Music » Music Feature

Takin' Out the Trash

A Cleveland classic gets a crappy re-release.


Grab your ankles, music fans, 'cause the record industry's gonna screw us again. As we know, labels are skilled at finding new ways to waste your money. Lately, it's the bogus re-release.

Take Nine Inch Nails' landmark debut, Pretty Hate Machine, scheduled for reissue later this month. Perhaps the most influential album ever to come from Cleveland, Hate Machine redefined electronic music, merging the aggression of harsh industrial with pop sensibilities and paving the way for the music's commercial breakthrough.

But it's been out of print for some time. So when Rykodisc announced that it would reissue the album, it was a happy day for NIN's black-clad fan base -- until the details were announced: no bonus tracks, expanded artwork, or packaging -- not even the remixes featured on Hate Machine's singles.

Why the crappy, cut-rate reissue? When NIN's original label, TVT, defaulted on a $32 million loan, its back catalog was auctioned off. Ryko, a medium-sized label, scored the rights to Hate Machine, but now it doesn't want to cough up any more dough.

"I would like to do a 5.1 version. I'll do extra songs. I'll redo the packaging. Everything," Reznor recently told the Toronto Sun.

But Hate Machine gets a no-frills reissue, and no one's happy. Ryko has failed miserably, coming with little more than a lame cash grab. This rank reissue is one for the compost heap.

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