Antichrist Superstar

Antichrist Superstar
Marilyn Manson - Antichrist Superstar.png
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 8, 1996 (1996-10-08)
RecordedFebruary–August 1996
StudioNothing, New Orleans
GenreIndustrial metal
Marilyn Manson chronology
Smells Like Children
Antichrist Superstar
Remix & Repent
Singles from Antichrist Superstar
  1. "The Beautiful People"
    Released: September 22, 1996
  2. "Tourniquet"
    Released: September 8, 1997
Alternate cover
Antichrist Superstar Alternate Cover.jpg

Antichrist Superstar is the second studio album by American rock band Marilyn Manson, released on October 8, 1996, by Nothing and Interscope Records. It was recorded at Nothing Studios in New Orleans and produced by the band's eponymous vocalist along with Sean Beavan, former Skinny Puppy producer Dave Ogilvie and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. The recording of the album was marred by excessive drug use, which provoked a high level of antagonism between band members. Consequently, it was their last release to feature contributions from founding guitarist Daisy Berkowitz, who acrimoniously quit partway through recording.

A rock opera and a concept album, Antichrist Superstar was the first installment in a trilogy which included succeeding releases Mechanical Animals (1998) and Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) (2000). The central storyline on the album revolved around a supernatural being who seizes all power from humanity in order to initiate an apocalyptic end event; a populist demagogue who is driven solely by resentment, misanthropy and despair, he uses his newfound position to destroy the world. The record can be seen as a social critique, utilizing this premise as a metaphor for the perceived fascist elements of conservatism in the United States.

Preceded by "The Beautiful People", whose music video received three nominations at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, the album was both a critical and commercial success. Lorraine Ali of Rolling Stone credited Antichrist Superstar with ending the dominance of grunge within popular music. In the years since its release, various publications have listed it among the best albums of the 1990s. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, and has sold almost two million copies in the United States alone. As of 2011, worldwide album sales had surpassed over seven million copies.

The album was supported by the controversial "Dead to the World Tour", which was heavily criticized by elements of the Christian right. Nearly every North American venue the band visited was picketed by religious organizations, predominantly because of unfounded, exaggerated claims of onstage drug use, bestiality, and Satanic rituals, including animal and even human sacrifice. The band also found itself the target of congressional hearings, which attempted to implicate the group in a fan's suicide. Several previously unreleased recordings were issued on soundtracks throughout 1997, including "Apple of Sodom" and "Long Hard Road Out of Hell".

Background and development

Marilyn Manson was formed in 1989 by the vocalist and guitarist Daisy Berkowitz.[1] For the next seven years, the name of every band member was created by combining the stage name of a female pop culture icon with the surname of a male serial killer.[2] Their highly visualized concerts quickly earned them a loyal fanbase in the South Florida punk and hardcore music scene. Within six months of forming, they were performing sold-out concerts in 300-capacity nightclubs throughout Florida.[3] Eventually, the band gained the attention of Nine Inch Nails vocalist Trent Reznor, who signed them to his Nothing Records vanity label; Reznor produced their 1994 debut album, Portrait of an American Family.[4] This was followed by the 1995 EP Smells Like Children, which contained their commercially successful single, a cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)".[5]

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