“Portrait of an American Family” (1994)
The mere fact that Portrait of an American Family is ranked so low on this list is a testament of how incredible Manson’s career truly is.
I picked this up the day it hit stores, and played the CD to death (I’ve yet to wear down an album like this). What’s most incredible about Manson’s discography is how different Portrait is, and how much he evolved from it. Portrait is a product of the time, coming out perfectly in the years when Nine Inch Nails and similar bands were dominating the space. Only Manson took it a step further, delivering his own dark and twisted imagery that was a cross between Alice Cooper, David Bowie, and Rob Zombie.
In retrospect, its level of cheese is of legend, but in 1994 Portrait was some dark and weird shit (see “Cake and Sodomy”, “My Monkey”, “Get Your Gun”, etc.). How many bands can you look back at their debut album and say, “That’s not what defined them but it’s what set them on the course to greatness.” See Antichrist Superstar to continue this conversation.