Prior to the release of the Mechanical Animals album, on 15 September 1998, Marilyn Manson was the self-styled “God Of F__k”: a brash, gothic horror-show icon born in post-industrial alternative rock. If the pounding aggression of 1996’s Antichrist Superstar was the soundtrack for aggrieved white suburban kids across America, Mechanical Animals was Manson’s love letter to them.
Listen to Mechanical Animals right now.
A new direction
The success of Antichrist Superstar provoked a cultural movement. Teenagers across the US appropriated Manson’s style as their own, claiming it as an expression of their true self. The album brimmed with hate-fuelled bombast that dared the mainstream to censor him. It elevated Manson to the brink of megastardom and afforded him a glitzy Hollywood lifestyle – albeit a…