August 25th, marks the 25th anniversary of the release of not one, but two huge debut albums. First up, is Rob Zombie’s debut release Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International. Released via Geffen Records, it would be his first album outside of the band White Zombie, with whom he released two multi-platinum albums. Up next is Godsmack’s self-titled, major-label debut. Released via Universal/Republic Records on the very same day back in 1998.
Hellbilly Deluxe was produced by both Zombie and Scott Humphrey, who has co-written, co-produced, and mixed all of Zombie’s records up to 2007’s Zombie Live. Humphrey has also worked with Metallica, Motley Crue, The Cult, Fuel, *NSYNC and many more.
Zombie’s debut album gave us the smash-hit singles “Dragula”, “Living Dead Girl”, and “Superbeast”. The album’s title comes from Dwight Yoakam’s country music album Hillbilly Deluxe which was released in 1987. The cover art on the album, painted by artist Basil Gorgos, features an image of Rob Zombie. He has an X carved into his forehead, along with skulls, crossbones, and a pentagram.
Godsmack was produced by Sully Erna and Andrew Mudrock, who produced their debut and sophomore album Awake. Mudrock also contributed to the Avenged Sevenfold albums Waking the Fallen and City of Evil, and Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory EP.
Godsmack is loaded with hit songs, including their debut single “Whatever”, “Keep Away”, “Voodoo” and “Bad Religion”. All of these ended up being massive songs for the band and remain some of Godsmack’s most famous songs. Sully Erna played drums on all of the songs, except “Whatever” which featured Joe D’Arco. Tommy Steward was credited as drummer in the album’s liner notes.
Since their release 25 years ago, Hellbilly Deluxe has sold over 3 million copies in the United States and was certified 3x platinum by the RIAA, while Godsmack has sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. giving it 4x platinum status by the RIAA.
Both albums are considered landmarks by fans and critics alike and are still among the bestselling and most sought-after each.