From Academic Kids

This article discusses the album. For information on the film based on it, see Broken (movie).

Template:Album infobox

Broken (also known as Halo 5) is an EP by Nine Inch Nails released in 1992. Broken is the fifth official Nine Inch Nails release. Although it is an EP, it is usually considered to be the band's second major release because it consists of new material. It was preceded by Pretty Hate Machine and is followed by The Downward Spiral.

Released in the autumn of 1992 on the heels of a major disagreement between Trent Reznor and his label, TVT Records, Broken was a major departure from Pretty Hate Machine. Trent said that during the long, arduous tour for his debut album, the songs became more aggressive when played by a band -- compared to when he created them in a studio -- and that things often turned violent on stage as a result of everyone releasing pent-up frustration and anger on their instruments.

The effect of Reznor's conflict with his label and its influence on Broken can be seen in the album's packaging. After a long list of credits the following appears: "no thanks: you know who you fucking are," followed by "the slave thinks he is released from bondage only to find a stronger set of chains."

The results of this natural progression were louder mixes and more distortion on every instrument, including a classic Mellotron MKIV, for example, which can be heard most particularly on the track "Gave Up". The lyrics were less of a departure, for the most part, the themes of unhappiness and discontent still being prominent.

The degree to which these feelings were present on Broken, however, were felt much more deeply within the ear canals. Reznor said he wanted the album to be "an ultra-fast chunk of death" for the listener, something that would "make your ears a little scratchy" when you listened.

The record reached number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, while the second track, "Wish", even got Reznor a Grammy award. Trent later joked that his epitaph should read:

"REZNOR: Died. Said 'fist fuck' and won a Grammy."

"Physical (You're So)" is a cover of the Adam & the Ants song originally released on Kings of the Wild Frontier.


Press sheet

The press sheet released for Broken had a note from Reznor on it. The note reads (with original formatting preserved):

Broken was secretly recorded from march to august 1992 in a variety of locations

without the permission of
the record label
to ensure it could fester without Divine Intervention
now They just leave me alone and let me do what I want

Broken was a hard recording to make
Broken is an ugly record made during an ugly time in my life
Broken marks phase three of nine inch nails: the becoming
I am starting to realize what this is all about
and I don't like it <p> Flood started out producing but I ended up
I'm not sure why <p> maybe I am what everybody seems to think I am <p> nine inch nails is still not a real band with real people playing real instruments
there will be no touring for Broken <p> I am starting work on my new full-length recording The Downward Spiral which I
hope will be finished the beginning of 1993 <p> some will come along for the ride, some won't <p> Trent Reznor, 1992</div>


Track Listing

  1. "Pinion" - 1:02
  2. "Wish" - 3:46
  3. "Last" - 4:44
  4. "Help Me I Am in Hell" - 1:56
  5. "Happiness in Slavery" - 5:21
  6. "Gave Up" - 4:08
  7. "Physical (You're So)" - 5:29
  8. "Suck" - 5:06
The original release had "Physical (You're So)" and "Suck" on a separate 3" disc as tracks 1 and 2, respectively. Later versions have the track list above, with tracks 7-97 having one second of silence each. This violates the minimum four-second track length in the Compact Disc Digital Audio standard and some CD players get confused when they encounter these silent tracks.


Charting Singles

1992  "Happiness In Slavery"    Modern Rock Tracks      No. 13
1993  "Wish"                    Modern Rock Tracks      No. 25

External Links

Template:NIN halosde:Broken (Nine Inch Nails)


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