Broken (EP)

Nine Inch Nails - Broken (EP).png
EP by
ReleasedSeptember 22, 1992 (1992-09-22)
RecordedMarch–August 1992
Nine Inch Nails chronology
Pretty Hate Machine
Halo numbers chronology
Halo 4
Halo 5
Halo 6

Broken is the first extended play (EP) by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on September 22, 1992 by Nothing, TVT, and Interscope Records. It was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Flood.

The release consists entirely of new material and replaces the synth-pop style of the band's 1989 debut album Pretty Hate Machine with a considerably heavier sound that would act as a precursor to their second album The Downward Spiral (1994). It's lyrical themes are also in line with that of their succeeding work. The record was promoted with music videos for five of the eight songs, which were censored due to their violent content, as well as a short film of the same name, which was never officially released, but was later leaked as a bootleg.

Although it was derided by some critics for its lyrical content, Broken received positive reviews from critics and reached number seven in the US, eventually receiving platinum certification from RIAA. The recording helped to propel NIN into mainstream popularity, and later received two Grammy Awards (both for Best Metal Performance) for the songs "Wish" and "Happiness in Slavery".


After the commercial and critical success of Pretty Hate Machine (1989), TVT Records, the first record label to sign the band, pressured Trent Reznor to record a very similar album with the hope that it would have similarly successful singles. Steve Gottlieb, the CEO of TVT Records, was insistent that he would not release anything other than an album much like Pretty Hate Machine. Reznor demanded his label terminate his contract, due to their restriction of his creative control of the Nine Inch Nails project. They ignored his plea.[3]

Reznor then objected to the label's attempted interference with his intellectual property. This much-publicized feud with TVT led Reznor to use a variety of monikers for the production of his next studio release.[4] Reznor later said that he hated TVT, in part due to their classification of Nine Inch Nails as a synth-pop band. He reached a deal with the record label Interscope Records:

We made it very clear we were not doing another record for TVT. But they made it pretty clear they weren't ready to sell. So I felt like, well, I've finally got this thing going but it's dead. Flood and I had to record Broken under a different band name, because if TVT found out we were recording, they could confiscate all our shit and release it. Jimmy Iovine got involved with Interscope, and we kind of got slave-traded. It wasn't my doing. I didn't know anything about Interscope. And I was real pissed off at him at first because it was going from one bad situation to potentially another one. But Interscope went into it like they really wanted to know what I wanted. It was good, after I put my raving lunatic act on.[5]

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