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Marilyn Manson Lest We Forget: Best Of CD/ Bonus DVD

By Amber Morrison, Contributor
Thursday, November 4, 2004 @ 10:56 PM


(Interscope)

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Lest We Forget? Not a chance!

In 1994, the Christians and the conservatives in this country were ready for their onslaught of redneck values. Down in the state of Florida, a young musician/artist by the name of Brian Warner, on his way to becoming the most controversial artist of the ‘90s, is set to counter their hypocrisy and give America a cultural enema courtesy of his band Marilyn Manson.

Marilyn Manson and The Spooky Kids, as they were known at the time as, was discovered by Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor. Manson celebrates his ten years with a release of a best of CD/DVD retrospect called Lest We Forget.

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His 1994 debut, Portrait of an American Family, chronicles his life growing up as a so-called misfit and his views on American society. The first ever single of "Get Your Gunn" showcases the fact by reading the lyrics that Manson had no plans on being very politically correct. "I eat innocent meat, the housewife I will beat, the pro-life I will kill." The song blatantly pokes fun of all the religious idiots who get life lessons from shows like the 700 Club. His second single, the autobiographical "Lunchbox," details his school days: the legendary story of him bringing a lunch box to school of rock icons KISS and being harassed by the Christians for worshiping the devil. Manson, unfaded by it all and refusing to follow the heard like sheep, goes on to be the big rock star.

The 1996 release of his second album, Antichrist Superstar, would bring Manson to the mainstream and the center of controversy not seen in the hard rock/metal community since the days of Ozzy Osbourne. Suddenly politicians began election year with moral crusades, preachers in churches were doing sermons on the evils of rock music, and wild rumors ran rapid, ie. he kills children before concerts or had his ribs removed to give himself oral sex. In the middle of all this insanity, Manson had a huge year with a platinum album thanks to hits like "Beautiful People" and "Tourniquet" and a widely successful sold-out tour marred by politicians trying to ban shows and insane religious protesters.

1998's Mechanical Animals was a first for Manson. The album was their first to hit number one, thanks to singles like "The Dope Show" and "Rock Is Dead." Another first was a significant departure in sound and look. The look was a tribute to ‘70s-era glam bands such as Ziggy Stardust and The New York Dolls.

How could we start a new millennium without new music by Uncle Marilyn? Fortunately we didn't have to find out, Manson's fourth effort, Holywood (In the Shadow of the Valley of the Death), and the concluding album in his trilogy that began with Antichrist, sees the return to the goth look and sound. "The Love Song" is a response to all the bullshit criticism of the Columbine massacre in which Manson was blamed for. Like a typical conservative, the tragedy was used to further their causes of forced prayer in school and putting a gun into the hand of every American instead of compiling facts. Turns out that the killers weren't even fans of Manson's music, *gasp* how could conservatives be wrong? This had to be the saddest era for common sense ever seen in history, but what do you expect with the likes of Jerry Falwell and Joe Lieberman?

"The Nobodies," "The Fight Song" and "Disposable Teens" are three other tracks from Holywood that find their way to this ‘best of’ compilation. "Disposable Teens" can also be heard on The Blair Witch 2 soundtrack.

In 2003, Marilyn Manson once again goes into a new-more artsy direction with look and sound for his second number-one album, The Golden Age of Grotesque. With a burlesque/cabaret-like feel, no doubt thanks to his fiancee, fetish model goddess Dita Von Teese, songs like "mOBSCENE" and "This is the New Shit" makes you wonder how the film Moulin Rouge would have turned out had Manson been in charge.

Lest we forget that Manson has contributed to a few movie soundtracks and has done superior remakes. "Long Hard Road Out of Hell" showed up on the Spawn soundtrack and a remake of the classic "Tainted Love" courtesy of the spoof comedy Not Another Teen Movie. "Tainted Love" of course was a huge hit in 1981 by English Synth band Soft Cell. Few know that Soft Cell remade it themselves which was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964. One of my all time favorite songs, you can't go wrong with either version.

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is a remake of a 1983 song by The Eurythmics that first appeared on Manson's 1995 EP Smells Like Children. How much do you want to bet that the title alone got the right wings panties in a twist? The last remake is ironically the only new song to make the ‘best of’ CD is the 1989 classic of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus." If you've ever been to any club, then no doubt you've heard this song. The late, great Johnny Cash covered this song on his final album and industrial/metal band Lollipop Lust Kill has also done a version of this classic.

The DVD portion contains the entire Marilyn Manson video history. Manson, has a knack for making some of the most visually vivid videos. All videos are uncensored starting with the artistically driven 2003 videos "mOBSCENE" and "This Is The New Shit". Two extremely sexy videos, "mOBSCENE" featuring Dita Von Teese dancing in a giant champagne glass with the band in a theater setting ans rockette style dancers. "This is the New Shit" sees a concert performance which looks to be set in 1930-40s era Europe and shows the band backstage getting ready while being mobbed by several fishnet stocking wearing beauties. Band members are quite happy in their pre-show ritual and check out Manson's foot fetish.

Religious images dominate "Disposable Teens." With Manson dressed as the Pope and already giving Jesus freaks heart attacks, the line in the song "the more you fear us, the bigger we get" fits so appropriately. "The Fight Song" is easily my favorite video of the video catalog, which showcases a high school football game between the Holywood Preps and the Death Valley Goths. Just as the case in any football game, there are a bevy of beautiful cheerleaders on the sidelines, both preppy and Gothic, and the marching band which is being played by Marilyn Manson. The last of the Holywood videos is "The Nobodies," featuring some oddities set to a elegant background.

The topic of record company gimmicks is the theme in the video for "The Dope Show." America’s obsession with television is the topic for "I Don't Like The Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)” starts off with Manson being crucified to television sets that are shaped like a cross. Manson escapes and is being chased by headless cops determined to crucify him once more. "Rock Is Dead" is a cool performance clip with the band on an elaborate stage with vivid lighting. With "Coma White," we get a history lesson of sorts. Manson along with then-girlfriend, the vivacious actress Rose McGowan, re-enacts the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Tragic images and scenery provides the background for this breath taking video.

"Long Hard Road Out of Hell" and "The Beautiful People" are a couple of videos filled with religious, gender-bending, sexual/sensual images -- yet look nothing alike. If you have a weak stomach you may want to look away during "Tourniquet," quite possibly one of the most disturbing clips of all time. "The Man That You Fear" has an old West setting that follows Manson en route to a death sentence by stoning. "Cryptorchid" is the only black and white video in the collection. Creepy, erie, apocalyptic just doesn't begin to describe this unique video.

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” doesn't really look too much like a sweet dream with all the body mutilation going on. "The Dope Hat" is a tribute to one of the greatest movies ever, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The video is a send-up of the river scene that has host Manson taking the children on a boat ride they'll never forget. Some of the things they see are dissections, vomiting, fruit with bugs in the middle, and Umpa Lumpa's covering bikini clad babes in syrup and whipped cream. "Lunchbox" is by far the most uneventful video in the collection. Last but not least is the video that started it all, "Get Your Gunn." In the video, you see two young girls who live in fear of their Dad, who on Sunday morning is the perfect father but is the typical piece of shit every other day. Portrait of an American family indeed!

There is also a uncensored video for "(s)AINT" that is hidden. I've looked for it and can't yet find it. The video was directed by Italian actress Asia Argento, best known to American fans as Vin Diesel's love interest in 2002's XXX and the daughter of famed horror director Dario Argento. If someone knows how to get to it, please let the rest of us in on it. Thanks!

Sadly, "Tainted Love" was omitted from the DVD, but you can find the uncensored version of it on the special feature section on the Not Another Teen Movie DVD. Lastly there is a photo gallery that is very much worth a look.

Overall this entire package is well worth the cash. Regardless what anyone thinks, Manson has left his mark on not only the music business but pop culture as well. Ten years later, people still scoff at the Alice Cooper comparisons. I like Alice's music yet he and Manson are nowhere anything alike. Cooper is a props performer and Manson is an art performer -- Carrot Top has ripped off Alice more then Manson has. If you still choose to think that, it's not your fault that you're always wrong.

What is next for Manson? He is working on a follow up to his 2003 number-one album he Golden Age of Grotesque. Other work includes films, will work with Asia Argento again, set to play the Queen of Hearts in the movie Living Neon Dreams, and rumored to be playing a pot smoking Jesus in a new George Romero movie -- how fitting! Has a planned wedding coming up with Dita and continues to do his artwork which can be seen on his album.

Whatever path he chooses-he'll do it his way.

www.marilynmansonartworkonline.com

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