music / Columns

The Savage Animal 10.31.12: Top 13 Marilyn Manson Covers

October 31, 2012 | Posted by Mikey MiGo

I had really mixed feeling going into this Pay Per View. Maybe it’s just me, but wrestling is really boring lately. There is not much to it that really makes me want to watch or pay attention week to week. I’m a fan of a few of the wrestlers and performers, but the story structure and the overabundance of filler content makes it unbearable. Still, a lifelong wrestling fan can sometimes shut off all logic and remember “It’s a wrestling PPV! Dudes are fighting in a giant cage!” Basically, you have to dig into the toy box of your inner child and just be wide eyed and optimistic. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy the entire three hour show, but there had to be some stuff that entertained me… right? Right?! Right?!

Not really. There was very little about this three hour show that I can honestly say I was into. It just wasn’t that good. Orton and Del Rio had an okay match, the Tag Titles match was okay despite the shitty ending, and Antonio Cesaro and Justin Gabriel was okay despite the odd card placement. These matches were “okay” at best. They weren’t bad at all, but no one is going to care about these matches a few months down the line. The Divas Title match was bad news and the random Rey/Cara vs. Prime Time Players match was filler. Nothing here was really that “rewatchable”, but there is some stuff worth mentioning.

Kofi and Miz had another good match. They’ve had a good series back and forth and I appreciate the elevation of the Intercontinental Title. Sadly, this may have been the weakest of the handful of good matches they’ve had. I like that it wasn’t like their other matches, but it still wasn’t enough to save the PPV for me.

It’s sad to say this, but the Big Show was involved in the best match of the night. I had no expectations in Big Show and Sheamus. I didn’t want to see it at all, but was mildly excited because for some reason I expected it to be in a Cell. It was NOT. Instead they had a nice normal match were Big Show got the win and is the NEW Champion. And it’s a clean win! This should have been in a Cell too and it should have been last. Especially if they were going to insult us with the bullshit they put on.

The main event Hell In A Cell was crap. The match was really underwhelming. The crowd’s lack of energy tells the most interesting story of the night. It just didn’t feel like the crowd wanted to see Ryback win, but they did want to see Punk get beat up. It just didn’t mesh well. The cheap ending was lame. It wasn’t even cool in a “the bad guy sneaks another one in” kind of way. It was anti-climactic and made the customer feel like they got ripped off. I don’t think anyone was left shaking their fist at CM Punk saying “that jerk!” at the end, but I think everyone was shaking their head in disgust by the bullshit they gave us. This could very well be the worst WWE Pay Per View I’ve seen in recent memory. Why are we watching this shit again?


Covered By The Antichirst! Marilyn Manson is an artist. If you don’t like him it’s because he touched a hypocritical nerve or you just have no taste in quality. He’s known to the mainstream culture of over protective parents, righteous douchebags, and the uninformed media as a “shock rocker”. There is nothing “shocking” about holding a mirror up for everyone to see themselves. He has utilized theatrics and the macabre to express himself, entertain millions, and rock the fuck out.

Obviously I’m a fan. I can understand how some of his antics can be “tongue-in-cheek”. I’m sure to some teenagers and some folks they see Manson in the same way people my age saw an Alice Cooper. As much as I love me some Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson brings a poetic and literate verbiage that is really slept on. Yes, there ARE lyrics that can be pin pointed and smirked at but the grand picture of his lyrical work is on a level that I’d place with and in some cases above the so called “rock and roll legends”.

I can sit here and babble on about my fan boy love for Manson all day. I’ll spare you. If you’re this far then odds are you’re a fan at least on some level. For all the awesome stuff that Manson has brought to the table, we have to remember he’s a fan boy just like us. I’m sure Manson is the biggest Manson fan boy out there, but over the years he has proven to be a huge fan of certain bands, styles, and songs.

He is not shy to show it. Going back to the Spooky Kid days, Manson has put out a plethora of cover songs. I won’t lie and say I loved them all, but the dude has put out some kick ass tracks. A few of his bigger hits are covers of songs he wanted to re-do or show homage to. At the same time, Manson has snuck in some hidden gems over the years in the guise of random covers.

Today I’m going to take a look at my picks for Marilyn Manson’s top thirteen cover songs.

Off the bat I’ll eliminate a few. I agree with Trent Reznor, Manson’s cover of “Personal Jesus” was a bit too close to the original. It was like karaoke. Good karaoke, but karaoke nonetheless. That is the most I’ve used the word “karaoke” in a long time. Other notable covers I wasn’t feeling include their “This is Halloween” cover for the re-release of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, I never dug any version of “Rock and Roll Nigger” at all, and the “Working Class Hero”, “Surrender”, and “Highway to Hell” drops weren’t up to par with what I’m going with on my list. Let’s get to it…

—–[13 : “A Rose and a Baby Ruth”

Original by: John D. Loudermilk
Release: The Last Tour on Earth(UK Import), 1999

In the 1950’s John D. Loudermilk released the original, but George Hamilton’s version is the one that would gain more attention. Manson’s version is more like a cover of a cover. It has that 1950’s “teenage heartbreak” croon to it and Manson tears it up. It was recorded for shits and giggles during the Mechanical Animals sessions, but it didn’t show up until the 1999 on the bonus disc of The Last Tour on Earth’s UK version. This is a really fun song. Why hide it on an import?

—–[12 : “Down in the Park”

Original by:
Release: Lunchbox(CD Single), 1995

I had never heard the original, but in the mid 90’s I listened to Manson’s version at least four billion times. It was originally recorded in 1979 by a group called Tubeway Army. Manson’s cover came out on the CD single for “Lunchbox” in 1995. This is just a staple in Manson-dom.

—–[11 : “Tainted Love”

Original by: Soft Cell
Release: ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ Soundtrack, 2001

I considered not including this. The original came out back in the day, but the 1981 Soft Cell cover was the big one. It made it high on the charts and became the band’s biggest hit. I didn’t think that much of it before. For some reason it always left a bad taste in my mouth. It just didn’t feel that inspired at the time. Now I listen to it and watch the video and I’m thoroughly entertained. The song is fun and doesn’t take itself seriously, but goes in some really cool directions that otherwise would have been a bland rehash. It’s a good cover and the video is one of the best movie-tie in cross overs I can think of at this time.

—–[10 : “Alabama Song”

Original by: Kurt Weill
Release: Grotesk Burlesk Tour, 2003

I could have sworn I’ve seen this performed more than once, but it was for sure performed on April 11th, 2003 in Berlin, Germany. The original was actually by Kurt Weill in the 1920’s, but over the years it has been covered many times over. The most renowned cover of this is most definitely by The Doors. Still, Manson brings his personal touch to this like anything else. The imagery he had during this Grotesk Burlesk tour matched up to the prohibition imagery we’re painted with the drunkenly cheerful lyrics about boozing it up and losing children.

—–[9 : “Redeemer”

Original by: Jonathan Davis
Release: ‘Queen of the Damned’ Soundtrack, 2002

This has to be the most evil song you’ll want to snap your fingers a long to. It just has that old Rat-Pack swagger and bounce to it. Maybe I’m just weird. I’m a big fan of this movie’s soundtrack, even more than the movie itself. Jonathan Davis was the man to put it all together and write the songs for the movie, but due to contract issues and record labels being record labels they couldn’t release a soundtrack. This was no good to Davis or the producers. Davis then enlisted in the help of friends from other popular bands to come in and record their own vocals. This included Wayne Static, Jay Gordon, and Marilyn Manson among others. Manson took the task of recording “Redeemer”. It’s enjoyable and I wish Manson would have gotten to “own” it more or even if he and Davis put it out together with joint vocals.

—–[8 : “You’re So Vain”

Original by: Carly Simon
Release: Born Villain, 2012

Carly Simon released the song in 1972 to pretty big acclaim. Others would go on to cover it or “sample” it over the years. Manson’s cover came during the most recent album. The music is credited to Bruce Witkin on bass and keyboard while this dude named JOHNNY DEPP is on guitar and drums. The song is basically about an asshole that Carly Simon seemed pretty hateful towards. This cover is a fun one and is a pleasant surprise on a pretty damn good album.

—–[7 : “Golden Years”

Original by: David Bowie
Release: ‘Dead Man On Campus‘ Soundtrack, 1998

“Golden Years” seems like one of the mid-level greatest hits in David Bowie’s catalogue. That’s basically just saying it’s not as “famous” or as celebrated as a “Space Oddity”, a “Fame”, or a “Changes”. That said, I love “Golden Years”. It’s been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember knowing who David Bowie is. Manson recorded a really sweet cover of it in the mid 90’s during the Antichrist Superstars sessions. It would get dusted off in 1998 for the underrated soundtrack to the underrated film “Dead Man on Campus”. It’s not a big featured part of the movie. You turn the movie on, catch the opening credits, and there you have it. It’s a nice casual cover that doesn’t quite match the original, but brings a nice airy and loose feel to it. Bowie’s feels like it’s a good song to dance to. Manson makes it feel like you’re swaying in a pleasant drug coma. Maybe it’s just a guilty pleasure.

—–[6 : “Get My Rocks Off”

Original by: Doctor Hook & the Medicine Show
Release: The Last Tour on Earth(UK Import), 1999

This has to be one of the biggest Manson sleeper picks. I don’t know anything about the 70’s band Dr. Hook. They had a crazy country rock thing going on, but based on this one song they had some good funk and bounce to their credit too. One bad ass aspect is that poet and creative mad man Shel Silverstein is actually credited for the lyrics to this song. The lyrics are perfect for Manson to take a tongue-in-cheek stab at. The lyrics cover all of the fun parts of the Rockstar life of excess. I’m reminded of Queens of the Stone Age’s “Feel Good Hit of the Summer”, but obviously this tune was first. It’s fun to hear Manson rattle off this playful tune. This should have been a single.

—–[5 : “Suicide Is Painless”

Original by: Mike Altman and Johnny Mandel, 1970
Release: ‘Blair Witch Project 2: Book of Shadows’ Soundtrack, 2000

In 1970, Robert Altman released one of the best war comedies of all time in MASH. The movie was great and put a new tone on a really serious topic. The movie’s theme song was written by Altman’s son and musician Johnny Mandel. The words are right up Manson’s alley. It’s basically an almost lullaby-esque poem dedicated to the darkness of all hope being lost. Anyone with any life experience can read the words and get chills by its simplistic take on death. Like I said, it’s right up Manson’s alley. The melody is probably even more iconic as the TV version of the movie would adopt an instrumental version for the hundred years that great show was on.

—–[4 : “I Put a Spell on You”

Original by: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Release: Smells Like Children, 1995

This is another classic. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is considered one of the first “shock rock” type of performers. He’d have himself put in a coffin and taken on stage. The music would start and to the fright of 1950’s crowds would peak when this creepy man would come from the coffin and belt out this bad ass song. Manson’s version is respectful of the original, but he takes it to a high level of emotive pain. With Hawkins he had a sense of confidence to his “spell”, but Manson brings a level of desperation to the pleading that is just raw tension.

—–[3 : “What Goes Around… Comes Around”

Original by: Justin Timberlake
Release: Radio 1 Live Performance, 2007

I remember my mind being blown when I first heard this cover. You just wouldn’t expect Manson to sneak out a cover of a Justin Timberlake song. J.T. put the song out in 2006 and was huge at the time. Manson made some ironic jokes about carrying around a picture of Justin Timberlake with him while promoting the album Eat Me, Drink Me. While in London promoting he and Tim Skold did a song or two. One of those songs was this slow and heart felt ballad. The result was a really weird, yet really beautiful acoustic rendition of one the 2000’s biggest pop hits. I always wanted to see Manson put this on an album and start pushing it a little, but at the same time the spontaneous “moment captured” vibe of this out of tuned, cracking cover would be lost.

—–[2 : “People Are Strange”/”Love Me 2 Times”/”Five to One”

Original by: The Doors
Release: Live

Manson’s love for The Doors has been apparent for years, but in August of 2012 he took the stage at the Sunset Strip Music Festival. Those old stories of The Doors on the sunset strip are iconic and I’m sure as a fan Manson knows them as well as anyone. It had to be a cool as shit moment for him to get to rock out with Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger. Manson has that “loose cannon” thing to him that could have seen this performance go down very badly. Instead, he brought his A-game and really channeled the spirit of these all-time best ever songs. I guess that “loose cannon” thing IS the spirit of these songs. I’d LOVE to see a one-off tour of Manson and The Doors. Get in all The Doors hits and then sprinkle in a few reworked Manson gems and a few others covers and I’d gladly plop down the cash for a ticket. I’m very sure I’m not alone.

—–[1 : “Sweet Dreams(Are Made of This)”

Original by: The Eurythmics
Release: Smells Like Children, 1995

The Eurythmics version was already a song that everyone knew. They tore that shit up and put out a really catchy and cool song. Manson started performing it at the release parties of the debut album. Slowly and surely, they’d warp it into something of their own and put it on the 1995 EP. This is the song that started it all for a lot of Marilyn Manson fans. I’m not going to say I was into things for the Portrait of an American Family debut, but this song made me go back and get this album, the EP it was on, and every proceeding release for a good ten years. The sound evil and rebellion was loud and clear once that break down hits where the vocals get choked and the already Evil-licious song takes a turn for the uber-sadistic. I’ll always appreciate the Eurythmics original, but you only need to hear Manson’s take on this track once to know true terror.

What is YOUR favorite Marilyn Manson cover?


“Argo” is a historical based thriller directed by and starring Ben Affleck. In 1979 the Iran Hostage Crisis went down. A group of young Iranian revolutionaries took over the US embassy in Tehran. Pretty much everyone is taken hostage except six Americans who escape to the home of a Canadian ambassador. They are stuck there and are in fear of being captured, tortured, and or murdered. The government brainstorms on how to get these six people home. The idea that comes out of this is one of the coolest heist stories I’ve ever heard. Ben Affleck is a CIA specialist who comes up with the idea to make a fake movie. With this he and “his crew” would go to Iran to scout locations for a completely made up science fiction movie. The movie, “Argo”, is given a storyboard, a poster, a backstory, and hyped as if it’s a real project in the states. This all validates the fake project and gets Affleck into the country. The “crew” he has with him isn’t real. When he gets there he has to turn these six people into his made up crew. It’s as over the top, crazy, and intense as it sounds. Holy shit does it make for a great story and a fun viewing experience! See it now! Don’t waste time! Ben Affleck’s direction in “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town” got him his fair share of respect. He has done his share of acting in good and bad movies, but he’s approaching an iconic Hollywood status that few reach. He can act, he can direct, he can write, and he can do it all very well. In this movie he directs his most mature project and does a great job. He’s been doing great for a while. His acting in the movie’s he has directed has been solid, but I think this HAS to be his best acting performance in recent memory. That says a lot because I’m a BIG fan of this dude. It doesn’t end with him. Bryan Cranston has done some magical TV work in recent years with “Breaking Bad” and “Malcolm In The Middle”. I’ve seen him in some movie roles, but his rocktastic performance in this movie SHOULD at least get him a supporting actor nomination. Then again, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and pretty much the entire credited cast handed in their inhibitions and got lost in this fascination world and story. There have been tons of “buzz” around this movie. The critics and movie nerds are saying this film is going to take some of the big awards come award season. After going into it without really getting too caught up in the hype, I can honestly say I agree. This was a great movie and should be seen, acclaimed, and appreciated. The performances were top notch, the direction was great, the story was inspired, and pretty much everything about this movie was no less than great. If you get a chance to see this movie then I recommend you take advantage. It’s a fun ride and tells a story that has to be seen to believed. Great film. I can’t see many 2012 films touching this. Most certainly, A!

I thought this movie was going to come out a long time ago, but I guess not. Sean Penn is a 50 year old rock star who still dresses “goth”, but lives a quiet loner life. He stays in Dublin and just lives off his royalties and misery. He ends up going back to New York when his estranged father passes away. This leads to him taking a trip across America. The interesting thing here is how crazy and sad Penn looks. I can’t imagine any music fanatic not instantly thinking about Ozzy or Robert Smith. It’s an artsy independent movie where Sean Penn wears eyeliner as the camera slowly eats up pretentious scenery shots. I’m all for that.

Of the few Savage Animals that have been released so far and the few that I’ve prewritten so far, this one may have been my favorite. I’ve always been an unapologetic fan of Marilyn Manson. Halloween is here, which means we’re four weeks away from Thanksgiving. The next few weeks are already scheduled. Next week it’s kind of open, but I’m probably going to piss off a lot of Beatle fans. From there I’m going to take in my first impression of Toadies, check out the album covers of Britney Spears, and then for Thanksgiving I’m going to celebrate the holiday with the music videos of the man known as Eazy-E. Busy-slash-comatose times! Until next time… Have a Great Week!


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