Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie cover The Beatles' "Helter Skelter"


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/12/marilyn-manson-and-rob-zombie.html


#2

I doubt it measures up to this:


#3

Systematically takes everything that is great about the original and buries it under 23 tons of toxic sludge.

IMO, The Beatles’ version works because of the tension between McCartney’s instincts and his rigid, self-conscious attempt in Helter Skelter to be tougher than Pete Townshend. You can hear the song struggling to get out from under him and break into the upbeat, 3-part harmony ditty about an amusement park ride that it was when he first wrote it. Yes, there’s abandon in the vocals (or some facsimile thereof), and the drums crash, and the guitar is distorted, but the song is still melodic, and damn, it has one of the greatest guitar hooks of all time.

While I was listening to the RZ/MM version I got to wondering what it would sound like unplugged, so I applied Google and found Marilyn Manson doing an acoustic version of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams. It’s entertaining, though Marilyn looks a lot less like the embodiment of evil now that he has the body of a middle aged suburban dad. That medical boot isn’t helping much either.


#4

This cover feels like it’s on rails, never once threatening to jump the tracks. I suppose what Zombie hears as ‘groove’ I hear as ‘lockstep’.

Contributing to that impression is that this cover has no momentum. Here’s the original, cued at the mid-song reprise of the first verse:

Now, Zombie and Manson’s cover at this time mark:

For two musicians who pride themselves on their anarchic personas, they’re sure playing it safe with this one.


#5

No love for U2’s version?


#6

Can’t be worse than the original.


#7

I was thinking nearly the same, although I think of their personas as nihilist rather than anarchic.

I’d rather see what they would do with the Frog Song.

(the song starts at about six minutes in, if you actually want to listen to it)


#8

This version sounds like a track a slow beefy WWE wrestler would lumber down the ramp to the ring to, entirely too slowly. It conveys thick, sluggish man-ness.


#9

Simple and safe. These two have become emulators of what was innovative in the old Wax Trax days, rather than taking what came out of then and innovating with that.


#10

They both just ripped off Al Jourgensen.


#11

He’s apparently also done a cover of Cry Little Sister, which keeps coming up in my youtube playlist, and I keep studiously ignoring.


#12

11th-doc-this

@SteveK, I saw a video with Jello Biafra recently, where he says the same thing, specifically about Rob Zombie…


#13

Just went and listened to the original. It doesn’t take much imagination to see where MM would go with it… I believe I’ll pass on the remake. I’m somewhat baffled as to why he would want to cover it in the first place? I’ll admit I never really got on the Marilyn Manson train, but it seems like one would really have to be out of ideas if covering the theme music from an '80s vampire movie starts to seem exciting.


#14

I was thinking it sounds too pretty. Am I weird?


#15

Never did myself, though I considered a boarding pass after hearing ‘I Don’t Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)’ for the first time. And second. And third.

Yes, that’s a gospel choir singing the chorus. Glam is a helluva drug.


#16

Back when it was relatively new, I thought Antichrist Superstar was fairly great, not so much musically, just as a schlock horror experience. Haven’t played it in ages.


#17

I remember liking the video for that one. In the early days, he seemed genuinely transgressive and alien, just not in ways I enjoyed.

@ChuckV

I’ll try Antichrist Superstar when I get to work tomorrow. Tastes change, and I don’t think I ever sat down and listened to a whole Marilyn Manson album.


#18

I too loved that album back in the 90s. It was surprisingly energetic! Out of pure nostalgia (and this thread) I put it on now, and it still sounds pretty decent (if a bit dated).


#19

This is one of those rare older songs that even today still manages to sound contemporary to me. (See also “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer.)


#20

I’ve always preferred the Mad magazine mash-up of Marilyn Hanson.