Let’s just throw it out there: Marilyn Manson’s 1998 album Mechanical Animals is vastly underrated. There. I said it. And I meant it. Though it was a commercial success, the record seems to take a lot of slag because of Manson’s waning popularity, his propensity for douchebaggery, and his later and ongoing lackluster output. It suffers because its creator has become the butt of so many jokes. Forgotten because, you know, the 90’s. So, let’s revisit it. Let’s put make-up on, don a suit of prosthetic, nipple-less breasts, curse and sneer, and give Mechanical Animals another chance. It deserves it. And so do we.
(Or…the article in which Tommy probably gets too personal.)
Cue Sonic Youth’s “Compilation Blues.”
The first cassette I ever bought for myself with my own money was either a compilation of 80’s hits that featured Duran Duran, The Thompson Twins, and Quiet Riot among others or a collection of theme songs from James Bond movies. For the sake of this article, I’m going with the tape of James Bond movie themes. It was awesome. Every theme from Dr. No to For Your Eyes Only was included, as well as some additional film score and incidental music. I loved it. I listened to that tape until the plastic casing cracked and the magnetic tape creased and warbled. My affinity for Bond films was born in that moment, with a special place in my heart for all those opening credit tunes. Oh, how they molded me.
In an ongoing attempt to bleed my opinions all over your computer screen, I’m selecting one album from every year that I’ve been alive that has some sort of significance to me…and then writing about it. Welcome back to 35 Albums in 35 Years.
Vices. You have one. I have one. That guy over there by that busy intersection asking for change has one. Your mom has one too. Everyone you know or will ever meet has one. Some of us have more than one. We all have our vice, our thing, our crippling addiction to that which controls us. Booze. Cigarettes. Sex. Narcotics. Mine’s records. I get my kicks trolling through record shops, crate digging, treasure hunting, discovering, and I just can’t help myself. Don’t even get me started on the colossal enabler that is Ebay. But while this vice of mine may not wreak havoc on my health or my body, it certainly takes its toll on my wallet…and at times my mental state. The search for that Holy Grail of record collecting can become an obsession, an all-consuming expenditure of time, money and energy. It is everything.