The Manson Family Album

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Manson Family Album
Demo album by Marilyn Manson
Released Never released
Recorded 1993
Genre Alternative metal, heavy metal
Length 56:58
Producer Marilyn Manson, Roli Mosimann
Marilyn Manson chronology
Lunch Boxes & Choklit Cows
(2004)Lunch Boxes & Choklit Cows2004
The Manson Family Album
Portrait of an American Family
(1994)Portrait of an American Family1994

The Manson Family Album was intended to be Marilyn Manson's first studio album and is a precursor to Portrait of an American Family. It is composed of the original takes and alternate mixes of songs that would later be found on the band's debut and due to the many differences between it and its final form, it can be considered an album unto itself.

The album's title is a reference to serial criminal Charles Manson's commune "The Manson Family".


Initially, Manson sought out Roli Mosimann to produce the album and with him the band recorded an album's worth of material. At the time, "Snake Eyes & Sissies" was on track to be the band's first single, with a single edit having been made. However the band was simply not satisfied with the output of these recording sessions and shelved the album for a short time.

Within a few months, the band would convince rising star Trent Reznor to produce the album instead. With the help of Reznor and his band, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson re-recorded and reworked their old material until they were satisfied and released it under the name Portrait of an American Family. "Snake Eyes & Sissies" would never see a single release and in Portrait's credits Mosimann is credited as an engineer with no mention of his production work.

Years later, former guitarist Scott Putesky was asked about these original recordings in an interview and gave the interviewer a tape featuring the unused recordings. The interviewer then released them to the internet where they are now widely available, usually labeled as "Portrait of an American Family Pre-Reznor Mix" or "Portrait of an American Family Demos".

Differences from Portrait of an American Family[edit]

There are many minor and major differences between The Manson Family Album and its eventual successor, Portrait of an American Family:

  • "Prelude (The Family Trip)" is not present on this release and was recorded solely for Portrait of an American Family.
  • "Snake Eyes and Sissies" is 62 seconds longer than the version that was finally released and featured extra alternate lyrics. It was also considered as a single and a radio edit was prepared for it that was never released.
  • "Lunchbox" lacks the opening sample of a child saying "Next motherfucker's gonna get my metal" and the opening "bionic guitar" contributed by Reznor, but is otherwise the same.
  • "Get Your Gunn" repeats the chorus and bridge more than the released version and runs 50 seconds longer because of it.
  • "Citronella" was later renamed to "Dogma" for its official release, though the two versions are close to the same.
  • "Filth" is exclusive to this release and was scrapped when the band changed producer.
  • "Wrapped in Plastic" was not initially planned to be released and was recorded exclusively for Portrait of an American Family.
  • "Sweet Tooth" lacks the 59 seconds of introductory ambient noise found on the final mix.
  • "My Monkey" has significantly more Charles Manson samples than the released mix (many from the initial demo versions) and some different horn sections in the background. Robert Pierce's singing is much clearer and placed higher in the mix on this version as well. This version lacks a chorus and uses the Manson samples where the chorus would later go.

Album artwork[edit]

The album's original cover art featured no text, simply a painting of a clown by John Wayne Gacy. The Gacy painting was used as album art by the band Acid Bath for the album When the Kite String Pops in 1994. The interior photography included Polaroid pictures (faked by Manson and friends) apparently of a mutilated female body, and a photo of what Manson described as "one of those dolls from the 60s and you pull a string on the back of it and the eyes get really big and they change colors."

In the early stages of the album's conception, Manson intended to use a picture of himself as a child sitting nude on a couch in the album's interior artwork. Though no genitalia is shown in the picture, and it was taken by his own parents with no vulgar intent, the record label deemed it to be child pornography.

By the time the album became Portrait of an American Family, the ideas of using the Gacy artwork and the nude photo were dropped completely.

Track listing[edit]

The Manson Family Album is composed of the original takes and alternate mixes of songs that would later be found on the complete version of the band's debut and due to the many differences between it and its final form, can be considered an album unto itself. Aside from the major differences listed below, most songs presented on the two versions are essentially the same yet mixed differently or have different tempos. Because of this, different instruments are moved to the front or back of the mix and/or may be sped up or slowed down creating a different overall mood while leaving much of the composition the same. The following track list is taken from the order the songs appeared in on Berkowitz's cassette tape. It is unclear if this was intended to be the final track order.

No. Title Length
1. "Snakes Eyes and Sissies" 5:09
2. "Snakes Eyes and Sissies" (Single mix edit) 3:57
3. "Lunchbox" 4:26
4. "Get Your Gunn" 4:04
5. "Cyclops" 3:41
6. "Citronella" (Dogma) 3:18
7. "Cake and Sodomy" 3:52
8. "Filth" 4:31
9. "Sweet Tooth" 4:41
10. "Organ Grinder" 5:04
11. "My Monkey" 4:52
12. "Misery Machine" 4:54
13. "Dope Hat" 4:27
Total length: 56:58