Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson first started discussing a solo album in 2006, when she told Billboard, "I've got no timetable. I'm sort of sick of timetables, to be honest. I just want to live my life a little freely and not adhere to any schedule -- just make music and have fun."
Over the next few years, a few demos emerged from her "So Called Noir" sessions, including "In the Snow," but not much else. Manson blogged on MySpace in '08, saying label reps had heard her music and thought it was too dark. "I'm 41, I'm a woman not a kid. I have no interest in making silly pop music and I don't want to wear a silly sexy outfit and sell myself short," she wrote. Die-hard fans started a Facebook group to lobby her label to release her "Noir Album," writing, "Shirley doesn't need to sing stuff like: 'Rich Girl,' 'Sweet Scape' or 'Cool' to sell records." They likely meant "Sweet Escape," as these are all digs at fellow '90s frontwoman Gwen Stefani.
Okay, so what ever happened to this solo album? Shirley Manson explains how it got 86'd in a depressing Facebook post called "So Called Noir and what the F just happened in there?!?!" that implies her lax timetable became no timetable because of evil record execs. To illustrate what went down, Manson wrote a brief script detailing a "not entirely fictional" conversation she had with a suit who came to hear her demos, which is apparently how awesome '90s lady rockers grapple with industry poop these days (see Liz Phair's Funstyle).
"Exec: How we'd like to see your career shape up from here is that we would market you as the next Annie Lennox. Yep.....the world is waiting for the next Annie Lennox and you could definitely be her. You need a handful of pop hits like Sweet Dreams and Here Comes that Girl again and something like WHY.....and you'd be golden. None of this dark yucky stuff. Nobody wants to listen to dour sounds. Nope. Excellence is the business we are in. And that's what we do here. We make pop hits that make the whole world sing."
Fans quickly flooded Manson's post with comments imploring her to release the music herself online or independently. In more encouraging news, there is a new Garbage album in the pipeline. But really, somebody told the girl who's only happy when it rains that she's too dark?! You be the judge:
[Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]
- Shirley Manson