ARTIST: Nine Inch Nails
YEAR RELEASED: 1992
CHART ACTION: #7 US, #18 UK
SINGLES: Happiness in Slavery (#13 US Alternative), Wish (#25 US Alternative)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Last, Gave Up
LINEUP: Trent Reznor, with some drum help by Martin Atkins and Chris Vrenna
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Reznor starts to consolidate his sound and image with this EP, and this is a much darker and industrial sound than his first album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The leap from Pretty Hate Machine to Broken is pretty large. Here, Reznor uses guitars and machinery to create a loud, powerful attack that really moved him towards the Ministry end of the music spectrum.
Reznor’s melodies are there despite it all, and the main songs definitely have a quality where you can sing along to the pain. But the main emphasis is the organized cacophony.
This is a great bridge between early Nine Inch Nails and the most popular incarnation in the mid 90’s. It’s a powerful record, and it’s brevity makes it even more so.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The video for “Happiness in Slavery” was banned by MTV. There was a film entitled Broken that hasn’t been officially released that has many disturbing scenes.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Not really, but two covers (an Adam & the Ants song and a Pigface track) were not listed on the cover, and were tracks 98 and 99
GRADE: A: A perfect use of the EP format as a transitional bridge between records and a powerful statement in itself.