NIN is quite possibly my all-time favorite band, so back in the mid-90s when Trent Reznor started promoting Marilyn Manson, I was intrigued. I know his main schtick during concerts was to slice his stomach/chest with pieces of glass and whatnot, leaving a lot of scars all over himself.
A friend of mine (and fellow NIN fan) encouraged me to listen to "Portrait of an American Family" and to this day I still consider it to be a great (not good, GREAT) album. When "Smells Like Children" was released we went and bought it and we both liked it, as well, as though it features quite a few remixes from "Portrait".
However, by that time Manson was starting to gain a major following and really started pushing the envelope, attempting to personify evil as much as he possibly could. I admit that I like some songs on Antichrist Superstar, but the album scared me, to be honest. The artwork in the CD jacket was disturbing, and it just really turned me off. I never bought another Manson album after that.
Doing research I discovered that the band was originally called "Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids" and that the band members all had mixed names of Hollywood icons and serial killers (Madonna Wayne Gacy, etc.)
I did attend a Manson concert in New Orleans in the late-90s and it really wasn't as bad as expected. Just a lot of freaks and I remember Manson wearing a thong corset and walking around on stilts and just putting on a freak show as best he could.
Anyway, I still rock out to my old Manson albums once in a while (the only 2 I still own are Portrait of an American Family and Smells Like Children.)
Portrait of an American family features a lot of the band's early work, and focuses mainly on kids rebelling against norms of society and deciding for themselves what they like, and rising up against bullies and fighting back. My favorite song is "Lunchbox" which basically is based around incidents where kids who were bullied were using metal lunchboxes to fight back. "Got my lunchbox and I'm armed real well..." is the main theme. "Cake and Sodomy," "Dope Hat," "Get Your Gun", and "Dogma" are other standouts on the album.
This post was edited on 5/3 at 7:29 pm