Destination Jam: Our Top 5 Marilyn Manson songs pay tribute to the shock rocker's eccentric brilliance
Need something to keep you entertained while at work or play? Our daily Destination Jam playlist has been fine-tuned with some great selections!
Hello there, music lovers. On the morning of July 29, Marilyn Manson, who is well known for his controversial rock songs, gothic makeup, and unsettling love for all things morbid and macabre, threw fans for a loop when he unveiled his latest song 'We Are Chaos'. This new release serves as the title track for the shock rocker's upcoming studio album 'We Are Chaos' which releases on September 11 (of course he chose that infamous date).
Speaking about the upcoming album, Manson remarked "Making this record, I had to think to myself: ‘Tame your crazy, stitch your suit. And try to pretend that you are not an animal,’ but I knew that mankind is the worst of them all. Making mercy is like making murder. Tears are the human body’s largest export.”
However, it seems the 'Disposable Teens' singer has recently embarked on a new sonic direction, as the new song doesn't really sound anything like his earlier signature material. It still bears the typical Marilyn Manson hallmarks, being moody, cynical, dark, and atmospheric, but it's also distinctively softer and mellower in tone as well. This might be because it's been produced in collaboration with the outlaw country star Shooter Jennings, but we'll have to wait and see if the entire album features this revamped sound. For now, let's celebrate Marilyn Manson's latest release and musical evolution with a crunching DJ playlist of some of his best tracks. Even though he's done some stellar covers over the years like 'Sweet Dreams', 'Tainted Love' and 'Personal Jesus', we've decided to feature some of his incredible originals today.
'The Beautiful People'
One of Marilyn Manson's best-known songs, this unnerving track was released in 1996 as the lead single from the band's second studio album 'Antichrist Superstar'. It was also co-produced by some well-known stars like Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Dave "Rave" Ogilvie (Skinny Puppy). The track is well known for its iconic intro section, which features some relentless drum machine-like beats and jagged power chords that announce their arrival with authority.
The title actually came from Marilyn Bender's 1967 book 'The Beautiful People', which explored scandals within the jet-set culture and lifestyle of the 1960s. There are plenty of cerebral themes present too, as Manson's lyrics allude to both Nietzschean philosophy and Social Darwinism, with lyrics like "There's no time to discriminate/Hate every mother****er that's in your way," and "It's not your fault that you're always wrong/The weak ones are there to justify the strong," as well as "Capitalism has made it this way/Old-fashioned fascism will take it away."
Another barnstorming number that comes out all guns blazing, this pummeling song has featured on many fight club and gym workout playlists over the years. It was first released in 2001 as the second single from Marilyn Manson's album, 'Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)' and features defiant lines like "I'm not a slave to a god that doesn't exist."
Interestingly, the rocker wrote this song as a commentary on high school and football team anthems, aka fight songs, drawing attention to the fact that mainstream America tended to glorify violence amongst its youth. Even today, American football can be a notoriously brutal and vicious sport. Timeless lyrics like “Isolation is the oxygen mask / You make your children breathe in to survive” also had fans scratching their heads recently and wondering, did Marilyn Manson perhaps predict the coronavirus pandemic?
While this track is not one of Marilyn Manson's well-known hits, it deserves a spot on this list for just how savage and brilliant it sounds. It comes in as the last epic song on the 'Antichrist Superstar' album in 1996, which was a rock opera concept album about the rise and fall of a rockstar. The stonking intro begins with some morbid imagery, as the seething rocker declares "Your world is an ashtray / We burn and coil like cigarettes / The more you cry your ashes turn to mud."
The song's nihilistic and Nietzschean themes are examined further when the song explodes into a dazzling, demented declaration that god was dead, and that the narrator was in fact, god himself — "I went to god just to see, and I was looking at me / Saw heaven and hell were lies / When I'm god everybody dies." Special mention goes for the insanely powerful chorus too, where Manson spews forth a visceral outburst of "Scar, scar, can you feel my power? / One shot and the world gets smaller."
'This Is The New S**t'
This song was released as the second single from Manson's fifth studio album 'The Golden Age of Grotesque' in 2003. Another prized gem in Marilyn Manson's arsenal of hits, it was cleverly stylized in a rather prescient way as 'This Is The New Hit' (alternate version) when it first came out. The energetic song features the songwriting talents of the elite guitarist John 5 as well as the Swedish musician Tim Sköld, with the latter sharing co-production honors with Manson.
The track was a well-timed reinvention for Marilyn Manson, featuring some industrial beats as well as some incredibly well-rapped lyrics, which come after the lines: "Everything has been said before / There's nothing left to say anymore / When it's all the same / You can ask for it by name." Commenting on the lyrics, Manson remarked, "I wanted to address the simple absurdity of saying 'This Is the New S***'... it's the most bitter, sardonic stab at anyone who would listen to the song unless you get that, and therein lies the beauty."
'We Are Chaos'
Let's wrap up with this playlist with Marilyn Manson's brand-new song, which was co-produced with the outlaw country star Shooter Jennings. The relatively mellow and jangly yet dark and moody track came as a complete curveball for fans who are used to his usual brand of stomping, grisly shock rock. 'We Are Chaos' was unveiled on the morning of July 29 as the new single and title track from the singer's upcoming studio album 'We Are Chaos', which releases on September 11.
The unsettling video is still trending on YouTube, and shows Manson as a pill that slowly gets absorbed into a severed tongue, as the pointed lyrics declare — "If you say that we're ill / Just give us your pill / Hope we'll just go away / But once you've inhaled death / Everything else is perfume." Elsewhere in the video, we see a legion of Marilyn Manson clones, as the deadpan lyrics comment on the human condition — "We are sick, fucked up and complicated / We are chaos, we can't be cured." If this new sound is a taste of what his latest album has to offer, fans are certainly in for an interesting listen.
Destination Jam is a daily list of songs that will keep you entertained and grooving up top in lieu of feeling drained and losing the plot. Look out for a fresh selection of great tunes from MEAWW to refresh your mood every day!