Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I-IV

Ghosts I-IV, the sixth studio album from Nine Inch Nails, was released on 2 March 2008 via their website. The 36 track album, which was recorded over a ten week period in the latter part of 2007, has been well received by fans and critics alike.

Ghosts I-IV was the result of an experiment, as well as the realization of a concept that front man Trent Reznor had been considering for years, where band members would set 10 weeks aside to allow their creativity to be driven purely by impulse. With no clear agenda, and musicians improvising, the initial intention was to release a single extended play track. However, this no-holds-barred approach got the creative juices flowing to the extent that the single EP notion soon became 36 tracks – more than two hours of brand new music. Upon the fulfillment of their contractual obligations to Interscope Records the band split from the company in 2007, and so it was decided to release Ghosts I-IV independently – a decision that has proven to be a great success.

Trent Reznor, Alan Moulder and Atticus Ross formed the creative nucleus for the album, with musicians Alessandro Cortini, Brian Viglione and Adrian Belew featuring on selected tracks. Ghosts I-V features an assortment of musical instruments, including guitar, bass, piano, synthesizer, marimba, banjo, tambourine, dulcimer and xylophone. Many of these instruments have been sampled and electronically distorted to produce a sound which has been described as “dark ambient”. In response to Reznor’s instruction to have fun and be creative in building a drum kit, Viglione put together a kit which included, among other things, two empty office cooler jugs, a 50-gallon trash can and a cookie tray with a metal chain across it. The results of his creativity can be heard on tracks 19 and 22 of Ghosts I-IV.

Following a growing trend among tech-savvy bands, Nine Inch Nails released Ghosts I-IV via their official website with a number of options available to fans. The website was inundated with traffic on the day of release, and after overcoming some operational hitches, a week later more than 750,000 purchases and download transactions had taken place, translating into more than US$1.6 million in sales. Physical versions of the album, in both double CD and 4-LP formats, were released on 8 April 2008 via RED Distribution. The $300 Ultra Deluxe Limited Edition of Ghosts I-IV pre-sold all 2,500 copies within three days via the Nine Inch Nails website – proving that not only is this talented group of musicians tech-savvy, but their appreciative fans are too.