Music Monday: Nine Inch Nails “The Downward Spiral” Turns 25

NIN downward
The second studio album by Nine Inch Nails turned 25 years old on March 8th

On March 8, 1994, the world was introduced to what would be a massive explosion from Nine Inch Nails.

Albums that came out in the 90’s have been turning 25 years old for a few years now. This one is pretty monumental, as it’s one of the game changers for industrial and hard-edged music that was played a lot on alternative radio stations when it first came out.

Not including the various mix albums and the 1992 EP “Broken”, this is considered the first big production album for Trent and Co. NIN debut album “Pretty Hate Machine” was pretty much all Trent. And the production was all Trent, given how that album came together.

The sounds and experimentation on “The Downward Spiral” was new to many ears. Mentioning “Broken” again, we had a taste of what this second NIN album would be like. This album would go way beyond in all sorts of ways.

Track List

  1. “Mr. Self Destruct”
  2. “Piggy”
  3. “Heresy”
  4. “March of the Pigs”
  5. “Closer”
  6. “Ruiner”
  7. “The Becoming”
  8. “I Do Not Want This”
  9. “Big Man with a Gun”
  10. “A Warm Place”
  11. “Eraser”
  12. “Reptile”
  13. “The Downward Spiral”
  14. “Hurt”


With the exception of “Big Man with a Gun”, I like pretty much every track on this album. I don’t listen to “Closer” as often as I used to 20+ years ago. My favorite song is “Heresy”, with “I Do Not Want This” being a close second. Overall, I think this album has stood the test of time and is just as listenable and relevant today as it was 25 years ago.

I saw the band on the Destruction Tour, where they had openers Jim Rose Circus Side Show and Marilyn Manson as openers. Although Marilyn Manson was banned from playing at the Delta Center here in downtown Salt Lake City, thanks to the owner of the Delta Center Larry H Miller refusing on grounds that Mr. Manson was harmful to the teens and that he ripped up a bible on stage.

Guitarists Robin Finck wore a t-shirt that had the words “Larry Miller is fucking pussy” written on with a Sharpie. I still really enjoyed the show [and would eventually see Marilyn Manson many times in concert over the the years] and it was a great experience seeing a band that was on the verge of becoming a world-wide act.

Any memories you want to share here? Post below in the comments.


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