Thursday, March 4, 2010

90's Guilty Pleasures #54: Marilyn Manson "Sweet Dreams" (1996)

The late-80's had "Cure kids." The early 90's had "NIN kids." By the Spring of 1995, "Manson kids" were the new high school goth-outcasts. And this made perfect sense, since Manson was considered too dark and creepy for MTV and radio airplay at the time. Before "Sweet Dreams," it was to my understanding (as I was told by said goth-kids) that Marilyn Manson was not the name of their lead singer, but rather was the band's name, created from a combination of the names Charles Manson and Marilyn Monroe. I was told their singer's name was "Mr. Manson" and that the band included a zombie-faced heartthrob guitarist named Twiggy Ramirez. I knew all of this over a year before hearing a note of their music (with the exception of "Get Your Gunn" on the S.F.W. soundtrack which I checked out of curiosity and did not terribly impress me). However, this band clearly had world domination in mind and were VERY quick to turn their backs on the early supporters. In early 1996, their cover of "Sweet Dreams" was considered commercial enough to earn the tag "Buzz Clip," and somehow the singer's name became "Marilyn Manson," possibly because their label thought the band was more marketable this way. After the black smoke had passed, the jocks finally had their chance to tease the goth-kids for adoring a band who could produced such a terrible cover song as their breakthrough hit. 2 key elements save this song, however: #1 The guitar riff, and #2 the hypnotic, Alice Cooper-inspired vocal performance. This song was also debuted on New York's 92.3 K-Rock by Howard Stern himself, who chose this as the 1st song to air after their format flipped to modern rock in the Spring of '96.

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