylor Swift was born then and released her Grammy-Award winning album of the same title, doesn’t mean that’s what I am here to talk about.

I turned 13 in 1989 and was still in Junior High. Music really started to run through my veins, at this point.

Along comes Trent and his Nine Inch Nails…..all of a sudden I was paying a lot more attention to music.

What makes this album great is that anyone who has listened to it (and enjoyed it) believe that it was something truly revolutionary. Ironically, however, a simple dissection of the roots of Pretty Hate Machine uncovers a strong influence of the popular music that dominated the 80’s.

Trent Reznor (the man behind this whole project) dabbles in hip-hop- yes that’s technically rap in Down In It -funk, and traditional pop piano melodies that could make Elton John faint (Something I Can Never Have).

The drum-machine samples are ones that will bring back memories of other synth-pop songs. Nevertheless, this album makes good of its genre, and anyone claiming to like NIN beyond Closer is lying unless he/she owns this album.

IMHO, the best songs of this recording time for NIN come not on this album, but on the three singles (Halos 1, 3, and 4) released supplementary to Pretty Hate Machine. The various remixes of Head Like a Hole, Down in It (the “demo” on halo 3 is best), and Sin are a treat, and the non-album Get Down Make Love is a classic. The true NIN fan (obsessed ones) owns all the albums and the singles and EP’s.

It’s all about the Halos……

Enjoy the music video:


I won’t hesitate. Nine Inch Nails is number SIX


Trent Reznor is a genius. Yet he comes from a small town in Pennsylvania and his parents got divorced when he was really young and he grew up with his grandparents. So he had a somewhat different upbringing. When he was only five years old, he started to play the piano and then down the road he started messing around with the saxophone and then he got really into computer generated music. Trent is a multi-instrumentalist and has a lot going on in his head. For him, the music he has created since 1988, its all about an escape. Escape from reality, a normal life and the celebrity world that he never really felt was kind to him. A lot of his lyrics deal with torture, submissiveness and being dominated. A sense of danger seemed to encompass the world of Nine Inch Nails, his industrial rock group. Reznor started producing soundtracks and really, he became this sort of “mood composer.”

In the studio, Trent lays down all of these digital tracks with guitars, drum loops, computer tricks and a techno vibe that definitely creates a dancing yet ambient sound of regret and pain. However dark you might think it sounds, his stuff is so catchy. He has a band but they only play live with him on stage. Otherwise, all of these noises on the albums pretty much just come from his creative mind and body. It has been his responsibility for the direction that this band followed over the years. He is aggressive yet he is passionate. Several albums over the years have defined his sound. Pretty Hate Machine with its “Head Like A Hole” anthem or The Downward Spiral’s infamous recordings at a house where Sharon Tate was murdered all seem to sum up the kinds of atmosphere associated with that of the Nine Inch Nails sound.

NIИ is the popular symbol, by the way. There is no true meaning as to the name or what it means. Only rumors have circulated over the years. So this album, Hesitation Marks, truly is a brand new music moment for me. I grew up in the high school and college years always listening to NIИ and wearing hats and shirts with that symbol. It was all about a gothic, grungy, indie and hipster kind of fashion era of my life. But with this new release, it is like Trent flipped everything in his life upside down on its back and emits the same noise but with the opposite feelings about his former drug and alcohol usage. He is married now with two children and he is sober. However those dark sounds and dismal lyrics are still present.

The “hesistation marks” title suggests that of someone who contemplated taking his own life but only leaving “cutting traces” as a reminder but never going through the actual deed of ending his life. He must live with the pain but use it as energy into a positive direction with a digital masterpiece of a record that does everything its supposed to do. It is a way to get all of these real emotions out there in a vulnerable sort of way without fear or remorse and just let it be. I have attached a new video with insane imagery and a layer of sounds that truly define him as an artist before (pre-dating today) and Trent’s music now as a homage to himself and to his fans that no mater what you go through in life that as long as you’re not compromising your true feelings then people will still love you, no matter what. Good job Mr Reznor. Thanks for staying with me for all of these years.


Albums That Changed My Life (Revised and Final)


Here’s My Top 30

Tool…….Undertow (a freshman at Marmion named Matt Duve introduced me to the band)
Pink Floyd…….The Division Bell (last studio album….yet a profound moment)
Captain Beefheart…..Troutmask Replica (crazy, insane, genius!)
The Beatles…..Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (peak performance)
Neko Case……Blacklisted (this opened my mind to new sounds)
Smashing Pumpkins…..Siamese Dream (rocked out to this in high school and college)
Pearl Jam…….Ten (same as above)
Guided By Voices……Propeller (Robert Pollard at his finest)
Radiohead…….The Bends (Should have won a Grammy for this one)
John Coltrane……A Love Supreme (greatest jazz album to ever be recorded)
Nine Inch Nails…..The Downward Spiral (Trent Reznor was never better to this day!)
Tom Waits…..The Black Rider (I feel like I am going crazy when I hear this)
Led Zeppelin…….IV (First rock album my dad played for me)
Creedance Clearwater Revival…..Chronicles (all you need to listen to in the car)
Minutemen…..Double Nickels On The Dime (Mike Watt inspired so many artists with his amazing bass)
The Replacements……Let It Be (Minneapolis music rocks)
The Who…..The Who Sell Out (this record was their most original piece of work)
The Rolling Stones…..Let It Bleed (If I had to pick just one, this would be it)
The Flaming Lips…..Clouds Taste Metallic (Wayne and the gang never sounded better and weird….its all about zoo animals)
Jefferson Airplane…..Surrealistic Pillow (Perhaps the quintessential album of the 1960’s)
Metallica…..Kill Em All (I did math homework to this album almost every day in high school)
Beck……Odelay (This should be in everyone’s collection)
Five Year Jacket….Hell For An Empty Heart (I saw Kevin and the gang so many times…to this day I think “Undone” is one of the greatest songs ever written)
Beach Boys….Pet Sounds (Proof that Brian Wilson was probably the greatest composer of our times, he was ahead of the game on this one…and those harmonies….wow!)
Pink Floyd…..Dark Side Of The Moon (listen to it while watching the wizard of oz)
Butthole Surfers…..Locust Abortion Technician (No one has ever recorded an album quite as psychotic as this one)
Syd Barrett…….The Madcap Laughs (Totally weird and awkward but it was pure genius)
Monster Magnet…..Superjudge (The first album I was turned on to in college)
Type O Negative…..October Rust (The greatest album to be associated with the autumn season…and its’s about werewolves too)
And finally…….Mazzy Star…..She Hangs Brightly (Very hypnotic, dark, haunting and soothing)

So many albums… difficult to explain the why’s and the whats. I will say that Pink Floyd had a monumental influence in my life! I will also say that they were pioneers of music. Sight and Sound coming together so brilliantly. I chose those 2 albums because they represent communication breakdown, the need to keep it alive, life, money, social differences, and the wonder & awe of life’s miracles. The rest of the albums I chose all have their unique memories. If you want to know the stories, just ask!