Back in the day, when this place was crawling with forums and chats about random acts of music, we used to poll ourselves to see which release by an artist not only set them atop of the industry but stapled them in as musical gods.
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.
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 and religious 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.
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 stand-alone short. The album Born Villain, featuring the single, “No Reflection” was released in 2012. He has already been on tour earlier this year, and will finish the year out with another tour with Rob Zombie.
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