Marilyn Manson's raising eyebrows again, this time with the cover of his new album, Holy Wood (In the Valley of the Shadow of Death), which portrays the shock rocker in a crucifixion pose, missing his lower jaw, eyes rolled back in his head.
Music and electronics retailer Circuit City is stocking the album with alternate cover art on a cardboard sleeve that fits around the disc, according to a spokesperson for the 622-store chain. The alternate art is a close-up of Manson's face, taken from the original cover.
"People who are fans will be able to get the cover art they want, but we thought this was in the best interests of all of our customers," Circuit City spokesperson Jim Babb said from the chain's corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.
Best Buy will stock the album with its original cover art in the chain's 411 stores, but decided to go with the "less offensive" cover art in its advertising campaigns, according to Laurie Bauer, director
of public relations for the company, which is headquartered in Minneapolis.
Manson responded to the chains' actions in a post on his official Web site, marilynmanson.net.
"The irony is that my point of the photo on the album was to show people that the crucifixion of Christ is, in deed, a violent image," he wrote. "My jaw is missing as a symbol of this very kind of censorship. This doesn't piss me off as much as it pleases me, because those offended by my album cover have successfully proven my point."
A spokesperson for Interscope Records was unavailable for comment. Holy Wood contains Manson's new single, "Disposable Teens".
Discount stores Wal-Mart and Kmart will not carry the album because an edited version is not available. Neither store carries albums with parental advisory stickers.