The High End of Low (album)
|This article is about the album. For the tour, see The High End of Low (tour).|
|The High End of Low|
|Studio album by Marilyn Manson|
|Released||May 20, 2009|
|Recorded||March 2008–January 2009 at Sage & Sound Recording in Hollywood, California|
|Genre||Alternative rock, industrial rock, glam rock, gothic rock|
|Producer||Marilyn Manson, Chris Vrenna, Twiggy, Sean Beavan|
Buy The High End of Low as MP3 album
Order The High End of Low CD
|Analysis and Interpretations|
|Marilyn Manson chronology|
The High End of Low is Marilyn Manson's seventh full-length studio album. It was released on May 20, 2009 in Japan, before being issued worldwide the following week, on May 26, 2009 by Interscope Records. The album was recorded in East Hollywood through late 2008 and January 2009 by Marilyn Manson, Twiggy and Chris Vrenna; former live guitarist Wes Borland also confirmed submitting four compositions to the band, which did not make the album. Sean Beavan, who was responsible for mixing the band's Mechanical Animals and Eat Me, Drink Me albums, acted as co-producer for The High End of Low. Following the release of The High End of Low, which debuted at № 4 on the Billboard 200, Marilyn Manson resumed touring.
According to Manson The High End of Low is about having his "soul trampled on by women" but is also something that "makes you laugh." Manson claimed in an interview with Revolver that the album "wipes the floor with everything we've done before" citing it's "guitar solos and brutal, reckless screaming" and lyrics which he described as "relationship-destroying statements. Some of it is stuff I should have said to my ex-wife. Some are things I've never said to the world." It has currently spawned the singles "We're from America" and "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon".
- 1 Background information
- 2 Reception
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Versions
- 5 Cover gallery
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Charting positions
- 8 Release history
- 9 Album Credits
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Initially Manson revealed the recording session's for the band's seventh album would take place between March and May 2008, that two Eat Me, Drink Me b-sides may be included, and that he would again be working with Tim Skold, as well as Slayer's Kerry King and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner on the album; a demo of one song was also recorded during the tour (the song did not make the album), with Manson filling notebooks ideas for other potential lyrics and tracks. Also rumoured was a collaboration with James Iha, although this was never officially confirmed.In December 2007 Tim Skold had departed from the band, due to the return of former bassist Twiggy Ramirez, who re-christened himself "Twiggy", dropping the serial killer surname. The reunion was announced in January 2008. Coincident with the announcement, Manson gave an exclusive interview to now defunct fansite The Heirophant, in which he revealed plans to record an album with Twiggy and Vrenna after the Rape of the World tour ended.
In a February 2008 interview with Steppin' Out, Manson described the new album as, "very ruthless, very heavy, and very violent."
On October 19, 2008, Manson and Twiggy announced at the 2008 Scream Awards' after party that the album would "sound more like Antichrist Superstar" and that the recording sessions are "pretty much done." It was also revealed that live guitarist Wes Borland would remain with the band while they toured in support of the record, something which did not materialize. In an interview with Spinner.com released the following day, Manson put forth an explanation of Twiggy's experience working on the album: "This record is the record we always wanted to make and [Twiggy] is writing from a point of view that I've always written from lyrically. I don't think earlier on he had the opportunity to be damaged, and his soul to be trampled on by women as much as me. So now that his penis has been cut off metaphorically, and been smashed into fucking Sloppy Joe's, someone shit on his heart a thousand times, we tried to put a musical face to that." A statement by Manson that the band were considering releasing a song before the end of the year implied that the album was unlikely to be released in winter 2008, contrary to Manson's announcement in May of that year.
In December 2008, Manson revealed the sonic qualities of three tracks. One was said to feature "a coven of witchy girls," the other "acoustic swampiness that harkens back to when [he] was living in New Orleans," and the song Manson plays guitar on also features him "snorting something — whatever it might have been" as a percussive instrument.
| "I went through a tough period over Christmas, during which I learned
the difference between love and dependence, and the difference between weakness and desire. And it made a big difference in my life.
So I came back [to the studio] on January 2, and I saw my only friends, which at this point is the band, and everyone asked me, "How're you doing?" And I said, "Well, I'm at the high end of low." And automatically I knew that that's what the record was going to be called."
|—Marilyn Manson Interview with Spin Magazine|
On January 2, 2009, Manson finalized the album's title, and approximately a month later, on February 2, 2009 the record was revealed through Rolling Stone's online Smoking Section to be called The High End of Low. Also in the same news piece, Manson revealed that a music video would be produced for the nine-minute "I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies". Rudy Coby confirmed via his Facebook page that the single had been switched to "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon" at the insistence of Marilyn Manson's label, Interscope Records.
In a March interview with Kerrang!, Manson revealed that The High End of Low contains 15 songs, "15" being its closing track. He also claimed that the fourteenth track Into the Fire is a "glorious epic" which Twiggy would be most memorable for as a guitarist. Manson also explained that the songs on the album are listed by the order they were written and recorded. He also revealed the title of another song, "We're from America", which was made available for free download through the band's website on March 27, 2009. The same month, five rough mixes of songs from the album were leaked to the Internet. Chris Vrenna has commented on the leaks, explaining that "I hate stealing of music in any form. If a band chooses to put tracks online, that is great. [...] But, downloading unauthorized music is that same as walking into your local CD store and shoplifting the disc! I think true fans know that usually songs found online before the record's release are either rough mixes of tracks and will wait to hear the music in the way the artist intended."
On March 27, 2009, Metal Hammer released a blog describing two songs from The High End of Low, "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon" and the previously unverified track "The Wow" (actually titled "WOW"). Later on April 7, 2009, Metal Hammer confirmed the titles of three new songs, "Blank and White", "Running to the Edge of the World" and "White Spider" (actually titled "Wight Spider"). The report also confirmed the leaked song "maybeharmfulifswallowed" has since been retitled "Leave a Scar".
On April 16, 2009, MarilynManson.com was updated to include the track listing for The High End of Low, thus revealing three previously unreleased song titles: "Pretty as a Swastika", "Unkillable Monster" and "I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell". A splash page was also added to the website, depicting Manson holding a bundle of fluorescent lights against his head. On April 27, the track listing for the deluxe edition of the album's bonus disc surfaced on HMV's website, revealing that the disc would contain up to seven remixes.
On May 7, 2009, an official minisite for The High End of Low went online. Along with a new promotional photo, the site provides partial lyrics to "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon", links to pre-order both the album and the "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon" CD single, a mailing list and a Facebook application that features lyrics and samples to songs from the album. The order songs will feature on this application is as follows: beginning May 7, "Devour", "We're from America" and "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon" will be available; these will be replaced on May 15 by "Four Rusted Horses", "Leave a Scar" and "Pretty as a Swastika"; these will be replaced on May 22 by "Into the Fire", "WOW" and "Blank and White"; these will be replaced on May 29 by "I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies", "Unkillable Monster" and "Running to the Edge of the World"; and finally, these will be replaced on June 5 by "I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell", "15" and "Wight Spider", after which the fate of the application is unknown. On May 8, 2009, an e-mail sent through the site's mailing list confirmed that each week leading up to the album's release, a song will be accessible through phones by texting MANSON to 909090, the first of which being "Wight Spider".
Many themes permeate The High End of Low - mostly ones of violence (Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon, Pretty as a Swastika, Blank and White, I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies), pain (Leave a Scar, Unkillable Monster), politics (We're from America), love and other destructive emotions (Devour, Running to the Edge of the World), death (Four Rusted Horses, I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell) and self-realization/rebirth (Into the Fire).
The album is ultimately a closing of previous ideas, morals and the past.
Manson participated with an exclusive interview with Shockhound in May 2009, in which he explains song meanings within the album.
Manson has stated the whole album is influenced by film, particularly the track I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies.
The album was originally scheduled for release in October 2008, although due to touring commitments this date was pushed back to winter 2008, before a slating of May 2009, which turned out correct. Initially Manson also intended to release a song from the album before the end of 2008, however these plans did not materialize.
Promoting The High End of Low was a free download of the song "We're from America". This was followed by the song's reissue as a digital single on April 7, and its limited release as a physical single on April 14. The album's first conventional single, "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon", entered airplay on April 13, and would be released in CD format on May 15 in Germany and on May 18 in the United Kingdom. The song's music video, filmed between April 4 and 5, failed to meet two expected release dates, before premiering on NME.com in censored form, and hours later on the band's official website in uncensored form. Also in promotion of the album, The High End of Low was made available for streaming on Marilyn Manson's MySpace profile before its worldwide release, and on May 28, Hot Topic hosted clips from the album on its website's homepage.
|Consequence of Sound|||
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Washington Post||(favorable)|
The album received mixed reviews; some critics felt it sounded diluted and repetitive while others praised the album for showing Manson's more human face after his divorce and best material since Mechanical Animals.
Allison Stewart from The Washington Post gave the album a positive review, saying that Manson's divorce from burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese had led to a new musical high. "He doesn't seem to realize it, but he's much more interesting, much more human, as a spurned lover than he is as a fusty culture war relic, rattling his chains."
Spin writer Doug Brod gave a positive review and stated that "[w]hile it's still easy to dismiss his shock tactics as puerile and insensitive he hasn't sounded this vital -- and tuneful -- since Mechanical Animals."
The BBC review stated that the new album saw Manson resurrected after the lackluster Eat Me, Drink Me, with credit given to the skilled bass work on the album. The review sums up the album by saying that it "proves there's still a fair dose of blood and bile to pour from his carcass yet. More impressively, at its best it provides a pointed satirical commentary on noughties America." "We're From America" was cited as the strongest track on the new album.
Planet Sound gave the album a positive review, citing it as his best work since Mechanical Animals and that Manson has his "preening confidence back. It results in strutting glam and magnificently OTT ballads, with Manson engaged with sounding alien again."
Los Angeles Times reviewer Mikael Wood stated that the band even provide a "surprise or two, as in "Running to the Edge of the World," a lush acoustic power ballad complete with pretty falsetto vocals." Wood also states that "'High End' makes a deeper impression as a result of Manson’s reunion with longtime guitarist-bassist Twiggy Ramirez; together with producers Sean Beavan and Chris Vrenna, they sculpted a sound both harder-hitting and more finely detailed than on any previous Marilyn Manson record."
Rolling Stone reviewer Jody Rosen gave the album a mediocre review, citing the diminished shock value of the album compared to years past. Rosen stated the best parts of the album are in the ballads like the blues-tinged "Four Rusted Horses" for a more endearing depiction of Manson as a melancholy human rather than Antichrist Superstar.
Phil Freeman of Allmusic criticized the lack of variety in the album with "two or three musical ideas are repeated throughout the disc". He also criticized the lyrics, stating that Manson "[feels] like he's trying to convince himself as much as the audience" and that he is "pretty much advertising that [he's] out of ideas". A review in The Guardian complained of the lack of novelty in the album, which repeated "the usual entry-level shock-rock histrionics".
The album debuted at № 4 on Billboard 200 with 49,000 copies sold. Despite reaching a higher charting position than Manson's last studio effort, Eat Me, Drink Me, which debuted at № 8, it arrived with the lowest opening week sum of any of Manson's albums since The Last Tour on Earth began with 26,000 in 1999.Since its debut the album dropped steadily, falling to the № 24 position in its second week and № 60 in its third.
On December 3, it was announced that Marilyn Manson had parted ways with long-time label Interscope Records. Of the split, he said "a lot of things on which my hands were tied - the music videos, things like that - I've regained a lot of that creative control. You'd be surprised how much restraint my creativity had - what they would put out, what ideas they would allow to be conveyed in [music] videos. The first example I could give would be the newest video (Running to the Edge of the World), they clearly [wanted nothing to do with] that. At least half of my creative output had been squashed. We've even started writing new songs on the road, so I think people can expect a new record a lot sooner than [you think]." It was also announced that special one-off concerts were in development for the near future. These performances would see each album from the Triptych ("Holy Wood," "Mechanical Animals," and "Antichrist Superstar") being played in their entirety over three different nights in the one venue. The tour would take him through-out the United states and (maybe) "a few select dates in Europe."
All lyrics by Marilyn Manson. All music by Twiggy and Chris Vrenna except "Wight Spider", which is by Manson, Twiggy and Vrenna.
- "Devour" – 3:45
- "Pretty as a Swastika" – 2:45
- "Leave a Scar" – 3:54
- "Four Rusted Horses" – 5:00
- "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon" – 3:39
- "Blank and White" – 4:27
- "Running to the Edge of the World" – 6:25
- "I Want to Kill You Like They Do in the Movies" – 9:01
- "WOW" – 4:55
- "Wight Spider" – 5:32
- "Unkillable Monster" – 3:43
- "We're from America" – 5:04
- "I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell" – 4:11
- "Into the Fire" – 5:14
- "15" – 4:20
Track 1 features as the closing track on standard versions of the album released internationally. Tracks 1 through 6 are featured on the bonus disc of deluxe pressings and as bonus tracks with the digital deluxe edition on the iTunes Store. Track 7 appears on this bonus disc as well, but is limited only to Japanese pressings; it will also feature as a bonus track received with pre-orders of both the standard and deluxe digital albums. Track 8 is only available as a bonus track with either digital edition of the album on the iTunes Store. Track 9 is only be available as a bonus track with album pressings shipped to independent record stores. On the track listing for both digital versions, the positions of tracks 7 and 8 are reversed. Track 10 appears as a hidden track on the deluxe bonus disc sold through Hot Topic chains.
- "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon (The Teddybears Remix)" – 3:30
- "Leave a Scar (Alternate Version)" – 4:02
- "Running to the Edge of the World (Alternate Version)" – 6:08
- "Wight Spider (Alternate Version)" – 5:28
- "Four Rusted Horses (Opening Titles Version)" – 5:02
- "I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell (Alternate Version)" – 4:08
- "Into the Fire (Alternate Version)" – 4:34
- "Fifteen" – 4:17
- "Pretty as a Swastika (Alternate Version)" – 2:25
- "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon (Alternate Version)" – 3:39
|People's Republic of China|
|[unofficial] People's Republic of China|
- Since returning to Marilyn Manson, bassist Twiggy has renounced his original surname Ramirez. The Chinese pressing of The High End of Low neglects this, crediting him as Twiggy Ramirez instead of simply Twiggy.
- The logo for The High End of Low appears to be based on the English logo for The Criterion Edition of the film Tengoku to jigoku, which translates to Heaven and Hell, a lyrical theme in "Four Rusted Horses".
- The High End of Low is the first studio album by Marilyn Manson since their major label debut, Portrait of an American Family, not to feature a conventional title track. However the song "I Have to Look Up Just to See Hell" is essentially the album's title track, as "the high end of low" is a recurring lyric in the song. Worth noting is the compilation Smells Like Children, which also did not have a title track, however the title of this release was lifted from an unrecorded song of the same name.
- The High End of Low runs rampant with references to the number 15, a first since 1998's Mechanical Animals. These references include the album having 15 songs, the last of which is titled "15", the number 15 spanning across the MM logo on the back of the "We're from America" single, the fact there are 15 letters in the album's title, and that The High End of Low would be released roughly 15 years after the band's major label debut, Portrait of an American Family. Noted in an interview, Manson said he has been long obsessed with the number fifteen as it is the number of the devil in the tarot card deck.
|2009||"Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon"||Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||37|
|Japan||May 20, 2009||Universal International||Compact disc, deluxe edition||UICS9107|
|Australia||May 22, 2009||Interscope Records||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
|Germany||Polydor Records||Compact disc||—|
|Italy||Interscope Records||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
|France||May 25, 2009||Polydor Records||Compact disc||—|
|Hungary||May 26, 2009||Universal International||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
|New Zealand||Interscope Records||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
|United Kingdom||Polydor Records||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
|Brazil||May 26, 2009||Universal International||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
|Korea||Universal International||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
|Mexico||Universal International||Compact disc||—|
|North America||Interscope Records||Compact disc, deluxe edition||—|
Spider) | Lyrics: Manson | Music: Manson, Twiggy, Vrenna | Mixed by: Sean Beavan for SOS Management | Mixed at The Blue Room
Engineered by Chris Vrenna and Sean Beavan | Programmed by Chris Vrenna | Piano on "Into the Fire" performed by Ginger Fish
Recorded at: Sage and Sound assisted by Mike Riley, Jeremy Underwood, Justin Hergett,and Wesley Michener | Mastered by Ted Jensen
at Stirling Sound | Photography: Delaney Bishop, Mike Riley, MM. Management: Tony Ciulla at Ciulla Management
Business Management: David Weise & Associates. David Weise, Jacob Jackel | A&R: Martin Kierszenbaum @ Interscope Records
Art Direction and design by Marilyn Manson and Liam Ward | Cover Layout: Jeff Witters | Booking Agents: Rick Roskin,
Emma Banks, Chris Dalston @ CAA | Legal: Michelle Jubelirer | Songs of Golgotha Music (BMI), Blood Heavy Music
(BMI), My Little Music (ASCAP) ® 2009 Interscope Records | Alternate versions: Lyrics: Manson | Music: Twiggy, Vrenna
Produced by: Marilyn Manson, Chris Vrenna, Twiggy | Co-Produced by: Sean Beavan | Mixed by Chris Vrenna
Engineered by Chris Vrenna and Sean Beavan | Programmed by Chris Vrenna | Mastered by Pete Doell at
Universal Studios | Remis: Arma-goddamm-motherfucking-geddon
Teddy Bears Remix: The Teddybears | Additional vocals by Jim Ahlund & Rod Crawford
- MARILYN MANSON Vs. LIMP BIZKIT's WES BORLAND. Blabbermouth.net. May 13, 2009.
- Caulfield, Keith (2009-06-03). "Eminem Stays Atop Billboard 200; Grizzly Bear, Manson Debut Top 10". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/eminem-stays-atop-billboard-200-grizzly-1003979230.story. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Kerrang! loudly! repeats Iha-Manson collaboration rumor. jjb, Hipsters United, May 25, 2008.
- Marilyn Manson "The High End of Low".Marion Bernard. France Info. May 29, 2009.
- Chris Vrenna. Mister Marilyn Manson. 2009. (Italian)
- Marilyn Manson New Tracks Previewed. Metal Hammer. March 27, 2009.
- Marilyn Manson 'High End Of Low' Album Track-By-Track. Metal Hammer. April 7, 2009.
- Marilyn Manson premieres new video. NME.com. May 14, 2009.
- Freeman, P. "The High End of Low". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:wcfoxzy0ldde. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Power, C (2009-05-18). "Marilyn Manson High End of Low Review". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/mvqv. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Buchanan, David (2009-05-27). "Album Review: Marilyn Manson – The High End of Low". http://consequenceofsound.net/2009/05/27/album-review-marilyn-manson-the-high-end-of-low.
- Thomson, J (2009-05-22). "Marilyn Manson: The High End of Low". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/may/22/marilyn-manson-high-end-of-low. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Wood, M (2009-05-26). "Album review: Marilyn Manson's 'The High End of Low'". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/05/album-review-marilyn-mansons-the-high-end-of-low.html. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- "Marilyn Manson/The High End Of Low". Planet Sound. http://www.teletext.co.uk/planetsound/album-live-reviews/850477fcb9476e82dd59e6140b367651/Marilyn+MansonThe+High+End+Of+Low.aspx. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Cooper, Lana (2009-05-29). "Marilyn Manson: The High End of Low". Popmatters. http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/94074-marilyn-manson-the-high-end-of-low.
- Rosen, J (2009-05-26). "Marilyn Manson: The High End of Low". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/27747743/review/28123939/the_high_end_of_low. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Brod, D (2009-05-11). "Marilyn Manson, 'The High End of Low' (Interscope): The overlord of the overblown justifies his sleaze.". Spin. http://www.spin.com/reviews/marilyn-manson-high-end-low-interscope. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Stewart, A (2009-05-26). "Music Review: Marilyn Manson's 'High End of Low': Musical Highs From Breakup Lows". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/05/25/ST2009052501951.html. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
- Marilyn Manson splits with Interscope www.Blabbermouth.net Access date: 6 December 2009
- Marilyn Manson: “We’re Going To Play Each Album On A Different Night” www.MetalHammer.co.uk Access Date: December 6, 2009