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Charles Manson - Lie
Label: Aware One Records
Release: 1970

Tracklisting:
Look At Your Game, Girl
Ego
Mechanical Man
People Say I'm No Good
Home is Where You're Happy
Arkansas
I'll Never Say Never to Always
Garbage Dump
Don't Do Anything Illegal
Sick City
Cease to Exist
Big Iron Door
I Once Knew a Man
Eyes of a Dreamer

Lie - Charles Manson
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Average Blamo User Rating: (36 votes)

Loneliness. Despairity. Love. Faith. A questionable future.This 31-minute album covers all of these.

The record was performed by none other than Charles Manson. Yes, the same Charles Manson who conspired his "family" to kill eight unfortunates in the summer of 1969, including model/up-and-coming actress Sharon Tate. The album was recorded practically one year to the date of the Tate murders, in 1968. It was recorded in what I can only assume was Dennis Wilson's (of the Beach Boys) studio, as he was the only one who thought Charles' songs were any good. Every song on this release is pretty much a demo, and performed live.

A lot of people give me flack for owning (and listening to this release). But to be quite honest with you, this could easily be played on A.M. radio or something along those lines. Maybe some on some sort of radio station that plays material by James Taylor or Simon & Garfunkel. It's that radio-friendly.You think you know what to expect from this, and then you get taken aback. It's folksy/country-western type stuff, and it's amazing. Manson's voice is certainly better than an average amateur's, and is very impressive. He also plays acoustic guitar on this and sings, and some members of his so-called "Family" join along as background performers (tambourine, sitar, vocals) as well.

The most bizarre parts about this release are very underlying, mainly the foreshadowing and content of the lyrics.The titles themselves are also quite prophetic, considering what Manson faced only a year after this (such as "Don't Do Anything Illegal", "People Say I'm No Good", & "Big Iron Door").Verses in songs such as "Home is Where You're Happy" range from positive self-righteousness (So burn all your bridges/Leave your whole life behind/You can do what you want to do/'Cause your strong in your mind) to the downright bizarre in "I Once Knew a Man" (One and one are one if you find/A man who's got to find/Of the man who lives behind the gun).

Two of the more unique pieces on this that seem way ahead of its time, though, are "Mechanical Man" and "I'll Never Say Never to Always".The former consists of Charles and his family of misfits, performing instruments and singing harmonic scales in and out of different keys, building up louder and louder over his incessant spoken word/half- singing of the chorus "The past is an illusion/Postulated mocked up through confusion/The future, will be confusion/In your, in your illusion". Most people will recognize a verse in this song used in Marilyn Manson's song "My Monkey", whom is an obvious admirer of Charles' music and persona as a sure-fire big media ratings figure. He's not the only one, either: Red Kross, Guns 'n' Roses, G.G. Allin, and Crispin Glover are others that have covered Charles Manson's music in some way or another.The latter track is performed by the female members of Charlie's "family", and it is probably the most eerie. The lyrics itself say it all: "It's time we put our love behind you/The illusion has been just a dream/The valley of death and I'll find you/Now is when on a sunshine beam/So bring all the young perfection/For there us shall surely be/No clothing, tears, or hunger/You can see, you can see, you can be".These two tracks alone are a testament of what can be accomplished with minimal studio time and production talent, as the techniques used on both are mindblowing to say the least.

This was originally released on vinyl in 1970, most likely during Manson's arraignment in court proceedings for his role in the Tate/LaBianca murders. It was later reissued in 1993 on CD, though it is just a direct copy of the original vinyl. You can hear the levels drop in and out here and there on the album, and some crackles and pops just like from the vinyl. I highly doubt it will be re-released on CD by any other company, as they'd have to have major balls to do so. It's a shame too, because it could really use a remastered treatment. What is there, though, is effective and does the job well.The album art is also Charlie's own personal attack on Life magazine, whom ran a story on his life that he deemed false and inappropriate.

Supposedly, he makes about a dime or less for every copy of the CD sold. This puts a lot of people off, as they would not want to financially support such a raving lunatic. I for one find that as pretty ridiculous and unnecessary, as people still continue to see Woody Allen and Roman Polanski films, and even support most rap artists that have actually killed people in cold blood with no remorse. Even "Jeepers Creepers", one of the biggest horror films of 2001, was directed by a former child molester/pornographer. I wholeheartedly support this album because it is great music - no more, no less. It's a perfect "what if?" situation... what if Charles became famous in the early '70s? It makes you wonder how things would be different these days.I highly recommend this album to anyone with an open mind, and for anyone who likes unique folk songs and strong ironic connotations.

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