Manic Street Preachers

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Postby Cracked Pleasures » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:01 pm

Who else here is into the Manics??


Of all "Britpop" bands (or bands labelled Britpop incorrectly), they are about the only ones I am into along with Placebo. Most nineties acts and modern bands are none of my interest, but I am happy to make an exception for Nicky Wire, James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore, and (yes, still in our hearts) Richey Edwards James.

The Manics must be the most intellectual band to rise since the Smiths broke up. Their discography filled with politics-laden songs, some of their writings have a political reference in practically every sentence. Their songs are full of hidden references to persons, events, writings, and they use a lot of quotations in their songs. I really adore how they manage to mix all those references into meaningful lyrics without losing their cohesion. The band truely writes songs that never sound forced, but that -due to the many references- are very interesting to analyse as there's so many hidden links in their songs.

Starting off as a glam act, they proved to be so much more than the meaningless shock-rockers they were blamed for by the media. The Holy Bible is one of the most interesting (and most depressing) albums of all time, full of paranoid gloom written by Richey, you also smell the Smiths influences in titles such as "Roses to the hospital" or "She is suffering" (the Manics indeed are heavily influenced by Morrissey, they attended Smiths shows regularly prior to forming their own band).

My favourite Manics songs are definitely The Masses Against The Classes, and A Design For Life.

"The Masses..." is a true communist anthem, though the message spread between the lines applies to anyone regardless of his political believes. I like the feelings of the last chorus, where "I'm tired of giving a reason, when the future is what we believe in" is replaced by "when WE're the only thing left to believe in" - a statement of hope in mankind and in a society united in believes instead of torn apart. The song inspired Fidel Castro to invite the Manics in Cuba ; the band accepted the invitation and became the first UK act ever to perform in Cuba.

"A Design For Life" is about how society evolved for centuries and reached an intellectual peek after many years of research, yet at the same time we seem to do nothing with our knowledge and get stuck in decadence: "we don't talk about love, we only want to get drunk". The opening line is an immediate typical Manics writing: full of references. "Libraries gave us power, then work came and made us free. What price now for a shallow piece of dignity?" -- the line is clean and powerful, yet the more intellectual listener will discover two clear quotations: "knowledge is power" and "Arbeit macht frei".

More between-the-lines writing can be found in their most commercial efford "If you tolerate this your children will be next" (that title sounds Moz-esque, doesn't it?): the song is about losing morals in society, though also refers to the war in Spain when Franco's regime was beaten. A Welsh farmer went to Spain to fight for his ideals, when asked if he wasn't afraid he spoke the words "if I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists". The line was used in the song, one of the least known quotations the Manics used for their songs, but it remains one of the many quotes in the songs.

"La tristesse durera" (= the sadness will go on) were Vincent Van Gogh's last words. The Manics wrote a whole song about that one line.

One of my favourites is Tsunami. Swamped in an oriental sound, the song is a reference to two Welsh twin sisters who were separeted beyond their will and then refused to speak as a protest, when one of them died many years later the other one started speaking again. Nicky Wire wrote the song shortly after Richey's disappearance, as he saw a link to himself in the story: his best friend vanished, and he had to stand up and speak again = writing the songs himself. The song is about how life can break you down when you least expect it, but how we always find strength to stand up again ; the tsunami is a metaphor for both powers.
I named my cat after the sung: Tsunami :ph34r:

Another fan favourite is "Little Baby Nothing": an ode to women, who stand strong in a society dominated by men who see them as lust objects. The song is ironically intended, as an ode to women and not as an insult. Porn actress Tracy Lords did the female vocals for the song, as the Manics saw her as a perfect example of how women use men's weaknesses for their own benefit.




Any other fans here?

And does anyone share my belief that Richey is still alive somewhere far away?
Keep it flaming your desire, always rising higher - Aim for stars and hit the sky
(Echo & The Bunnymen - Evergreen, 1996)

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Postby Bref » Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:21 pm

yeah i love the manics. My first gig was a manics gig. My favourite album is the holy bible, the lyrics are poetry, the music is punk, the result is one of the best albums of the 90s. I also love everything must go. This album is more pop orientated and lyrically weaker due to Richey's abscence on some tracks, but it's fun and very accessible. I don't like their new album (lifeblood) but Know your enemy was a return to their punk sound. A really good band
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Postby clarky » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:00 am

im quite a fan of the first 3 albums....after that they did seem to go on a downhill track for me, although lifeblood i did quite like, and the track firefight off the god save the manics ep is in my opinion one of the finest songs they have penned
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Postby Cracked Pleasures » Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:58 pm

Bref wrote:yeah i love the manics. My first gig was a manics gig. My favourite album is the holy bible, the lyrics are poetry, the music is punk, the result is one of the best albums of the 90s. I also love everything must go. This album is more pop orientated and lyrically weaker due to Richey's abscence on some tracks, but it's fun and very accessible. I don't like their new album (lifeblood) but Know your enemy was a return to their punk sound. A really good band


Lifeblood actually does contain some good songs, they did pick the wrong ones to release as singles. I like the opening track "1985" which sounds very melancholic : "We're realised it's not coming back..." slaps you in the face after they first sang several lines about how they created everlasting friendships... Great song!

Their older work does appeal to me more than the recent stuff, I miss Richey's dark world-view a bit. However, they did release some great songs in the post-Richey era: A Design For LIfe, The Masses Against The Classes, Door To The River, Everything Must Go, Tsunami, If You Tolerate This..., You Stole The Sun From My Heart, Let Robeson Sing were all very fine songs (yes, Door To The River as well, why does everyone seem to hate that track ??). Interesting is that one of their most famous songs, The Everlasting, is a song they always disliked themselves and only sing because the fans ask for it.

Also, the Manics are true friendship and loyalty: despite Richey being gone for 10 years now and despite him not having collaborated on the last 4 albums, 25% of every royalties still goes into a funds for him, if he ever returns he gets that money as if he was still part of the band for all that time. The remaining Manics truely proved that the manics are a group of friends more than a musical act. Richey's parents could have claimed the money if they had him declared dead (which is legal after 7 years of being missing) but they refused and prefered to kept the search open.

On a personal note by the way: the first girl to whom I ever declared my feelings, was someone I met at a Manics concert. Unfortunately it was not "the everlasting", she did steal the sun from my heart :(
Last edited by Cracked Pleasures on Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby this_charming_girl » Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:26 pm

again i apologise for bringing up old topics but hey i havnt been here for a while :P

so aaanyway, just thought id add to some things said, yes i also do,naively!,think Richey is still alive. Design for life is their worst song by far and it signifies the complete end of an era of when they were just fantastic and moved into the music that lager louts at football matches would listen to. eurgh.

Holy Bible cannot be beaten, its just an outstanding album in every way and any manics fan who cant see that or disagree's,is frankly not a manics fan and is just wrong. :D

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Postby Cracked Pleasures » Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:32 pm

we disagree on this one... A Design For Life is my favourite Manics track, along with The Masses Against The Classes. And their best video for sure!

I too believe Richey is still alive but I don't believe he's still in the UK (as some think). I think he's just somewhere far away and that we'll never see him again. But I do believe he's somewhere out there, I won't believe he's dead until we have a clear proof.
Keep it flaming your desire, always rising higher - Aim for stars and hit the sky
(Echo & The Bunnymen - Evergreen, 1996)

Capital punishment = murder

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Postby this_charming_girl » Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:37 pm

yep i'll give you that, masses is a great song, but seriosuly, how can you like design for life?! theres just nothing to it, theres no manics in that song! its just everything they would never have been had richey not left, if that makes sense?! and it ruins their best post-richey album, because most of it other than that is great,mainly the richey tracks but still, its a shame they used that as their comeback i think.

theres no way he could still be in the UK without being found is there?! its ridiculous, he's obviosuly done a Salinger :P
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Postby Cracked Pleasures » Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:44 pm

I like the lyrics of A Design For Life and the feeling, the working class anthem and at the same time disgust of what society has become, it's a very socially desperate song. I love it! And that video with those citations is great as well.

You'd be surprised how well some people can hide themselves... I know there was a guy in Newcastle (England) who disappeared, they found him 19 years later alive and kicking... in a town 10miles down the road! And that was after remaining unnoticed for 19 years!

One of the 'sights' of Richey that was reported to the police was a taxidriver who drove a 'strange young man' to Cardiff. When passing the bridge where some people think Richey could have jumped from, the man told the driver "take a different way, this is not a good place". Only afterwards the taxi driver linked this person to Richey, but of course there's no proof that it was actually Richey himself.
I personally don't believe he's still in the UK. Probably somewhere far away where no one knows him.
Keep it flaming your desire, always rising higher - Aim for stars and hit the sky
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Postby Cracked Pleasures » Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:46 pm

Did anyone hear the solo records from Nicky and James yet? Both got some excellent reviews in the press (the press loving the Manics?! How ironically things change sometimes...) and especially Nicky's album does interest me a lot as it should have the same ideological content as the Manics albums...

And a wee PS: am I the only one thinking the girl lyp-synching in the Little Baby Nothing video is very very attractive? <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUaytvw9AaM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUaytvw9AaM</a> -- the vocals were done by Traci Lords (yes, that Traci Lords!) but she was unavailable for the video shooting, so they hired a model. What an incredibly cute girl, that face is so nice... :wub:

And while on YouTube: check the A Design For Life video. I bet you'll start liking the song! Excellent video, with some very nice citations on the background. "Tomorrow is too late" - "A house is a machine for living in" - and more...
Keep it flaming your desire, always rising higher - Aim for stars and hit the sky
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Postby this_charming_girl » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:25 pm

yep i love both Nicky and James' solo work, you can definately see the different era's of the manics in them tho, James sticking to 'safer' newer sounding stuff with Nicky kinda going back to some more raw sonding manics stuff i guess. and the cd case is pink so clearly it cant be faulted! :P

it still amuses me that they used Traci Lords, especially as they actually wanted Kylie, hmm bit of a difference there id say! its a cool song though, definately overlooked i think, though i think the whole GT album is overlooked personally but thats another issue!

also, what do you think of the EMG anniversary thing? doesnt compare to the HB one, but what can?!, i like the documentray and all that stuff though. got that and the HB one in prime position on the top stand of my cd rack haha

(also i wont comment on design for life,, apart form saying, eurgh.) :P

Stefi x
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Postby Cracked Pleasures » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:10 pm

They 'used' Traci Lords sounds so weird when knowing the lady's background :ph34r: Yeah they wanted Kylie Minogue originally but couldn't pay her, so they got Traci Lords who then sang the lines. She was unavailable for the video so then they used a model to lip-synch.

The good old days... Generation Terrorists had some truely excellent material. You mention Everything Must Go, I'd say it's a very good album as well. Only past This Is My Truth... (so from Know Your Enemy on) I found them a bit standing still, not exploring new paths anymore, although without saying the Know Your Enemy and Lifeblood were bad, both still had a few good songs on them.

I am very curious for mainly Nicky's solo work, although I always find solo albums a bit an unpleasant thought... How often didn't it happen that in the end the band didn't reunite because all were busy doing their own stuff? I'd hate that happening to the Manics, as I feel they still aren't done yet as a band.
Keep it flaming your desire, always rising higher - Aim for stars and hit the sky
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Postby this_charming_girl » Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:02 pm

well i'd include this is my truth in there too! everything must go was the last one with the real essence of the manics in it, then after that they essentially became a different band! dont get me wrong, i still love all the other albums, but in a different way and so much as to say to people, 'wow you really have to listne to these albums' as i would with earlier ones.

i think theyre new album next year is gonna be good, theyv talked about it going back to their roots and being more manics i guess. looking forward to that one, and the tours to go with it of course :D
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Postby this_charming_girl » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:44 pm

oooh yey manics new tour!!!! got my tickets, anyone else going???

Stefi x
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knowledgeable,but not always right
salvageable, and free for the night.

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Postby clarky » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:02 pm

well after hearing 2 new songs by them i have a bit more faith for them in a new album,but come paril or may i suppose we will know
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Postby elko » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:20 pm

C'mon folks, give up on the Manics already!

There are plenty of awful bands to go around!
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