In celebration of the continued brilliance of the self-styled God Of Fuck himself, we’ve ranked Marilyn Manson’s albums in order of dark, depraved greatness.
19. ‘Born Villain’ (2012)
9. ‘Born Villain’ (2012): By the time Manson’s eighth album was released, there were plenty who had written him off. There wasn’t much on ‘Born Villain’ to change those people’s minds. The likes of ‘Slo-Mo-Tion’ and ‘The Flowers Of Evil’ felt oddly like Manson was going through the motions. For an man who had shocked for so long, it didn’t reach his normal standards of noir-rock antagonism.
28. ‘The Golden Age Of Grotesque’ (2003)
8. ‘The Golden Age Of Grotesque’ (2003): Inspired by the Weimar Republic era of pre-Nazi Germany, this was Manson’s first post-9/11 release. Prior to the attacks on the Twin Towers, Manson was an establishment hate figure; to some, the most frightening person in America. Those events, and George W Bush’s subsequent terrifying neo-conservatism, gave perspective to Manson’s shtick.
37. ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ (2007)
7. ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’ (2007): Manson was finding a new place in the world with his sixth album. There are no songs about God or governments here, which is fine, but the lack of any decent choruses make that absence all the more apparent. As NME’s review stated, Manson was reaching out beyond the Download faithful with this record, but in doing so, he didn’t really satisfy anyone.
46. ‘Portrait Of An American Family’ (1994)
6. ‘Portrait Of An American Family’ (1994): On his debut, Manson was attempting to mesh the vibe of low-budget horror films, the theatrics of Alice Cooper and the industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails (whose frontman Trent Reznor produced the album). He succeeded to a degree, but it’s an acquired taste. Listening back to the likes of ‘Cake & Sodomy’ and ‘Dogma’, it hasn’t aged well.
55. ‘The High End Of Low’ (2009)
5. ‘The High End Of Low’ (2009): There was nothing new in terms of themes tackled; violence, pain and politics, but something about Twiggy’s return (Ramirez had left the band in 2002), or perhaps Manson’s divorce from burlesque star Dita Von Teese in 2007, gave an energy and menace to the likes of ‘Running To The Edge Of The World’ and ‘Pretty As A Swastika’ that hadn’t been heard in years.
64. ‘The Pale Emperor’ (2015)
4. ‘The Pale Emperor’ (2015): Just when we thought Manson was out of ideas came his ninth album, brimming with ideas. ‘Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge’ and ‘Slave Only Dreams To Be King’ revealed a bit more about real Manson that had been lurking all along, and in doing so, sounded darker than he had done in years.
73. ‘Mechanical Animals’ (1998)
3. ‘Mechanical Animals’ (1998): The second of an eventual trilogy, it links ‘Holy Wood…’ and ‘Antichrist Superstar’ and sees Manson take on the role of both drug-addled glam rocker and Omēga, the gender neutral alien that adorns the controversial cover. Eventually, the alien is captured and forced to join the titular band. It’s nihilistic, satirical, ironic and full of brilliant tunes.
82. ‘Antichrist Superstar’ (1997)
2. ‘Antichrist Superstar’ (1997)
Manson’s second album made him a household name around the world. ‘The Beautiful People’ was the first single, followed by ‘Tourniquet’, ‘Cryptorchild’, ‘Antichrist Superstar’ and the fittingly titled ‘Man That You Fear’. The fact the songs had conservative America running scared overshadowed the fact that this is a brilliant album.
91. ‘Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death)’ (2000)
1. ‘Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death)’ (2000)
Manson left behind glam rock and returned to the more industrial sounds he’d tried out on ‘Portrait Of An American Family’. Only this time around he had the skills to pull it off. Lyrically it’s a savage mauling of mainstream culture, still relevant 15 years on. It’s still Manson’s biggest-selling album, and easily his best.