May 3, 2012


Marilyn Manson's 10 Best Covers (You've Never Heard)

Agata Alexander
Agata Alexander

In 1995, Marilyn Manson released his cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," the first single off the group's Smells Like Children EP. The darker, heavier version became a MTV mainstay and remains the group's best-known cover. But it's hardly their only one. Manson's covered everything from Screamin' Jay Hawkins's "I Put a Spell to You" (great) to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man," (terrible) to Madonna's "Justify My Love," (as a member of MM side project Satan on Fire). We already spoke to Manson in his dark, Hollywood home for his new album Born Villain, and grabbed some pics from his latest tour but let's go deeper. Here are the 10 best covers you may not know.

10. AC/DC's "Highway to Hell"
In Manson's hands, the title track from AC/DC's 1979 classic became a grinding, industrial alt-rock song off 1999's Detroit Rock City soundtrack.

9. The Beatles' "Come Together"
Though never officially released, Manson performed this one in 1995 when he opened for Danzig. Manson has a sweet spot for the Beatles, having covered "Happiness is a Warm Gun," "Helter Skelter" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" at various points in his career. 

8. The Doors' "Five to One"
The 1968 populist anthem appeared as a b-side to 2000's "Disposable Teens" off the group's fourth album Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death).

7. David Bowie's "Golden Years"
Recorded during the Antichrist Superstar sessions, Manson's cover appeared on the Dead Man on Campus soundtrack in 1998.

6. Cheap Trick's "Surrender"
To ring in New Year's Eve 2001, the band did a one-time-only performance of this classic rock staple on MTV. "Mother told me, yes, she told me, I'd meet girls like you" has never sounded creepier.

5. Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus"
Arguably the most polarizing track on this list, Manson's cover of "Personal Jesus" wasn't liked by everyone—Trent Reznor publicly criticized it—but was featured as the lead single off the band's 2004 greatest hits Lest We Forget (The Best of).

4. Johnny Mandel and Mike Altmans's "Suicide is Painless"
Best known as the theme song from Robert Altman's M*A*S*H, Manson slows down the poignant, eerie track, turning the 1970 folk-pop song into a funereal dirge. Lyrically, probably the most appropriate cover song for Manson to tackle.

3. Gloria Jones' "Tainted Love"
Soul singer Jones has the original soul classic, but Manson's cover is based on New Wave band Soft Cell's 1981 synth-heavy track. Manson recorded this one for 2001's Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack.

2. John Lennon's "Working Class Hero"
This rare acoustic performance was recorded during the Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) sessions. Stripped of drama and bombast, the cover is just Manson and a guitar at his minimalist best.

1. The Ramones' "The KKK Took My Baby Away"
In 1981, Joey Ramone reportedly wrote this track about girlfriend Linda Ramone leaving him for co-founder Johnny. While the original channels the sweet, mid-1950s rock n' roll of Gene Vincent, Manson transforms the track into a haunting, mournful waltz that sounds so emotional, it could be autobiographical.