As a young musician in Cleveland, Ohio, Trent Reznor took a job at a local recording studio and employed unused studio time to develop his own material. The nascent album was later recorded with his favorite producers including Flood/Mark Ellis (U2, Depeche Mode, PJ Harvey), John Fryer (Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil), Adrian Sherwood (Ministry, Cabaret Voltaire) and Keith LeBlanc (Tackhead).
The result was the first Nine Inch Nails album, 1989's Pretty Hate Machine. All songs were written, arranged, programmed and performed by Reznor. The album features the breakthrough singles "Sin," "Down In It" and "Head Like A Hole" and ultimately sold over 3 million copies, reaching Triple Platinum sales status.