Marilyn Manson/Lest We Forget: The Best Of

Lest We Forget: The Best of

Marilyn Manson is an American Industrial metal band founded by Brian Warner and Scott Putesky in the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The band was formed in 1989 as Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids. The band’s uniquely theatrical performances gathered a local cult following in the early 90’s, that subsequently developed into a worldwide fan base. The band’s lineup almost always changes between album releases. The current members of the band are the eponymous lead singer Marilyn Manson, bassist/guitarist Twiggy Ramirez, drummer Ginger Fish, keyboardist Chris Vrenna and the live bassist Andy Gerold.

The band is one of modern music’s most controversial, due largely to frequent clashes with religious and political figures. The name of each band member was originally created by combining the first name of an iconic female sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe, and the last name of an iconic serial killer, Charles Manson, doing so to demonstrate the odd dichotomy of society (American society, in particular). The members of the band dress in outlandish makeup and costumes, and have engaged in intentionally shocking behavior both onstage and off. Their lyrics often receive criticism for their anti-religious sentiment and their references to sex, violence and drugs. Marilyn Manson’s music and performances have frequently been called offensive and obscene, and, on several occasions, protests and petitions have led to the group being banned from performing.

As this controversy began to wane, so did the band’s mainstream popularity. Despite this, Marilyn Manson has garnered much success: three of the band’s albums have been awarded platinum certification, three more have been awarded gold, and the band has seen four of its releases debut in the top ten, including two number-one albums. VH1 has ranked Marilyn Manson as the seventy-eighth best rock band on their 100 Great Artists of Hard Rock.

The Love Song—-This song for me has always been a triumph…combining the drawn out and lazy vocal of Manson with an abrasive Industrial style chorus allows Manson to magically switch from persona to persona. At times the song is really pleasant…at other times it becomes abrasive enough to scrub your toilet with…I know the popularity of this band has rapidly declined…I remain a fan…Manson can still crank out some really great brutal Industrial styled beats and screams.

Personal Jesus—-The idea to cover this song was literally…genius. Manson takes this song and turns it into a personal rant that falls into the scope of his catalog perfectly. the beats are much larger and abrasive…the vocal at times damn right scary and demented. This is a high point….a brilliant cover!!!

mOBSCENE—-I clearly remember the anticipation of this single…Manson had been gone from the music scene for a while and the hype was incredible. This hearkens back to the early days of the band…the huge chorus with multiple voices attending…designed to hype you and energize. This was a fine return to form. The music is large…the band always manages to create a huge sound with their instruments. This is stellar.

The Fight Song—-With a nice diving guitar intro that would fit in perfectly on any Metal Mix CD, the change and separation is only when the vocal enters. The voice is tortured and driving..the lyrics are so vivid they appear in your brain with color. This is much more straight forward Metal, losing much of the Industrialized sound the band began with. None the less, this still manages to stay true to the Manson sound. I love this…huge energy, intense anger and a damn nice melody running underneath it all.

Tainted Love—-I’m sure this cover idea looked good on paper…for me the mastery that I expected never really surfaced. It is hard to do justice to such a classic song and Manson adds little new or variation to the original.

The Dope Show—-With a low, sexy blues tainted edge to the song, this is a love song to the mass amounts of drugs this band has enjoyed. this has a remarkable burlesque edge to it that falls into your brain and refuses to leave it alone for a while. this was remarkable for me, although much of the release was a waste of time. This remains a triumph.

This Is The New Shit—-Returning to a much more industrialized sound, the song is loaded with abrasive effects and loud interludes of noise. Manson delivers what can only be described as a rant to the world as he introduces his new era of Industrial Metal to the world. This is energetic, mechanical and fantastic….all in one breath!

Disposable Teens—-Delivering another almost blues inspired rant to the very audience that snaps up his records, Manson speaks to the alienation and disgust Teens feel with the world today. Most people would find this to be a meaningless diatribe…to me it speaks to the very removed feelings that many of todays youths deal with. This is a triumph.

Sweet Dreams [Are Made Of This]—-Te most successful of the Manson covers, this song was really one that set the world on fire with the imagery and angst of the band. This is a remarkable well done re-rendition of this 80’s classic. I never tire of hearing this. the huge Industrial sounds are magnificent and along with Reznor helped to really move the idea of Industrial music to the fore-front of society and popular music. This is Manson at his best!

Lunchbox—-One of the first proper singles from the band and still one of the hallmarks of the Manson sound, this still sounds fresh and exciting to me today. This is basic and raw Industrial Dance music that set the underground on fire when it first surfaced in darker clubs around the country. Combine the sound with the imagery of Manson & Co. and you have the recipe that is required to shock a world in motion. this still has a remarkable melody line that runs thru the underbelly of the song and sets my mind on fire…this will stay with you for a bit…Trust!

Tourniquet—-From the literally huge Anti-Christ Superstar, this song remains a favorite of mine and one on my constant playlist. This combines the best of the Industrial sound that the band delivered combined with a vocal that is one for the history books. This is brilliant…moving through different moods and movements…when the song lets loose you are in aggressive music heaven. The remarkable thing is that this still sounds new and invigorating…standing the test of time very well. This is incredible.

Rock Is Dead—-Travelling forward in time, this again finds Manson in his ‘burlesque’ period where every song he produced seemed to be designed for strippers and bars that catered to that type of stuff. This is a bit to mainstream for me…delivering Manson to a wider different audience. Still, the line that proclaims God Is In The TV remains one of my favorite Manson rants.

Get Your Gunn—-And then going back in time again……this finds Manson at the onset of his career when the energy was there, the anger was real and the drug use was not as prevalent. this is another anger driven rant that inspires the disenfranchised to wrap their arms around this band and love them with all of their might. this is still incredible and sounds incredibly fresh to me all of these years later. This is aggressive and full of rather real sentiments.

The Nobodies—-Continuing in the stream of the disenfranchised, Manson really knew who his audience was and wrote just for them. This is acceptable and has a really great chorus, but to me the melody line seems stolen from somewhere and falls a bit flat for me…I love the energy and the abrasive sound, but this seems old now.

Long Hard Road Out Of Hell—-Much more synth stylized at the onset, this track takes a bit of time to get going. Manson delivers that low and sexy growl of his…a chorus of voices join him…sounding like an updared KMFDM. When this track really does kick into gear it has some really shiny, brutal moments of angst and anger. This is great, but still sounds a bit dated and like the band was trying to hard to fit into a certain ‘sound’.

The Beautiful People—-For me, one of the most aggressive and telling songs the band ever produced. This is pure angry rant against all things that society views as acceptable. Manson delivers a vocal that is almost demonic…this is incredible…still sounding as fresh and important as it was when it first appeared. This release…..Antichrist Superstar…..was a huge, stellar release that will live on forever….as it should!!!

The Reflecting God—-Also from Antichrist, this really was one of the focal points of this magnificent release. Manson sounds literally driven by his own demons at times…this is remarkable. Combining a nice mix of electronic sounds and pure brutal guitars. When the ‘chorus’ kicks in and Marilyn delivers his tirade full of effects and magic microphones you can not help but feel a bit angry and disenfranchised…this is brilliant!!!

****3/4 out of 5


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