top of page
  • Fred

Re-Discovering Marilyn Manson

Let me ask you a question. Who was the last Great Rock Star?

Personally I would probably answer Jack White, but he doesn't live the decadent sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll ethos. In my head who was the last great rock star, getting arrested, doing a mountain of drugs and pushing the very limits of Free Speech? Unequivocally, using those parameters, only one man comes to mind. The esteemed Brian Warner.

(The masses say I am wrong. According to conventional wisdom, it is... Kurt Cobain.)

The problem with Manson is that his biggest hits, Sweet Dreams and the Beautiful People remind you of a very specific time (1996-1997). Technically Rock Stars should be timeless, but here's my argument: Too dangerous for the masses, Manson only flirted with the mainstream when he toned down his act. Today we re-visit songs that may have snuck under the radar of the casual rock fan.

10. Stigmata

Back in 1988, Ministry released the album The Land of Rape and Honey. Their effort barely dented the Top 200 Album chart and only yielded one single called Stigmata, which didn't hit the charts at all. What Ministry did, though, was create an underground sensation seemingly only captured by college radio. (The Land of Rape and Honey would be Certified Gold, nearly 10 years after its release.)

Just last year Manson reproduced the spirit of the original on the Atomic Blonde Soundtrack. Not re-visiting a hit, but covering a hidden gem.

9. Fundamentally Loathsome

Mechanical Animals was such a radical departure from Anti-Christ Superstar, it took a while for the breadth and depth of the endeavor to sink in. Loathsome was the anchor on the back side of a long-winding trip.

8. Dope Hat

Manson burst onto the scene proclaiming his love for both Willie Wonka and Charles Nelson Reilly. Nothing Manson has done since has captured his dark sense of humor better than asking deep zen questions like whether you're wearing the hat or is the hat wearing you?

The video is based off of Gene Wilder's Wonka, while the lyrics were based off of the TV series Lidsville which ran 1971 to 1973.

7. Lunchbox

I Wanna Grow Up

I Wanna Be

6. Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuck*n-Geddin

Every legendary artist has one last fling with greatness after their heyday. The Anti-Christ symbol being replaced with $$$ is apropos. As is the VERY heavily edited single version.

(Oh, what the hell. No one reads this anyhow.) There's also the director's cut first edit, which was, uh, it was...let's use the word troublesome in a post-Megyn Kelly World.

5. Born Again

The whole Holy Wood album was an ambitious undertaking, steeped with symbolism, but it was Manson's worst charting effort (except for his debut). Even in defeat, Manson was purposeful, as it was the song Born Again that packed the hardest punch.

4. Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag

A Satanic Swing Revival? Even as I write, I can't discern whether this was his best, or worst, idea ever. At least Manson took chances, even if the concept may not have worked.

3. 1996

Manson in all of his pedal-to-the-floor, decadent, over-the-top glory.

Half of the lyrics would probably land Manson in jail if released today.

2. Rock and Roll N*gger

Manson drops covers every chance he gets. You can probably name a couple right off of the top of your head right now. Contrary to popular belief, his best was a cover wasn't Sweet Dreams, but Patti Smith's incendiary 1978 classic.

1. The Man That You Fear

Strangely, it's a dark, foreboding ballad that has aged the best from Manson's discography. Despair and hopelessness that evades the clutches of time.

Since Manson is about my age, I speculate that he also learned about The Lottery in English Class.





la fin

25 views0 comments
bottom of page