Nine Inch Nails' "Ghosts I-IV" Makes Trent Reznor a Millionaire

March 13, 2008 9:35 AM ET

Trent Reznor has gone public with the sum total of all the money he made in first week sales after self-releasing his instrumental album Ghosts I-IV: $1,619,420. The album, released on March 2nd in a multitude of different formats at nin.com, "immediately sold out" of its run of 2,500 "Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition" versions (complete with vinyl, deluxe packaging and a Reznor autograph), each with a $300 price tag. In all, 781,917 transactions were made for the album, with people either downloading a quarter of the album for free, downloading the entire album for $5, purchasing a physical copy for $10 or getting the non-ultra-deluxe limited edition version for $75. Unlike Radiohead, who have still not released the total numbers and dollar figures from their In Rainbows experiment, Reznor likely revealed his first-week stats as a way to show fellow artists in the same weight class how successful they can be without the help of a major label. We're sure Reznor and Thom Yorke will have a nice laugh about all this if they do in fact headline Lollapalooza. Ghosts I-IV is still available for download on NIN's site, with double-CD sets due in stores on April 8th.

Related Stories:
Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails Expected to Headline Lollapalooza
Nine Inch Nails Surprise Fans by Web-Releasing New "Ghosts" Album
Nine Inch Nails Sever Ties With Universal Music, Join Radiohead on Free Agent Market

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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