19 Years Ago: Godsmack Releases Their Debut Album

August 25, 2017

It was the late '90s. The grunge movement was gradually fading out and new harder and edgier sound had begun to take over the airwaves. A new wave of artists had fallen under the category of "Nu-Metal", and one of the bands at the helm was Boston's own Godsmack.

Starting off as a drummer, frontman Sully Erna pulled a moved echoed by Phil Collins and Dave Grohl by stepping up from behind the drum kit and onto the microphone. Since 1995, Sully had bounced around from band to band before finally settling with Robbie MerrillTony Rombola and Joe Darco to form the lineup of Godsmack. It was then when Godsmack caught the attention of this very radio station and its listeners with hits like "Keep Away" and "Whatever" off of their debut album All Wound Up. That's when the big music labels came running. After signing with Republic/Universal, the guys of Godsmack immediately went from rehearsing in an attic, to standing in the national spotlight.

Just as the ball really started to get rolling, drummer Joe Darco had exited the band, leaving them to recruit the talents of Tommy Stewart to get behind the drum kit. From there, Godsmack got themselves back into the studio to remaster and re-release All Wound Up, but simply as the self-titled Godsmack before introducing themselves to fans across the country. 

With "Whatever" leading the charge on airtime in radio stations all over the US, it eventually peaked at No. 7 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and No. 19 on the Alternative Chart. After 33 weeks of radio play, Godsmack had established itself a new fanbase on a national scale.

But that's not to say that they experienced a few bumps in the road on their way to the top. Certain record stores had pulled Godsmack from its shelves due to some of its lyrics. After adding the "parental advisory" sticker to the album's casing, Godsmack became all the more inviting to prospective fans.

"Keep Away" was the next single to receive airtime on rock radio and much like how it resonated with fans here in Boston, it warrented the same effect on listeners everywhere else. But in October 1999, Godsmack showed off more of their versatility with the percussive track, "Voodoo." The tribal sound of "Voodoo" resulted in making it the highest-rated song on Godsmack, topping at No. 5 on the Mainstreak Rock Chart, and No. 6 in the Alternative Radio Chart.

The fourth single to make it off of Godsmack was "Bad Religion" in 2000. But its success had to be cut short after the events that transpired on September 11th, 2001. 

After riding their rocket to success, Godsmack had gone quadruple-platinum. That is the kind of success many bands around the world can only dream up having happen to them off of their debut record. And it all started here at WAAF.