|Studio album by Marilyn Manson|
|Released||September 14, 1998
September 15, 1998
(France, Germany and the United States)
|Recorded||at the White Room, Westlake and Conway Studios|
|Genre||Alternative rock 
Heavy metal 
Alternative metal 
Industrial metal 
|Producer||Michael Beinhorn, Marilyn Manson, Sean Beavan|
|Marilyn Manson chronology|
|Singles from Mechanical Animals|
Initial sales were extremely strong but overtime it came under fire as controversy surrounding the album and the band increased, culminating in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings of 1999 (despite the lack of evidence that the shooters were fans of the band), with unit sales halting very close behind the figure for its predecessor, Antichrist Superstar.
The album is a concept album, similar to its predecessor, Antichrist Superstar. This album is considered a prequel to its predecessor. Mechanical Animals has sold more than 8 million copies, making it the second best-selling Marilyn Manson album. It debuted at No.1 in its first week of sale, and was the first Marilyn Manson album to do so. Four singles were released off the album: "The Dope Show", "Rock is Dead", "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)", and, only released promotionally and with a video, "Coma White". 
Compared to Marilyn Manson's previous work, Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals is, on an aesthetic level, far less dark, but in concept, far more grim. In both image and music, Mechanical Animals is inspired by 1970s style, Bowie-esque glam rock.
Musically, many songs are much lighter in melodies than those on Antichrist Superstar and they are far less sonically abrasive. The lyrics, however, are much more grim than its predecessor.
In the album, there are two sections of songs that show two sides of the album's character. The first section is more emotional, and the songs deal with themes of alienation and depression. Subsequently, seven of the fourteen songs are from the perspective, lyrically and musically, of a fictional band called Omēga and the Mechanical Animals, while the other seven are by Marilyn Manson. The Omēga songs are typically those most nihilistic and superficial lyrically, such as "New Model No. 15", "User Friendly", and "The Dope Show". The album artwork features a dual liner note book, in which one half has lyrics for the Omēga songs, and when flipped over, has those for the Alpha songs.
In a 1998 interview, Manson himself related the album to the band's previous work, saying, "On Antichrist Superstar I compared myself to Lucifer's fall from heaven. ... The new album is more about what happens when I land on Earth and try to fit in as a human being." ("I'm just a sample of a soul made to look just like a human being," from "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)"). In other interviews comparing the two albums, Manson likened himself more so to Jesus Christ than Lucifer.
After the release of Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), it arose that the correct listening would be Holy Wood, Mechanical Animals, and finally Antichrist Superstar (chronologically opposite from their actual releases) because though Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals made sense as individual concept albums on their own, there was a hidden over-arching story running through the three releases.
The controversial album cover has won critical acclaim and numerous awards. The infamous photo is the brainchild of long-time Manson photographer Joseph Cultice, of New York City. Contrary to popular internet rumours, the band leader, Manson, did not undergo any plastic surgery for this androgynous, alien look. The breasts are prosthetic, manufactured specially by George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic. Interestingly, Manson has stated in interviews that Johnny Depp is the current owner of these prosthetic breasts, while Manson himself owns Johnny's strawberry-blonde wig worn in the film Blow. Manson is in reality, naked, and covered head to toe in latex paint, provided by the same movie make-up company. His genitalia are covered by a thin cup of plastic to create the androgynous appearance of the alien figure he calls Omēga.
The album also features an alternate, less "obscene" cover which is contained on the reverse side of the album liner notes. It is incidentally the cover for an album of the same name by Omēga and the Mechanical Animals, a fictitious band composed of characters played by the members of Marilyn Manson. The photo featured on this alternate cover art includes more of the symbolism surrounding the numeral 15.
The liner notes contain hidden messages in yellow text, which are viewable through the blue CD packaging or the transparent blue LP; these messages (now green) include: "www.comawhite.com" (website No longer available), "I no longer knew if Coma White was real or just a side effect,"(sic) "Now children it's time for recess, please roll up your sleeves," "A sun with no planets, burning in circles", "Even machines can see that we are dead", and "In the end I became them and I led them/ After all none of us really qualified as humans/ We were hardworn, atomatic and as hollow as the 'o' in God/ I reattatched my emotions cellular and narcotic/ From the top of Holywood it looked like space/ Millions of capsules and Mechanical Animals/ A city filled with dead stars and a girl I called Comawhite/ This is my Omēga." The reader of the liner notes is shown how to read these messages in the booklet: there is a diagram showing a CD case over the booklet, and a message which reads: "Yellow and blue = green."
A limited tour edition of Mechanical Animals was released in the UK (including other locations like Australia and Mexico, where only 100 copies of this edition arrived) with an illustrated hardcover sleeve by Marcus Wild. Though limited edition, the album is easily attainable in certain regions. The packaging is identical to the original version except for the bonus eight-page comic book by Wild, illustrating scenes from the "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)" music video.
Arguably, this album's most successful song is "The Dope Show", which fared extremely well on both video and single charts in the United States and abroad. "The Dope Show" was written by Manson (lyrics) and Twiggy Ramirez (music). It continues to reign as the band's most commercially successful song. "The music video debuted the band's controversial new, androgynous glam rock image to the world. It is inspired by Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain, a controversial art film, as well as the David Bowie film, The Man Who Fell to Earth. Again, Bowie's influence has been enormous on this album, with both influences noted publicly by Manson himself.
This album features a hidden, fifteenth track, playable only on a computer; it is untitled and experimental, further playing on the album's theme of the character Omēga and conformity. Upon entering the album into a computer, an autorun file starts a program that displays two of Manson's paintings while the song plays in the background. It is thought to be an experiment in synesthesia.
When released on September 15, 1998, the album was immediately boycotted by the Wal-Mart corporation, citing "obscenity" in the album's cover artwork. To combat this, Nothing Records issued another edition, featuring the album's title superimposed over Manson's "breasts". Wal-Mart still refused to sell the album, and consequently pulled all previous albums by Manson in light of the Columbine tragedy on April 20, 1999 (after the release of Mechanical Animals, and after the cover controversy). To this day, Wal-Mart's corporate website states that Manson's work, among the work of other artists, will not be sold in their stores, but 2003 saw the mass sale of Manson's fifth LP, The Golden Age of Grotesque in nearly all Wal-Marts; representatives claim they chose to sell this latest album by the "shock-rocker" because it was to be "commercially viable" and was "on the Top Ten charts." Likewise, before the release of the album, a number of groups raised concerns about the track "Great Big White World" possibly being a racially-motivated reference until Manson himself cleared up the rumors by stating that it was about cocaine.
The third single, "Rock is Dead", was featured in The Matrix: Music from the Motion Picture, soundtrack album for the film The Matrix—the song is played during the credits.
All lyrics written by Manson.
|1.||"Great Big White World"||Ramirez, Gacy, Zum||5:01|
|2.||"The Dope Show"||Ramirez||3:46|
|3.||"Mechanical Animals"||Ramirez, Zum||4:33|
|4.||"Rock Is Dead"||Ramirez, Gacy||3:09|
|5.||"Disassociative"||Ramirez, Gacy, Zum||4:50|
|6.||"The Speed of Pain"||Ramirez, Gacy, Zum||5:30|
|8.||"I Want to Disappear"||Ramirez||2:56|
|9.||"I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)"||Ramirez, Zum||5:03|
|10.||"New Model No. 15"||Ramirez, Manson||3:40|
|11.||"User Friendly"||Ramirez, Gacy, Zum||4:17|
|12.||"Fundamentally Loathsome"||Gacy, Zum||4:49|
|13.||"The Last Day on Earth"||Manson, Gacy, Ramirez||5:01|
|14.||"Coma White"||Ramirez, Gacy, Zum||5:38|
|15.||Untitled (data track)||Gacy||1:22|
When released on vinyl, the record was split into two separately sleeved albums; the first credited to Marilyn Manson, pressed on opaque white vinyl, and the latter to Omēga and the Mechanical Animals on transparent blue vinyl. The Manson album dealt with songs of love and alienation, while the Mechanical Animals disc contained anthems of sex and drug use.
|Marilyn Manson: Side one|
|1.||"Great Big White World"||5:01|
|3.||"The Speed of Pain"||5:30|
|4.||"The Last Day on Earth"||5:01|
|Marilyn Manson: Side two|
|Omēga and the Mechanical Animals: Side one|
|1.||"The Dope Show"||3:46|
|2.||"Rock Is Dead"||3:09|
|3.||"I Want to Disappear"||2:56|
|Omēga and the Mechanical Animals: Side two|
|1.||"I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)"||5:03|
|2.||"New Model No. 15"||3:40|
|1998||The Billboard 200||1|
|1998||Australian ARIA Albums Chart||1|
|1998||"The Dope Show"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||12|
|1998||"The Dope Show"||Modern Rock Tracks||15|
|1999||"I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||25|
|1999||"I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)"||Modern Rock Tracks||36|
|1999||"Rock is Dead"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||28|
|1999||"Rock is Dead"||Modern Rock Tracks||30|
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
by Lauryn Hill
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October 3 - October 9, 1998
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
by Lauryn Hill
Internationalist by Powderfinger
|Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
September 27 - October 3, 1998
Psycho Circus by Kiss