The Downward Spiral

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The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released on March 8, 1994, by Interscope Records. It is a concept album detailing the destruction of a man, from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his climactic attempt at suicide. The Downward Spiral features elements of industrial rock, techno, ambient and heavy metal music, in contrast to the dance-influenced Pretty Hate Machine (1989).[1]

The album was a major commercial success that established Nine Inch Nails as a reputable force in the 1990s music scene, particularly following the release of the single "Closer" and its controversial video. It has been widely regarded by music critics as Nine Inch Nails' best work.[2][3][4] A companion remix album, Further Down the Spiral, was released in 1995.



Reznor has discussed the background and inspiration behind the album:


To record the album, Reznor rented the house located at 10050 Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills, California where actress Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson Family in 1969. Reznor built a studio space in the house which he named Le Pig, after the message that was scrawled on the front door with Tate's blood by her murderers. Reznor told Entertainment Weekly that despite the notoriety attached to the house, he chose to record there because, "I looked at a lot of places, and this just happened to be the one I liked most." Reznor moved out of the house in December 1993, after he said "there was too much history in that house for me to handle." After the album's recording, Reznor moved out and the house was demolished shortly thereafter.[8] Reznor made a statement about working in the Tate house during a 1997 interview with Rolling Stone:

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