Marilyn Manson eras
Marilyn Manson eras are lengths of time represented by an album released by the band. Eras consist of all things related to a specific style or theme throughout this time frame including photos, music, Manson's style, etc., released in that particular era.
This era spans from the first incarnation of Marilyn Manson as "Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids" in 1989, through the release of the band's first major release and LP, Portrait of an American Family, to the release of the Smells Like Children EP.
This era involved a more wild approach in its themes and a less serious, often comedic tone. Through most of the era, the band had worn little to no makeup, and the outlandish costumes and performances the band would become known for were only in their early stages. Most themes dabbled with children, innocence, fiction, religion, and America. During this era, the band had yet to achieve international fame nor significant airplay outside of their local area. This, however, would change with the release of the band's cover of Eurythmics's 1982 hit "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)". The song and its notoriously gruesome video were key to launching the band's career into the mainstream.
The concept for the Antichrist Superstar (or alternatively written as Antichrist Svperstar as an allusion to Latin) era was marked by the band's journey into darker, more esoteric themes and its first step into what would later become the Triptych. The conception of the album was said to be conceived in the back of a tour bus with Twiggy using an acoustic guitar after a binge of methamphetamine, as revealed in a 2009 interview with Shockhound.com. Beginning in 1996, it was during this era that the band gained worldwide notoriety due to the widespread protests of Manson's concerts by fundamental Christians across America. Manson's message was widely misinterpreted by the mainstream media, most notably Senator Joseph Lieberman, who labeled Marilyn Manson "the sickest group ever promoted by a mainstream record company." which led to further scrutiny of the band, including but not limited to; shows being cancelled, bomb threats, and even death threats.
Beginning in 1998, the Mechanical Animals era was the start of the band's journey into a more glam-influenced sound and represented the second part of what would become the Triptych. Casting away the sinister tone of the previous era, the band had adopted a 1970s glam rock style, both visually and musically, which borrowed heavily from the aesthetics and music of David Bowie, Manson's biggest influence. Despite appearing to be more lighthearted, the themes of this era were just as dark, if not more so, than its predecessor. Themes included drugs, fame, celebrity, and nihilism. And the beginnings of what would be later be known as Celebritarianism could be seen as early as this era, in songs such as "Posthuman" and the controversial video of "Coma White".
During this era, Manson frequently posed as the fictional alien-turned-rock-star Omēga, as seen on the album's cover and in various music videos, which resulted in both controversy and praise concerning the shocking new appearance. Despite this, the era would prove to be a huge commercial success, largely due to the popularity of "The Dope Show" and its infamous music video, and placed the band further at the forefront of the media. It would also be during this era that the events of the Columbine High School Massacre would occur, which would have a large financial and social impact on the band.
Beginning in 2000, the Holy Wood era was largely the result of the effects that the Columbine High School Massacre had on the band. The central focus of the album and the corresponding Guns, God and Government tour was society's fascination with death and fame, exposing the flaws of a culture that worships violence and blurs the line between celebrities and murderers based on the ratings scale of the television.
The era placed emphasis on figures perceived as being martyrs to the American public, namely President John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, and their killers and explored the role the media played in glamorizing their deaths while simultaneously sensationalizing their killers. It is from this morbid fascination of America that Manson coined the term Celebritarian within the linear notes of Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death).
From a conceptual point of view, the album marked the band's third and final part of the Triptych and held a far darker tone than it's predecessor, Mechanical Animals. Based on chart positioning and sales, this album did not fare as well with the general public, most likely due to the media's influence on the masses that portrayed Manson in an extremely unkind light.Interestingly enough, the era was originally planned to be extended to include a novel which has yet to be released though it has been said to be completely written. Rumors of a possible movie adaption were also mentioned during this time, however nothing ever materialized on that front either.
Beginning in 2002, The Golden Age of Grotesque era was the band's journey with experimentation into new sounds (electronic/industrial rock) after bassist Twiggy Ramirez had left the band and was replaced with Tim Skold. The album contained imagery from the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, the Swing Era of the 1930s, and Vaudeville, and dealt with the themes of commercial success in music (selling out) and "degenerate" art. The era spawned some of the band's most popular hits, namely "Tainted Love", a cover of the popular Gloria Jones song, though done in the style of Soft Cell's cover version of the song.
Lyrically, the album was composed less of metaphors and did not tell a specific story; rather, it contained a large amount of wordplay and multiple allusions to early twentieth-century film, literature, entertainment, and overall culture. Manson had collaborated with artist Gottfried Helnwein for most of the visual aspects of the era and drew heavily from Mel Gordon's 2000 book Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin.
Beginning in 2004, the Lest We Forget era motioned for Manson's alleged "exit from music". The compilation served as a Best-of album for the past thirteen years in which Manson was involved in music. The subsequent tour and its imagery was of an elegant Victorian style and brought back the themes of Celebritarianism, last seen in the Holy Wood era. During this time, Manson had been experiencing depression, largely due to marital problems with his then-wife Dita Von Teese and began focusing on his career in painting, rather than music. His painting, "Experience Is the Mistress of Fools" is used as the cover of the album.
Beginning in late 2006, the Eat Me, Drink Me era was the after effect of Manson's failing marriage to Dita Von Teese, depression, and the events afterwards. The album dabbled with themes of vampirism, love, relationships, death, sex, and cannibalism. The album was widely considered more or less to be a solo effort by Manson and Skold. It was during this time that Manson began dating actress Evan Rachel Wood, who would inspire many of the songs of the album and also appear in the music video for "Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)". The era made multiple allusions to the Lewis Carroll novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the Vladimir Nabokov novel Lolita. It would also be during this time that Manson would begin work on his yet to be released film, based loosely on the life of Lewis Carroll, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. The era is notable for the personal nature of the album, which at this point, was the first of its kind for the band.
Beginning in 2008, The High End of Low era began with the return of Twiggy Ramirez to the band and followed the crumbling relationship Manson had with actress Evan Rachel Wood, and his ensuing identity issues. The album dealt with the themes of politics, love, death, pain, film, rebirth, and self-realization. The track listing of the album is arranged in order the songs were recorded, making the album a journal of sorts, chronicling the personal life of the struggling front man. It was during this era that Manson had dropped his label of sixteen years, Interscope Records, and became engaged to Evan Rachel Wood, despite prior relationship problems.
Beginning in 2011, the Born Villain era saw the band's first record since parting from their contract with Interscope Records and the first album, Born Villain, to be released in May 1, 2012, through the Marilyn Manson imprint, Hell, etc. and parent label, Cooking Vinyl.
Heralded as the band's "comeback" record, Born Villain returned to a heavier sound than the band's previous two albums, and dealt with the concept of "nature vs, nurture" and the multi-dimentional personality of the villain.
Beginning in 2014, The Pale Emperor era saw the departure of Fred Sablan, leading to Twiggy moving back to the bass, and the debut of Tyler Bates in the band as guitarist and co-producer of the new album The Pale Emperor.
Heaven Upside Down was released on October 6th, 2017. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 with 35,000 album-equivalent units, 32,000 of which were pure album sales, making it the band's seventh consecutive top ten album on the chart. The album sold 6,636 units in the first week of it's release.