not sure why I like these guys, but I do
the best of the genre
didn't care for the Carly Simon cover
makes the list
1.7 from me and a converted 2.1 from the pros at allmusic
from the album - No Reflection
released May 1st, 2012
Bio - from allmusic
Love him or hate him, the self-proclaimed "Antichrist Superstar" -- Marilyn Manson -- was indisputably among the
most notorious and controversial entertainers of the 1990s. Celebrated by supporters as a crusader for free speech
and denounced by detractors as little more than a poor man's Alice Cooper, Manson was the latest in a long line of
shock rockers, rising to the top of the charts on a platform of sex, drugs, and Satanism. Though widely dismissed
by critics, his brand of metal nevertheless struck a major chord with the youth market, and he became a mainstream
anti-hero on the strength of a masterfully orchestrated marketing campaign, much to the chagrin of conservative
politicians and concerned parents. Such attention pushed many of his songs -- including "The Dope Show," "The
Beautiful People," and a cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" -- into the upper reaches of
the modern rock charts during his heyday.
Born Brian Warner, Manson was raised in Canton, Ohio. At the age of 18, he relocated to Tampa Bay, Florida, where
he worked as a music journalist. In 1989, he became friends with guitarist and fellow outsider Scott Mitchell; the
two soon decided to form a band, with Mitchell rechristening himself Daisy Berkowitz and Warner adopting the name
Marilyn Manson. With the addition of bassist Gidget Gein and keyboardist Madonna Wayne-Gacy, the group --
originally dubbed Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids -- began self-releasing cassettes and playing gigs, their gothic
stage show notable for Manson's elaborate makeup and homemade special effects. Jettisoning their drum machine in
favor of one Sara Lee Lucas, the band's sound began taking on a harder edge, and by 1992 they were among the most
popular acts in the south Florida area. In 1993, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor came calling, offering both a
contract with his Nothing Records label as well as the chance to open for NIN the following spring; Manson accepted
both offers, and the group's debut LP, Portrait of an American Family, appeared during the summer of 1994. With new
bassist Twiggy Ramirez replacing Gein, the group's notoriety began to soar. Most infamously, during an appearance
in Salt Lake City, Manson ripped apart a copy of the Book of Mormon while on-stage. The Church of Satan's founder,
Anton LaVey, also bestowed upon him the title of "Reverend."
While some onlookers dismissed Manson's behavior as crass audience manipulation, his cult following -- comprised
almost entirely of disaffected white suburban teens -- continued to swell, and the band broke into the mainstream
with the release of 1995's Smells Like Children EP, propelled by their hit cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams
(Are Made of This)." Berkowitz quit a short time later and was replaced by guitarist Zim Zum, and the revised group
saw their next LP, 1996's Antichrist Superstar, debut at the number three spot on the pop album charts. As Manson's
popularity grew, so did the furor surrounding him. His concerts were regularly picketed by civic groups, and his
music was the subject of widespread attacks from the right-wing and religious fronts. Again, however, his quick
embrace of the media spotlight called into question the true sincerity of his revolutionary aims. With a cover
story in Rolling Stone and the timely release of a best-selling autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, some
onlookers doubted whether Manson had sold his soul to Satan, or just sold his soul, period. The glam-inspired
Mechanical Animals followed in 1998, with the resulting tour yielding the live Last Tour on Earth a year later.
Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) came out at the end of 2000, and the band toured to support the
album in 2001. During a July show in Michigan, Manson was charged with criminal sexual conduct after performing an
alleged offensive act on a security guard. Another charge followed before the year's end, when an additional
security guard filed a civil suit alleging that Manson had rubbed his pelvis on the guard's head. Manson's version
of "Tainted Love" appeared on the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack that December, and the July 2001 sexual conduct
charges were lowered to a misdemeanor one month later. The civil suit was dropped soon after.
May 2003 saw the release of The Golden Age of Grotesque, which spent a week atop the album charts and ended up on
several critics' year-end Top Ten lists. The following year, former member Daisy Berkowitz released Lunch Boxes &
Choklit Cows, a compilation of demos and unreleased tracks that was credited to Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids.
Berkowitz had obtained the rights to the material in a lawsuit against Manson, who subsequently fought the release
and court-ordered some artwork to be removed. At the end of September, Manson released his own compilation, a
greatest-hits affair titled Lest We Forget. The collection covered the highlights of Manson's career and included a
new cover version of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," whose success helped push the album to gold status in
Late in 2005, the band announced that a new album was nearly finished; however, it wasn't until 2007 that Eat Me,
Drink Me was released. The record was largely written, performed, and produced by Manson and guitarist/bassist Tim
Skold, who left Marilyn Manson's lineup shortly thereafter and was replaced by returning member Twiggy Ramirez.
Manson and Ramirez then began writing material for the band's seventh studio album, The High End of Low, which
arrived in spring 2009.
In 2011, during preparation for the release of the band's eighth studio album, drummer Ginger Fish announced he had
left the group. Later that same year, Manson premiered a short film in support of the album titled Born Villain.
The film, directed by actor Shia La Beouf, was not a music video for a specific track, but a a stand-alone short.
The album Born Villain, featuring the single, "No Reflection" was released in 2012.
Album Review - from allmusic
With their eighth studio album, Born Villain, Marilyn Manson return from the depths of their mid-2000s limbo with
almost an hour of the type of evil industrial and glam-infused metal they made their name on in their earliest
days. While the band's blazingly controversial public profile died down tremendously since their late-'90s heyday,
legions of devoted fans followed them through the next decade's bevy of changes. The departure of founding member
Twiggy Ramirez coincided with a few of the band's weakest albums, and even his return to the fold on 2009's The
High End of Low couldn't redeem a substandard record from what seemed like a flailing band past its prime. Born
Villain sheds some of the more introspective leanings of prior offerings and accentuates all the throbbing rhythms,
metallic guitars, and bilious disgust that defined the band's best work. Lead single "No Reflection" screams
"comeback," with Manson channeling a Sisters of Mercy vocal over the sinister pulse of the verses before huge
choruses explode in darkly catchy bursts. "Children of Cain" draws again on the later-period Bowie influence that
defined much of the band's glammy Mechanical Animals album, and an unlisted cover of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain"
turns the FM staple into a gruesomely churning romp. Moments like these are the aural equivalent of a knowing smirk
from the band, acknowledging that even the princes of darkness might have a lighter side. "Lay Down Your Goddamn
Arms" finds the band working in a curiously grunge-tinged mode, with sludgy riffs meeting huge distortedly melodic
choruses that would fit in nicely with Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden. All of these songs find Manson himself in
typically depraved form, with lyrical content as sexually, morally, and socially devious as it's been since 2000's
devilish Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death). "Pistol Whipped" tells a tale in great detail of a
sadomasochistic relationship and song titles like "Murderers Are Getting Prettier Every Day" speak for themselves.
Even while Born Villain is a return to form for the band, the album becomes tedious at right about the halfway
mark. The songs are overly long and all rely on similar dynamics to propel their crunchy angst. Though sounding
inspired and sonically rejuvenated in its best moments, as the album wears on one gets the sense of a band trying a
little too hard to revisit its former glory. Without remaking "The Beautiful People," there's still a feeling that
they're reaching to remember how to make a Marilyn Manson record and put the purgatory of their past few efforts
behind them. All told, Born Villain is as valiant and exciting an effort as the group has come up with in years.
While not reaching the dizzying heights of Marilyn Manson's early material, it suggests a band getting its legs
back after a long period out to sea, and could lead the way to even brighter future wickedness.
1. Hey, Cruel World
2. No Reflection
3. Pistol Whipped
4. Overneath the Path of Misery
6. The Gardener
7. The Flowers of Evil
8. Children of Cain
10. Lay Down Your Goddamn Arms
11. Murders Are Getting Prettier Every Day
12. Born Villain
13. Breaking the Same Old Ground
14. You're So Vain