On this day in 1996, Marilyn Manson released “Antichrist Superstar.” Produced by Trent Reznor, the album is the most successful shock rock album of all time.
Shock rock is generally defined as combining heavy music with shocking theatrics. Alice Cooper invented it. Bands like W.AS.P. and Gwar do it well, while other performers like GG Allin did it poorly. However, no one frightened America while making great music the way Manson did in the 90s.
His onstage depravity included tearing pages out of Bibles and tossing them into the crowd, mutilating himself and having the crowd spit on him. If that was where it ended, Manson would’ve just been gross sideshow, except he reached many fans of the heavy music. Catchy riffs and lyrics that attacked every sacred institution – especially religion – but were often true helped him sell millions of records.
“Antichrist Superstar,” his third studio album, was his masterpiece and sold seven million copies.