- Shirley Ann Manson
- Edinburgh Scotland
- United Kingdom
- Working Out
- Sultry Voice Sure To Melt Anything With Testosterone
Manson became a regular on Edinburgh's clubbing scene, and, equipped with free samples from Miss Selfridge, was well known as the hair stylist for a number of local bands. She sang with The Wild Indians and performed backing vocals with Autumn 1904, but had moved on by the time either act put out any work.
Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie
At a local theatre group, Manson was approached by Martin Metcalfe, of Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie, to join his band. Manson initially became sexually involved with Metcalfe, but remained in the group after their split and become a prominent member of the group, playing keyboards, singing backing vocals and was very involved in the business side of the group. Manson's first release with the Mackenzies was a YTS release of "Death of a Salesman" in 1984.
Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie's distributor, MCA Records, expressed interest in putting out a record with Manson and signed her in February 1993 as a solo artist to circumvent the Mackenzie's existing deal (though MCA kept several members of the band as backing musicians). Her solo contract obligated Manson to deliver at least one album and, at the sole option of Radioactive, up to six additional albums.
Angelfish recorded their album Angelfish in Connecticut with Talking Heads' Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, with a single release of "Suffocate Me" in June 1993 on the Wasteland label. The album followed in February 1994 with second single "Heartbreak To Hate", and was well received on college radio. Angelfish toured U.S., Canada, France, Belgium and alongside Vic Chesnutt, co-supported Live on a tour of North America. Around the time of these dates MTV's 120 Minutes aired the band's video for "Suffocate Me". Producer and musician Steve Marker had seen the airing and thought Manson would be a great singer for his band, Garbage, which also featured producers Duke Erikson and Butch Vig but had no lead, but were set on having a woman as their singer.
Vig invited Manson to Smart Studios to sing on a couple of tracks. After a dreadful audition, she returned to Angelfish. At the end the Live tour, Angelfish imploded and Manson returned to Smart for a second try. She began to work on the then-skeletal origins of some songs and the band invited her to become a full-time member of the band and finish the album. In August 1994, Radioactive gave their permission for Manson to work with Garbage.
The band's debut album Garbage was released in August 1995, and went on to sell over 4 million copies, buoyed by a run of high charting singles including Only Happy When It Rains and Stupid Girl. Manson quickly became the public face of the band over the course of a tour that took the band through to the end of 1996.
Manson became the band's chief song-writer for the follow up record Version 2.0 which equaled the success of the band's debut record after its May 1998 release. During the two year tour in support of the record, Manson modeled for Calvin Klein and the group recorded the theme song to James Bond movie The World Is Not Enough, becoming the third Scotswoman to sing a Bond theme after Lulu and Sheena Easton.
For the recording of Garbage's third record throughout 2000, Manson became one of the first high-profile artists to write a blog online, while she decided to improve her guitar playing for the band's next tour. Their third album, beautifulgarbage, featured Manson's most forward and heartfelt lyrics to date. The album did not sell as well as its predecessors, however Garbage performed a successful world tour in support of it.
Manson's lyrics became more overtly political for Garbage's fourth record, 2005's Bleed Like Me, which after the surprise success of lead-in single Why Do You Love Me, posted some of the band's highest chart positions upon release. Garbage disbanded after an extended hiatus in the October of 2005.
Garbage reformed to play a tribute show in 2007, as well as record some new tracks for greatest hits album Absolute Garbage. Garbage are planning to reform properly in 2008, with a view to record its fifth record.
Throughout 2006 and 2007, Manson has kept busy recording a solo record, collaborating with songwriter Paul Buchanan, US rock musicians Jack White, Billy Corgan and Beck, producer and keyboardist Greg Kurstin and James Bond soundtrack composer David Arnold. Garbage drummer and former Nirvana/Smashing Pumpkins producer Butch Vig is also co-writing and producing for her album which is due for release 27th May 2008.
During this time Manson has also worked with Eric Avery on a duet for his debut album, with Debbie Harry on a duet, and also played a dominatrix in the promotional video for She Wants Revenge's single "These Things".
Since its second season Shirley Manson stars as the villainous Catherine Weaver on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.