Pretty Hate Machine was Nine Inch Nails' first album. It first came out in 1989. The songs "Down In It", "Head Like A Hole", and "Sin" became famous from the radio and MTV.
In 1992, Nine Inch Nails made a short album called Broken. It had only eight songs. The song "Wish" won a Grammy Award. Another album, called Fixed, has some of the same songs as Broken, but other musicians have changed the music and added new sounds.
Nine Inch Nails played the very first Lolapalooza tour alongside Jane's Addiction and other bands.
A new album called The Downward Spiral came out in 1994. It is the most popular and famous Nine Inch Nails album. Music stores have sold more than 4 million copies of The Downward Spiral all together. The songs "Closer", "March Of The Pigs", and "Hurt" were very popular on MTV and radio stations. Trent Reznor asked many other musicians to make remixes from the songs. The remixes were released on a new album called Further Down The Spiral.
In 1994, Nine Inch Nails played at the
Woodstock 94 concert in New York. After that, they became one of the most famous bands in the world. For five years, there were no Nine Inch Nails albums or concerts. Many fans worried that the band they liked would stop making music forever.
Finally, a new album came out in 1999. It was called The Fragile. It was the longest album Nine Inch Nails had ever made, and the music was very different from the old albums. Many of the songs were only music with no words. Songs like that are called instrumentals. Writers who write about music wrote good things about The Fragile in many magazines and newspapers. People knew the music of Nine Inch Nails had changed, but many people thought it was better than before.
Even though many people liked the album, it would still take Trent Reznor another five years to make another one. This was due to Trent Reznor drinking and becoming addicted to other drugs. He is now healthy. Trent also argued with his manager John Malm over how much money he should make. The court has agreed with Trent and John is no longer Trent's manager.
Nine Inch Nails' next album was called With Teeth. When the song "The Hand That Feeds" was first played on the radio, fans were very happy that Nine Inch Nails had come back. The second song on the album to be played on the radio is "Only" and the third is "Every Day Is Exactly The Same".
Year Zero came out on April 17, 2007. Before it came out, there was a game that people could play. You could find clues to discover more about the story. That kind of game is called an Alternate Reality Game. Only one single came out. That song is called Survivalism.
On March 2, 2008, the albums Ghosts I-IV (1 to 4) came out. It was made of 4 small albums Ghosts 1, 2, 3 and 4. All the songs on these albums were instrumentals and the first album was free to download from the website, or available cheaply to download. This was new in the way that music is sold, because usually music is sold for lots of money, and the money is given to many people, most who did not make the music, but helped give money to the people who did, or sent the music to shops to be sold, or made adverts for it.
After two months since the release of Ghosts I-IV, a new album came out called The Slip  on May 5, 2008. The Slip was released in three formats for free.
The latest Nine Inch Nails' album, Hesitation Marks (2013), was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards.