Hellbilly Deluxe

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Hellbilly Deluxe
Hellbilly Deluxe.jpg
Studio album by Rob Zombie
Released August 25, 1998 (1998-08-25)
Recorded Chop Shop, Hollywood, California
Length 38:23
Label Geffen
Rob Zombie chronology
Hellbilly Deluxe
American Made Music to Strip By
Singles from Hellbilly Deluxe
  1. "Dragula"
    Released: August 24, 1998[1]
  2. "Living Dead Girl"
    Released: February 16, 1999[2]
  3. "Superbeast"
    Released: June 1, 1999[3]

Hellbilly Deluxe (released with the subtitle 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International) is the debut solo album by the former White Zombie singer Rob Zombie. Hellbilly Deluxe was released on August 25, 1998.[4] The album's title is a play on the Dwight Yoakam album Hillbilly Deluxe. Musically, the songs on the album portray Zombie's love for classic horror films both lyrically and musically.[5][6][7] Some from the album also include heavy use of guitar and drums, while other songs feature a more electronic sound than his previous work with White Zombie. The majority of the album was recorded in California, and was produced by Rob Zombie himself and Scott Humphrey.

The lead single, "Dragula", was released in August 1998, which entered the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. A remix of the song was used in the action film The Matrix. The second single, "Living Dead Girl", became Zombie's second Top 10 on the "Mainstream Rock" chart, and was featured in numerous horror films following its release. "Superbeast", the album's last single, was released in 1999. The song has, like the previous singles, been featured in numerous films since its release. Hellbilly Deluxe was a commercial success, debuting at number 5 on the Billboard 200. The album went on to sell over three million copies in the United States alone, earning it a 3x Platinum Certification from the RIAA. Hellbilly Deluxe is Zombie's best selling album to date.

Hellbilly Deluxe received mixed critical reviews. The album's commercial success, however, spawned a remix album in 1999 titled American Made Music to Strip By. The album features remixes for the majority of the album. In 2005, Hellbilly Deluxe was re-released featuring new artwork and a bonus DVD which featured a music video for all of the tracks. Zombie himself directed the music videos for the songs. In 2010, Zombie released a sequel to the album titled Hellbilly Deluxe 2, which features similar musical styles and themes. On September 14, 2009 it was announced that Rob Zombie would embark on his Hellbilly Deluxe 2 World Tour, in support of the album. Music from the original album was performed on the tour, as well as new material.

Background and development[edit]

Work on Hellbilly Deluxe began shortly after the break-up of Zombie's band White Zombie earlier in 1998. When working on Hellbilly Deluxe, Zombie began working with Scott Humphrey who helped to produce the album. Humphrey also co-wrote several songs on the album, along with Zombie. Humphrey had previously worked with Mötley Crüe, Metallica and Tommy Lee, among other artists.[8] On making the album, Zombie stated that making the album was "weird", and he didn't believe it would do well, as most "debut solo records don't".[9] Zombie wrote all of the songs on the album, while Zombie and Scott produced all of the songs together. Charlie Clouser also served as a producer on the song "Superbeast", along with Zombie and Scott. Danny Lohner provided additional guitar recordings for "Meet the Creeper", while Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe fame played drums on "Meet the Creeper" and "The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore".[10][11][12] On the experience, Lee stated "I went to his house after I got out of jail to stay for a while, and I think I was there about a day or two and they were working on [Hellbilly Deluxe] downstairs and Scott and Rob were like, 'Dude, Tommy's upstairs, we should ask him to play.'[13] Former band mate John Tempesta also appears on the album, as does Charlie Clouser[14][15] of Nine Inch Nails fame.[16][17][18] The majority of the album was recorded at recording studio The Chop Shop, located in Hollywood, California. A guitar used during the recording process was later auctioned on eBay.[19][20]


" I still think the '70s was the last great time where films were being made for the sake of the film and not for the sake of the money."

— Zombie on 1970s horror films, which had influence over Hellbilly Deluxe.[21]

Nearly all of the songs, including singles "Living Dead Girl" and "Superbeast" feature music styles with elements of horror film and suspense in them.[22][23] Allmusic compared the album's musical themes to a White Zombie record, stating it was "complete with thunderous industrial rhythms, drilling metal guitars, and B-movie obsessions." Entertainment Weekly spoke about the album's horror film qualities, stating it had "concocted a veritable blood feast of hair-raising guitars, spine-tingling drum loops, and a cast of ghoulish characters who could be refugees from an old William Castle horror flick."[24] LegendsMagazine stated "the songs follow the same formula of anger, sex, death, monster, demon, zombie, satanic, drug abuse kinda raw drive a tractor over your neighbor's skull kinda hate the world so I'll burn it all down music."[7] Songs such as "Living Dead Girl" and "Meet the Creeper" have been described as highlights,[25] while "Demonoid Phenomenon" and "Superbeast" "suggest [Zombie] holds a joint account somewhere with Mr. Lucifer himself."[26] Songs "Superbeast" and "Dragula" were described as "hard metal", while songs such as "How to Make a Monster" and "What Lurks on Channel X?" have a more "aesthetic" approach to them.[27] In their review of Hellbilly Deluxe 2, IGN stated that the original album had an "infectious, fire-and-brimstone vibe".[28] Hellbilly Deluxe also "continue to explore Zombie's fascination with psychotic noise, pummeling grooves, campy samples, and all things horrific."[29]

Several of the songs found on Hellbilly Deluxe feature samples and lines from classic horror films. The sound clips at the end of the track "Call of the Zombie" is from the 1974 Vincent Price film Madhouse. The line "Who is this irresistible creature who has an insatiable love for the dead?", played at the beginning of "Living Dead Girl", is from the trailer for the 1971 Italian horror film Lady Frankenstein.[30][31][32] The opening music for the same song is taken from the trailer for the Wes Craven film The Last House on the Left.[32] The opening line of "Dragula", "superstition, fear, and jealousy", is taken from the movie The City of the Dead.[33] The lines "Don't lie to yourself, it gave you pleasure" and "You enjoyed that dead girl's body", found in "Demonoid Phenomenon", are both taken from Danielle Ouimet's dialogue from the 1971 film Daughters of Darkness.[32] In "Meet the Creeper", the line "The devil is in all of you!" is taken from the film Mark of the Devil,[32] while the line "There are more maniacs loose than one thinks" is taken from Daughters of Darkness.[34] "What Lurks on Channel X?" also features samples. The line "13 acres of hell" is taken from The Last House on the Left. The lines "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make the following statement.[34] The young generation, that sick generation...", and "Impressionable young people, brutal honesty will be shown on this screen." are both taken from the film The Undertaker and His Pals.[32] The line "She lays there, waiting for the sacrifice" can be found in "Return of the Phantom Stranger", and is taken from the film The Satanic Rites of Dracula.[32][34]

Release and artwork[edit]

The back cover for Hellbilly Deluxe.

The album was released through Geffen Records, the same label that had released White Zombie's previous albums.[35] Hellbilly Deluxe was released on August 25, 1998 via the label. The album's cover art features symbols such as a pentagram, and has been compared to artists such as Alice Cooper.[10][36] Hellbilly's album booklet is 24 pages long, and features lyrics, comics, and images.[37] When asked about the large booklet, Zombie responded "It’s a welcome relief from the less-is-more school of thought [...] I grew up in the heyday of cool record packaging. I would stare at the record for hours. Now, you open a record and you get nothing. I always feel cheated."[38] Gene Colan and Dan Brereton from Marvel Comics contributed to drawings found in the booklet. The robot found on the back of the album is a replica of the one featured in the 1939 film The Phantom Creeps, and was created by Wayne Toth for Zombie. Toth would later go on to do the special effects for Zombie's directorial debut House of 1000 Corpses. The back cover, unlike the front, is in black and white, and features Zombie posing with the robot. The album's cover came under controversy, and had to be altered in order for Wal Mart to sell the product.[39] Though resistant at first, Zombie later stated "for some of these kids, it was the only place they can buy records. At the end of the day, it's these kids who are getting f----ed." He had to remove the pentagram from the image, as well as the "X" engraved on his forehead.[40] Images of "scantily clad women" were removed from the album's booklet as well.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[41]
Billboard (favorable)[42]
Entertainment Weekly (C+)[24]
Legends Magazine [7]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[43]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[25]
Yahoo! Music (favorable)[26]

The album received generally mixed to positive reviews from critics. The album was credited by some for its horror film feel, while criticized by others. Allmusic gave the album a positive review, stating Hellbilly Deluxe "delivers the goods, arguably even better than [White Zombie]. To outsiders, the entire schlock enterprise may seem ridiculous or sound monotonous, but even the weak cuts here hit hard and give fans exactly what they want."[41] Rolling Stone praised the album, commenting "The music on Hellbilly, as usual with Zombie, is a force to be reckoned with – pulverizing hard-rock riffs propelled by drums and electronic percussion, a sonic assault that, under all the bombast, is as meticulously arranged as any Whitney Houston track."[25] PopStops also enjoyed the album, and added "This is an album that rarely ever gets out of overdrive. Zombie growls his lyrics over a bed of car crash crunching guitars and pounding industrial rhythms. No surf music here."

Not all reviews were positive, though. Entertainment Weekly gave the album a mixed review, writing "It's all a little creepy, to be sure, but Zombie's cartoonish antics are too over-the-top to really get under your skin."[24] Legends Magazine gave the album a generally positive review while criticizing Rob Zombie's lack of originality. "Rob is one of those performers with absolutely zero musical originality. Everything he produces sounds more or less like someone else - My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Ministry, KMFDM, NIN, Foetus, Skinny Puppy, Coil, Motley Crue, the Orb, the Misfits, Today is the Day and yes even Marilyn Manson.."[7] They praised songs "Superbeast" and "Dragula" while declaring What Lurks on Channel X Return of the Phanton Strangler "disappointments". They also criticized the mixing quality of How to Make a Monster while praising the song itself. Sputnikmusic also had a mixed reaction to the album, stating "It’s a misnomer, however, to label this album as truly 'horrific'. At some points the attempts at the horror aesthetic are a bit lame, and uninspired." They did, however, say "Even with this said, however, these subtle distractions from the 'horror' aesthetic are what conclusively give Hellbilly Deluxe its 'fun' appeal. All the different aspects of this album come together well, yet sloppily, ultimately ending in a decent and dysfunctional sonic adventure."[27] Yahoo! also criticized the album, writing "Hellbilly Deluxe is an excessively heavy (the best kind), meticulously produced piece of parodic gore-flick metal. The kind of stuff that would be proud to call itself crap with a capital C."[26]

Chart performance[edit]

Hellbilly Deluxe had a positive commercial reception, and has become Zombie's best selling album to date. In the United States, the album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, selling an estimated 121,000 copies during its first week of release.[44] The album's first week sales were the highest Zombie had earned when compared to his previous work with White Zombie.[45][46] By September 29 of the same year, the album had received a Gold certification from the RIAA. It was certified Platinum on November 4, 1998, and Double Platinum in April of the following year.[47] The album was certified 8x Platinum by the RIAA, for sales exceeding eight million copies in the United States alone. It spent a total of 66 weeks on the Billboard 200.[48] It charted on the 1998 Billboard Year-End chart as the 103 best selling album for that year. The following year, it rose to 53 on the Year-End chart.[49] Hellbilly had success in numerous other countries as well. It debuted at number 2 on the Canadian Albums Chart,[50] and went on to be certified 2x Platinum in the country.[51][52] In Australia, the album debuted at number 48 on the Australian Albums Chart. The album spent a total of four weeks on the chart, and rose to a peak of 37.[53] The album debuted and peaked at number 42 in Austria, where it only stayed on the chart for one week.[54] In New Zealand, Hellbilly Deluxe debuted at number 48 on the albums chart. It charted for a total of 14 weeks, rising to a peak of 19.[55] The album charted in Sweden for two weeks, where it debuted and peaked at number 45.[56] The album also charted in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at 37.[57]


In total, Hellbilly Deluxe spawned three singles, all of which had commercial success. The lead single, "Dragula", was released on August 24, 1998.[1] Dragula was released in the United Kingdom on February 2, 1999.[58] The song was a commercial success, entering the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart,[59] as well as the Top 40 of the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[60] It is Zombie's only song to chart in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number 44.[57] This makes "Dragula" Zombie's only song to chart outside of the United States. The second single, "Living Dead Girl", was released on February 19, 1999.[2] It had a similar chart performance as the previous single, entering the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart just one position lower than "Dragula". The final single, "Superbeast", was released in 1999 and was the least commercially successful single, becoming Zombie's first to not enter the Top 40 of the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, and his first to not chart on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.


Hellbilly Deluxe quickly became a fan favorite for fans of Zombie's music, leading to the success of the album's three singles. Aside from spawning three Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, the album went on to sell over three million copies worldwide, with two million units sold in the United States alone. Hellbilly sold more copies in its first week of release than any previous White Zombie album in the past, and went on to become Zombie's best selling album to date. The album's third single, "Superbeast", was nominated for "Best Metal Performance" at the 42nd Grammy Awards held on February 23, 2000 but ultimately lost to "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.[61] The production of the album was seen as a highlight by critics, with one stating "Humphrey had pushed the boundaries of primitive DAW and was instrumental in the development of Pro Tools features like Beat Detective and batch cross fade processing. So that same inventive mentality went into Hellbilly’s production."[62]

"Well, it was around the ten- year anniversary of the first record, and the idea just popped into my head. It really wasn’t this big master plan by any means, I just knew I wanted to return to the old ways of doing things, and I thought that that would be a good starting point."

— Zombie, on creating the sequel, Hellbilly Deluxe 2.[63]

The success of Hellbilly Deluxe came as a surprise to Zombie, who didn't believe it would perform well. Due to the album's success, a remix album, American Made Music To Strip By, was released in October of the following year. The remix album was somewhat successful, peaking inside the Top 40 of the Billboard 200. In 2005, a deluxe edition of Hellbilly Deluxe was released, featuring new artwork and a bonus DVD. Included on the DVD were music videos for all of the songs featured on the album. The Special Edition of the album was released on November 22, 2005.[64] Zombie's 2010 album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool, is referred to as the follow-up to the original Hellbilly Deluxe. Zombie has stated that the album is referred to as a follow-up because they are "similar in style" and "have the same feel". Songs from Hellbilly Deluxe have been performed on all of Zombie's tours following its release, including his 2010 tour Hellbilly Deluxe 2 World Tour, made to support the second edition to Hellbilly Deluxe.

Songs from Hellbilly Deluxe were used in numerous television series, films, and video games. The "Hot Rod Herman Remix" of "Dragula" was included on the soundtrack to both the 1999 film The Matrix and the 2000 film Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. It was later used in the video game Twisted Metal 4, in which Zombie is a playable character. It was also used in the American version of Gran Turismo 2 and in the PlayStation game Sled Storm. "Dragula" was also played in the background of a Spring Break scene in the show King of the Hill. It was later used in the 2012 video game Twisted Metal. "Superbeast", "Dragula" and "Meet the Creeper" are featured in the video game Twisted Metal 3. "Superbeast" is also a part of the soundtrack for the game Brütal Legend, while a remixed version is used in an idle animation for the arcade game CarnEvil. Both "Dragula" and "Superbeast" were released as downloadable content for the Rock Band series on October 27, 2009. "Living Dead Girl" was used in the opening credits for the 1998 horror film Bride of Chucky, as well as the remake of the 1960 film classic Psycho. "Spookshow Baby" was featured in the horror movie Urban Legend, released in 1998. "Demonoid Phenomenon" and several other tracks from the album were used in the videogame Nightmare Creatures II in 2000. "Demonoid Phenomenon" was being used for the game's opening cinematic. In the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Home Alone 4", Richie is seen wearing a Hellbilly Deluxe T-shirt.

The songs on the album have also been subject to numerous cover versions over the years. The song "Dragula" was covered by Motionless In White in 2009, and was featured on the deluxe edition of their 2010 debut album Creatures. Suicide Silence covered the song "Superbeast" in 2011, and was featured on the iTunes version of their third studio album The Black Crown. Several songs from the album were covered on the The Electro-Industrial Tribute to Rob Zombie tribute album, released in 2002. The album includes covers of singles such as "Superbeast", "Dragula", and "Living Dead Girl", while fan favorites "Meet the Creeper", "How to Make a Monster", and "Demonoid Phenomenon" are also covered.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Rob Zombie, all music composed by Rob Zombie and Scott Humphrey, except "Superbeast" by Zombie, Humphrey and Charlie Clouser and "Meet the Creeper" by Zombie, Humphrey and Danny Lohner.

No. Title Length
1. "Call of the Zombie"   0:30
2. "Superbeast"   3:40
3. "Dragula"   3:42
4. "Living Dead Girl"   3:21
5. "Perversion 99"   1:43
6. "Demonoid Phenomenon"   4:11
7. "Spookshow Baby"   3:38
8. "How to Make a Monster"   1:38
9. "Meet the Creeper"   3:13
10. "The Ballad of Resurrection Joe and Rosa Whore"   3:55
11. "What Lurks on Channel X?"   2:29
12. "Return of the Phantom Stranger"   4:31
13. "The Beginning of the End"   1:52
Total length:


Chart peaks and certifications[edit]


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  18. ^ REVIEW
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  27. ^ a b Rob Zombie - Hellbilly Deluxe (album review) | Sputnikmusic
  28. ^ Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe 2 Review
 - IGN
  29. ^ Music: Hellbilly Deluxe (CD) by Rob Zombie (Artist)
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  38. ^ Rob Zombie : HELLBILLY Deluxe (1st Solo project album)
  39. ^ Marilyn Manson's New LP Banned By Major Chain Stores - Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV.com
  40. ^ White Zombie News - Yahoo! Music
  41. ^ a b "Hellbilly Deluxe - Rob Zombie". Allmusic. 
  42. ^ Verna, Paul (5 September 1998). Reviews & Previews. Billboard. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  43. ^ "Top Pop Albums - Page 2". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 1998. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  44. ^ Garth's 'Scarecrow' Shoots Straight To No. 1 | Billboard.com
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  49. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=nwgEAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_all_issues_r&cad=1&output=embed&allissues=1
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  61. ^ Rock On The Net: Grammy Awards: Best Metal Performance
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