Wednesday, February 23, 2011

JDIZZY's 365 # 290: The Speed Of Pain

The Speed Of Pain - Marilyn Manson (1998)

And with only 75 songs to go, the 365 champions a fallen hero. For many of us, he was the artist that separated the boys from the men. When you were a fan of Marilyn Manson, you were going to be questioned by certain members of society for your taste, aplomb and sanity. He first grabbed our attention on his Trent Reznor-produced debut, which made us think about the boat ride in Willy Wonka a whole lot differently. Then, with a crackpot video and a mesmerizing delivery, he made us remember how cool The Eurythmics were. Antichrist Superstar re-kindled the nation's fear of rock and roll and sparked our generation's continuing love of concept albums.

Yet when he embraced his inner Bowie and swaggered off of a spaceship to a glam rock soundtrack, that was when he truly floored us. Every track on Mechanical Animals stands up to Ziggy, Tommy and Pink's gilded lists. Manson was looking back, but taking us all light year's ahead of what the grunge years and the Alternative Nation had told us was to come.

And then two kids in Colorado ruined his career. His album sales waned more and more with each successive release, even if the quality didn't. His radar dropped deeper out of popular culture. To some people, he is now simply the creepy older guy that Evan Rachel Wood almost married, or for the modern pop connoisseur, the strange voice heard on a Lady Gaga remix.

But we remember, don't we? We recall how Mechanical Animals made us feel alive right before the first decade of the 21st century reared its twisted and gnarly head. Although its been on the shelves for almost thirteen years now, it still has the power we always knew it did.

And it will find itself a new audience. Classics always do.

I have a Pandora station dedicated to this group!

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