Terrible Lie (4:59)

Cover of Pretty Hate Machine

From Pretty Hate Machine and 160 other releases

The second track from the album Pretty Hate Machine. Its intro beat bleeds in from the outro of “Head Like A Hole” and pops up occasionally throughout the song. The song is almost entirely synthetic and is extremely layered when compared to most of the other songs on the album.

During the verses, under the guitar stabs Reznor can be heard whispering “hey God!”.


“Terrible Lie” is often the opening song of Nine Inch Nails shows following the intro tape. Unlike the album version where a keyboard and bass melody is present throughout the entire chorus, the live version typically omits the melody for the first half of the chorus. The ending of the song is extended when performed live and is often concluded with Reznor screaming “you fuckin’ promised me,” followed by a brief sample of the words “will you forgive me?”

Song Credits

* Production: Flood, Trent Reznor
* Engineering: Flood, John Fryer, Doug de Angelis
* Mix: John Fryer, Trent Reznor


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