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Arts and Entertainment

NIN's Latest, Ghosts I-IV is Available Now for $0-$300

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Trent Reznor is a free man. In the year since he officially released his last album -- Year Zero -- under contract to Interscope Records, Reznor, 42, developed an Alternate Reality Game built around Year Zero and released a Year Zero remix CD which included a data disc with raw WAV files meant to encourage mass manipulation. He also produced and performed on Saul Williams' excellent free-or-$5 downloadable.

Ghosts I-IV is Nine Inch Nails' seventh full-length release, with 36 instrumental tracks. This release marks another bold step towards revolutionizing the music biz -- all of Ghosts is Creative Commons-licensed, meaning Reznor is flipping the bird to traditional copyright laws, once again encouraging fans and haters to share, shred, and remix the tracks.

The first nine tracks of Ghosts are available as a free download -- all 36 tracks are up for sale for $5 (in a variety of DRM-free digital formats).

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Are there more Nine Inch Nails surprises in store? The FAQ page ends with the not-so-subtle promise of an upcoming announcement regarding "an exciting partnership and experience regarding this release."

Is Reznor stepping up the trailblazing here? Will it influence the labels and other artists who have stated similar ambitions to open up their music but have yet to fully jump onboard?

Listen to Ghosts below and check out the across-the-board purchasing options*.

  • Free downloads of the first nine tracks from the Ghosts I-IV collection as DRM-free MP3s, plus the 40-page PDF.
  • $5 download: All 36 tracks in a variety of digital formats, plus a 40-page PDF.
  • $10 two-disc set: A double-disc set, packaged in a Digipak with a 16-page booklet, to be shipped on April 8. Includes immediate download of album.
  • $75 deluxe edition: Ghosts I-IV in a "hardcover fabric slipcase containing two audio CDs, one data DVD with all tracks in multi-track format, and a Blu-Ray disc of Ghosts I-IV. Ships May 1. Includes immediate download of album.
  • $300 "ultra-deluxe limited edition package": Deluxe edition plus a four-LP set on 180-gram vinyl, which is packaged in a fabric slipcase. Two limited-edition Giclee prints are included; package is numbered and signed by Trent Reznor. Limited to a run of 2500, and one piece per customer. Ships May 1 and includes immediate download.

* The $5 full-album download is also available at Amazon's MP3 Store, a good alternative since the Ghosts Web site is on the fritz due to an overwhelming response.

Ghosts I, Track 3:


Reznor explains:

"I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective - dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I'm very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts."

Photo of Nine Inch Nails in Dublin, August 2007, by gadjbireland under CC-license