Billboard Magazine: January 11, 1997

The Modern Age: Typed by Christie - kristie1@juno.com

Garbage's mouthpiece extradordinaire, Shirley Manson, knows the difference between high romance and undue obsession, of course. But she also knows that the nature of intense devotion points to the fine line beteween the two.

"All real love is a form of obsession," Manson says. "If you love someone more than anything else, that degree of exclusitvity requires an abnormal amount of passion and care. And that can be positive. It's just that keeping it short of unhealthy, short of violence, really requires a bit of moderation. You can't let something like that take over all of your thought processes."

Abnormal passion often fuels the greatest drama, and with "Romeo + Juliet" you have a surfeit of charged desire. Garbage's No. 1 Modern Rock Tracks hit, #1 Crush, comes from the Capitol soundtrack to the new film version of Shakespeare's story of star-crossed love, and the song's "I would die for you" refrain and dark, sensual pulse aptly evoke the drive of romantic preoccupation.

A great booster of the Bard in all varieties ("I'm a sucker for tragedy-I love death scenes," she says.) Manson recommend this latest celluloid translation of his work. "So many movies are just violence, women with big tit and 'fucking this' and 'fucking that,' she says. "But art is about so much more than that. This 'Romeo + Juliet' is divine."

Being the soul-plumbing artisit that she is, Manson takes inspiration from the expierence. Some of her past crushes have proved indelibe, for instance.

"Donald Birrrell was my No. 1 Crush, when I was 7 years old," she says. "He had these enormous ears and was really skinny, but I thought he was fabulous. He never once looked in my direction, though. I guess I wasn't his type. But he had this beautiful, straight, blond baby hair, and I've loved baby blond hair ever since. So he might never have taken to me, but Donald left his mark."


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