Smells Like Children is the first EP and second release by American rock band Marilyn Manson, fittingly released a week before Halloween 1995.
Similar to the band's previous output, their debut album Portrait of an American Family, the EP was produced with the help of Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor; however, while Portrait enlisted several assistant producers, the EP was produced exclusively by Reznor.
The EP began life as a remix single for "Dope Hat", but throughout the touring cycle for Portrait, enough music was produced to warrant another release between personnel contributions and new material. The EP was also the first work by the band to feature several longtime members: bassist Twiggy Ramirez and drummer Ginger Fish.
Several years following its release, Manson summarized the EP as "an album that looks like an album for children that is not for children", with a thematic center in the concept of abuse that he felt appropriately prefaced the band's next release, the album Antichrist Superstar.
The EP was certified Platinum, spearheaded primarily by the smash success of the band's cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams", the music video of which became a MTV staple and helped to establish the band in the mainstream.
- "The Hands of Small Children" (1:35)
- "Diary of a Dope Fiend" (5:55)
- "Shitty Chicken Gang Bang" (1:19)
- "Kiddie Grinder Remix" (4:23)
- "Sympathy for the Parents" (1:00)
- "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (4:53)
- "Everlasting Cocksucker Remix" (5:13)
- "Fuck Frankie" (1:48)
- "I Put a Spell on You" (3:36)
- "May Cause Discoloration of the Urine or Feces" (3:59)
- "Scabs, Guns, and Peanut Butter" (1:01)
- "Dance of the Dope Hats Remix" (4:39)
- "White Trash". Remixed by Tony F. Wiggins (2:47)
- "Dancing with the One-Legged... " (0:45)
- "Rock 'N Roll Nigger" (3:31)
- (Bonus Track) (8:19)
Diary of a Trope Fiend:
- Album Filler: A phone conversation between Marilyn Manson and his mother about medicine can be heard on the album.
- Alliterative Title: "Fuck Frankie".
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The title "Scabs, Guns and Peanut Butter" provides an example of this trope.
- Broken Record: "Sympathy For The Parents".My sympathy to the parents.
- Some tracks are remixes of earlier songs from Portrait of an American Family (1994). "Diary of a Dope Fiend" and "Dance of the Dope Hats" are remixes of "Dope Hat", "Kiddie Grinder" of "Organ Grinder" and "Everlasting Cocksucker", "White Trash" and "Dance of the Dope Hats" recycle lyrics of "Cake and Sodomy".
- Manson is dressed as the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on the album cover. The album title itself is also a reference to dialogue from the same character. The track Shitty Chicken Gang Bang is a Pun-Based Title on the same movie. Earlier, on Portrait of an American Family (1994) Manson had already referenced this scene during the track "Organ Grinder", where a sample from the Child Catcher's speech can be heard.
- The track "Diary of a Dope Fiend" references Aleister Crowley's novel Diary of a Drug Fiend. Crowley was referenced earlier on Portrait of an American Family in the line "We're gonna ride to the Abbey of Thelema" in "Misery Machine'" , a reference to his Abbey of Thelema.
- Children Are Innocent: Several lyrics use Creepy Child imagery.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: "Everlasting Cocksucker".
- Concept Album: According to Manson most tracks deal with the concept of abuse and its most common target: innocence.
- Content Warnings: The album warns us:May Cause Discoloration of the Urine or Feces.
- Cover Version: "Sweet Dreams", a Eurythmics cover, "Rock 'n' Roll Nigger", a Patti Smith cover from her album Easter, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You is also adapted.
- Department of Redundancy Department: The title: "Abuse, Part 1 (There is Pain Involved)".
- Face on the Cover: Manson seen through a Fish-Eye Lens.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: "Kiddie Grinder" alludes to this.
- Fish-Eye Lens: The album cover.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "Rock 'N' Roll Nigger", a cover of the Patti Smith song of the same name.
- Little Green Men: Manson is seen in green skin on the album cover.
- Mythology Gag: "Dancing with the One-Legged" and "Sympathy for the Parents" both showcase distorted sound clips from an appearance by the band on The Phil Donahue Show.
- Nightmare Face: Manson on the album cover.
- N-Word Privileges: Subverted in "Rock N Roll Nigger", a cover of Patti Smith from her album Easter, who is also white and therefore subverted the trope.
- The album title and Manson's outfit on the album cover are a reference to the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The track "Shitty Chicken Gang Bang" is a Pun-Based Title on the same movie.
- Diary of a Dope Fiend is a reference to Aleister Crowley's Diary of a Drug Fiend.
- "Sympathy for the Parents" is a shout-out to "Sympathy for the Devil" from The Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet.
- Spiking the Camera: Manson does this on the album cover.
- Stock Sound Effects: Distorted crying baby sounds during the intro.
- Surreal Music Video: The video of "Sweet Dreams", directed by Dean Karr, depicts Manson and his band in an abandoned building, intercut with scenes where walks around in a tutu in the street and rides a pig wearing a cowboy hat, covered in mud.
- Sympathy for the Devil: "Sympathy for the Parents" is an allusion to this Rolling Stones song.
- Take That!: "Fuck Frankie" is a diss to Frankie Proia, their former tour manager who embezzled $20,000 from the band during their tour for their previous release, Portrait of an American Family.