Sin (song)

Last updated
Single by Nine Inch Nails
from the album Pretty Hate Machine
B-side "Get Down Make Love"
Released October 10, 1990 (1990-10-10)
Recorded 1989–90
Genre Industrial dance [1]
Label TVT
Songwriter(s) Trent Reznor
Nine Inch Nails singles chronology
"Head Like a Hole"
"March of the Pigs"
Halo numbers chronology
"Halo 3"
(1990) Halo 31990
"Halo 4"
(1990) Halo 41990
"Halo 5"
(1992) Halo 51992

"Sin" is the third single by American artist Nine Inch Nails from the album Pretty Hate Machine . Released in October 1990, the song peaked at number 35 in the UK Singles Chart. [2]

Single (music) type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock project

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band from Cleveland, Ohio, founded in 1988. The band consists of producer and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, as well as English musician Atticus Ross. Over the course of their three-decade existence, the band has signed with several major labels, the most current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

<i>Pretty Hate Machine</i> album

Pretty Hate Machine is the debut studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on October 20, 1989 by TVT Records. The album is compiled of reworked tracks from the Purest Feeling demo, as well as songs composed after its original recording. Production of the record was handled by Flood and Trent Reznor, among other contributors.


"Sin" has been commonly a staple of Nine Inch Nails live performances for many years; lists it as the artist's eighth most played live song. [3] Its versions on the single differentiate heavily from the album cut, with more an EBM sound with distorted vocals and alternate instrumentation that became the foundation for its many live renditions, as opposed to the synth-pop style featured on Pretty Hate Machine.

Nine Inch Nails, an industrial rock band fronted by Trent Reznor, did various live performances throughout the world, including tours in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. While Reznor controls the creative and musical direction of Nine Inch Nails in-studio, the touring band performs different arrangements of the songs in live settings. In addition to regular concerts, the band has performed in both supporting and headlining roles at festivals such as Woodstock '94, Lollapalooza 1991 and 2008, as well as many other one-off performances including the MTV Video Music Awards. Prior to their 2013 tour, the band played 938 gigs.

Electronic body music (EBM) is a genre of electronic music that combines elements of industrial music and synth-punk with elements of disco and dance music. It developed in the early 1980s in Germany and Belgium and came to prominence in Belgium at the end of the decade. EBM was generally considered a part of the European new wave and post-punk movement and the first style that blended synthesized sounds with an ecstatic style of dancing.

Synth-pop is a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic, art rock, disco, and particularly the "Krautrock" of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s to the mid-1980s.


Stylized as 5in, it is the fourth official Nine Inch Nails release and final single for Pretty Hate Machine , containing three variations of the track and Nine Inch Nails' first cover song. The spine of the US version refers to the single as "Sin Long, Dub & Short". The lyric "Stale incense, old sweat, and lies..." directly quotes the short story "In the Hills, the Cities" by Clive Barker, from Books of Blood . All three versions were produced by Keith LeBlanc and Adrian Sherwood of Tackhead.

Clive Barker author, film director and visual artist

Clive Barker is an English writer, film director, and visual artist. Barker came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a series of short stories, the Books of Blood, which established him as a leading horror writer. He has since written many novels and other works, and his fiction has been adapted into films, notably the Hellraiser and Candyman series. He was also the executive producer of the film Gods and Monsters.

<i>Books of Blood</i> book

Books of Blood are a series of horror fiction collections written by the British author Clive Barker.

Tackhead is an industrial hip-hop group that was most active during the 1980s and early 1990s, and briefly reformed in 2004 for a tour. Their music occupies the territory where funk, dub, industrial music and electronica intersect. The core members are Doug Wimbish (bass), Keith Leblanc (percussion) and Skip McDonald (guitar) and producer Adrian Sherwood. Despite being short-lived as band proper, the legacy and output of these groups of musicians has been prodigious.

"Get Down, Make Love" is a cover of the Queen song originally released on News of the World . This version of "Get Down, Make Love" samples Dan O'Herlihy from The Cabinet of Caligari , as well as a brief snippet of "We Will Rock You" in the final seconds. It was co-produced by Al Jourgensen of Ministry under the alias of Hypo Luxa and was later released again as a bonus track on the 2010 remaster of Pretty Hate Machine.

Queen (band) British rock band

Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.

<i>News of the World</i> (album) 1977 studio album by Queen

News of the World is the sixth studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 28 October 1977 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. News of the World was the band's second album to be recorded at Sarm West and Wessex Studios, London, and engineered by Mike Stone, and was co-produced by the band and Stone.

Dan OHerlihy Irish-American actor

Daniel Peter O'Herlihy was an Irish film actor, known for such roles as Brigadier General Warren A. "Blackie" Black in Fail Safe, Conal Cochran in Halloween III: Season of the Witch, "The Old Man" in RoboCop, and Andrew Packard in Twin Peaks. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1954 film Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

The single was included in the Record Store DayBlack Friday exclusive box set, Halo I–IV . [4] [5]

Record Store Day annual event in April to celebrate independently-owned record stores

Record Store Day is an annual event inaugurated in 2008 and held on one Saturday every April and every "Black Friday" in November to "celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store". The day brings together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record stores across the world. A number of records are pressed specifically for Record Store Day, with a list of releases for each country, and are only distributed to shops participating in the event. The event began in the United States and remains headquartered there. Record Store Day has official international organizers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Australia, and Spain.

Black Friday (shopping) Fourth Friday in November, following Thanksgiving day

Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of America's Christmas shopping season since 1952, although the term "Black Friday" didn't become widely used until more recent decades.

Music video

Image from the "Sin" music video showing one of the gay lovers Sin music video.jpg
Image from the "Sin" music video showing one of the gay lovers

A music video, directed by Brett Turnbull and produced by Sarah Bayliss was released, using the "(short)" remix of the song. It features two girls dancing with each other at the beginning, cutting to a black-and-white footage of a woman, naked except for what looks like straps to spelunking gear and a halogen lamp, walking a wrist-bound Trent Reznor with a bag over his head through what looks like an industrial warehouse complex and eventually to strap him into an Aerotrim where he spins him throughout the video. These scenes are intercut with two young gay lovers, a man and woman wearing ritualistic dressings and dancing, as well as visuals of a pierced phallus and clitoris, all reflecting the song's dark, sexual aspects.

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, primary musician, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released eight Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

An aerotrim is a gyroscope large enough to contain a human being, used for cardiovascular workout and equilibrioception (balance) training in pilots and astronauts. Aerotrims were used in gyms during the 1980s, but are currently out of production outside of professional applications. A handful of machines are still in circulation, largely used for entertainment at fairs and events and as science fiction showpieces in movies and television. Several companies around the world have picked up the idea and produced their own version with slight changes. One of the originals, made in Korea, can be found in Slovenia at Aerotrim Ekopool Celje.

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to mean "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright and showy".

Though the video never aired, an edited version appears on Closure . The original video later became available through TVT's website. [6] [7]

Track listing

US version

1."Sin" (long) Adrian Sherwood, Keith LeBlanc 5:51
2."Sin" (dub)Sherwood, LeBlanc5:00
3."Get Down, Make Love"Engineered by Jeff "Critter" Newell, Al Jourgensen, Trent Reznor, Sean Beaven 4:19
4."Sin" (short)Sherwood, LeBlanc4:19
Total length:19:29

UK version

1."Sin" (short)Sherwood, LeBlanc4:19
2."Sin" (long)Sherwood, LeBlanc5:51
3."Get Down, Make Love"Engineered by Jeff "Critter" Newell, Al Jourgensen, Trent Reznor, Sean Beaven 4:19
4."Sin" (dub)Sherwood, LeBlanc5:00
Total length:19:29


  1. Childers, Chad. "10 Best Nine Inch Nails Songs". Loudwire . Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  2. "NINE INCH NAILS". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  3. "Nine Inch Nails Tour statistics – songs played total". Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  4. Kaye, Ben (October 28, 2015). "Nine Inch Nails releasing Halo I-IV vinyl box set for Record Store Day Black Friday". Consequence of Sound . Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  5. Grebey, James (October 28, 2015). "Nine Inch Nails to Release Vinyl Box Set, 'Halo I-IV,' for Record Store Day Black Friday". Spin . Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  6. "Full Sin video online at TVT Records". The NIN Hotline. 2001-11-04. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  7. "Nine Inch Nails on TVT TV". TVT Records. 2001-11-04. Archived from the original on 2002-03-11. Retrieved 2007-12-29.