The 10 Best Nine Inch Nails Songs of All-Time

Nine Inch Nails

In our latest top ten songs article, we salute Nine Inch Nail with ten of their greatest songs, which have influenced many newer artists who have echoed their style. If you are a Nine Inch Nail fan, you will admit that Trent Reznor has played a massive role in their success. Way before his Grammy-winning stint-scoring film, he made some fantastic instrumental music for decades. Some of his best work has been in the form of instrumental pieces. The band’s music genre is primarily industrial rock, and Trent Reznor is the band’s only permanent member. When performing, Reznor usually assembles a band to perform alongside himself as Nine Inch Nails. Over the years, the band has been graced by a couple of big names, such as Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, and Ilan Robin. In most of their concerts, Nine Inch Nails use thematic visual elements extensively, and their songs are often rearranged to match the performance. The band has earned 13 Grammy Award nominations and won two for the songs “Wish” and “Happiness in Slavery.” Nine Inch Nails is more than just several good albums; they have also produced some great music over the years, and in fact, Reznor was named as one of the most influential people by Times Magazine in 1996. Here are the top ten Nine Inch Nails songs of all time.

10. Something I Can Never Have


In this song, Reznor is having an epiphany and debating with himself on whether he should commit suicide. In the song, you can feel a lot of desperation and anger in his voice as the haunting piano melody continues. The song is contained in Nine Inch Nails’ debut album, Pretty Hate Machine.

9. Sin


After the success of the songs “Down In It” and “Head Like a Hole” across clubs in the US, Reznor chose to stick to danceable songs, with “Sin” pretty much following the same path. The song contains some sexual themes, and every line in the song makes much sense. The song peaked at #35 on the UK Singles Chart, and it is one of the most catchy songs on the album.

8. The Hand That Feeds


This song was released in 2005 and comes from the band’s fourth studio album, With Teeth. The song was released at a time when there was so much doubt on whether Nine Inch Nails would make it to the new millennium. The song was a major crossover hit, crossing to pop radio as the band’s first top 40 hit since “Hurt” and “Closer.”

7. Down In It


“Down In It” was an attempt by Reznor to make a rip-off from Skinny Puppy’s 1986 song, “Dig It.” The song also features lyrics referencing the nursery rhyme, “Rain Rain Go Away.” The song’s instrumental is fantastic, and at times, it feels like hip-hop instrumental. The song is one of the best versions of “Rain Rain Go Away.’

6. Closer


Coming in at number six is a song that remains to be one of Nine Inch Nails’s most popular songs and also one of their signature songs. The song contains a sexually aggressive chorus that led to many confusing interpretations. However, the song talks about self-hatred and obsession. The song charted highest in the Australian charts, peaking at #3.

5. Terrible Lie


“Terrible Lie” continues to be one of Nine Inch Nails concert favorites to this day. The track is contained in the band’s 1989 album, Pretty Hate Machine, and is preceded by the track “Head Like a Hole.” In this track, you can feel Reznor’s anger as he asks serious questions about religion and faith.

4. March Of The Pigs


The number four song on our list of the top ten Nine Inch Nails songs is a song that displayed how Trent Reznor’s musical career had grown. “March Of The Pigs” is the leading single from Nine Inch Nails second studio album, The Downward Spiral. The video of the song features the band performing in front of a Spartan backdrop, and what a catchy song it was.

3. Head Like a Hole

“Head Like a Hole” was the first certified big hit that Nine Inch Nails served us with. The song is contained in the band’s debut album, Pretty Hate Machine. More than thirty years since the release of this song, its positive hate continues to resonate with many. At the time of its release, the song received heavy rotation on radio, peaking at #9 on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Chart.

2. Wish


The number two song is a Grammy Award-winning song that blended Reznor’s outstanding vocal performance with a full-on guitar assault. “Wish” is contained in the band’s 1992 debut EP, Broken. The track features some incredible drumming which was done by Martin Atkins, and the song’s video contains what feels like a model industrial show.

1. Hurt


The number one song on our countdown of the top ten Nine Inch Nails songs of all time is another Grammy Award-winning single, “Hurt.” The song was released as a promotional single for the band’s 1994 album, The Downward Spiral. The song was a massive critical and commercial success, and the song’s music video has been lauded by publications such as NME as the greatest of all time. Although the overall meaning of the song is usually disputed, it does include references of self-harm and heroin addiction. The song is featured in the final episode of Rick and Morty season 2 and contains a spellbinding cover by Johnny Cash.

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