The Downward Spiral
Label: TVT Records
This 1994 release confirmed what long-time fans had already known -- Trent Reznor was a huge talent. With an eye finely tuned to detail, he created an album that somehow managed to eke into the mainstream. "Closer" received major airplay, despite (or because of) the brutal imagery. This album remains a defining sound in the music of the '90s.