|Bursting onto the scene in 1989, Nine Inch Nails married the electronic assault of industrial music with the predictable hooks of pop music. The band, largely a front for the solo efforts of one Trent Reznor, blazed new aural landscapes on their blockbuster 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine. Reznor's dark and twisted lyrics inspired legions of teenagers to apply black eyeliner and to don dark trenchcoats, reenergizing a Goth scene that had been festering just below mainstream radar screens while existing on a steady diet of bands like Laibach and Einsturzende Neubauten.
Reznor recruited a band and hit the road with the Lollapalooza circus in 1991, expanding the NIN fan base with a series of inspired performances and subsequent release of the explosive Broken EP in 1992. Flirting with top-of-the-charts popularity, Reznor martialed the troops to produce 1994's The Downward Spiral, a prog-rock concept album that was recorded in the Hollywood house where Sharon Tate met her fate at the hands of the Manson Family.
A year later, Further Down the Spiral, an extended EP of remixed tracks from The Downward Spiral, was released on Interscope. Their 1997 single, "The Perfect Drug," was included on the Lost Highway movie soundtrack and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.
As the millenium draws to a close, Reznor is widely regarded as one of the most influential voices in alternative music, earning himself a slot in a canon of musical auteurs previously carved out by the likes of Bowie, Reed, and Eno.