Manic Street Preachers

  • 09 June 2004

Band form


Manic Street Preachers (formed in 1986) Manic Street Preachers are a Welsh rock band consisting of James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore.

Formation: Manic Street Preachers formed at Oakdale Comprehensive School, Blackwood, South Wales. Bradfield started out writing lyrics but the role was later switched to Wire leaving Bradfield and Sean Moore to write the music. Their original bassist Flicker (Miles Woodward) left in 1988, the same year they recorded their first single, 'Suicide Alley'. Richey Edwards soon joined the band on guitar. In 1990, they signed with Damaged Goods Records for the 'New Art Riot' EP, before signing to indie label Heavenly Records.

Musical career: Manic Street Preachers' first single for Heavenly Records was 'Motown Junk'. In 1991, Richey Edwards carved '4 Real' into his arm with a razorblade after being questioned by an NME journalist about their punk roots following a gig in Norwich. He had to have 17 stitches. The band signed to Columbia Records to record their debut album 'Generation Terrorists' released in 1992. It reached number 13 in the UK chart. Their second album 'Gold Against the Soul' was a lot more grungey in its sound and reached number 8. Between 1994 and 1995, Edwards' mental health was suffering massively and he was admitted to private psychiatric hospital The Priory in 1994 for which the band paid for with funds from a few festivals they played without him. In 1995, he went missing from a hotel he was staying at and his car was discovered near the Severn Bridge looking lived in. He was not found and was officially presumed dead in 2008. The first album without Edwards was 'Everything Must Go' which became a huge hit. It was shortlisted for the 1996 Mercury Prize award and won two BRITs. Its first single 'A Design for Life' reached number 2 in the UK chart. Their next album, 1998's 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours', was their first and only number one album to date and gave them their first number one single with 'If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next'. In 1999, they played the first and biggest concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in front of 80,000 fans. Their next number one single was in 2000 with 'The Masses Against the Classes'. In 2001, they were the first major Western rock band to play in Cuba and met President Fidel Castro. Their first greatest hits collection was 'Forever Delayed' in 2002 and contained the new songs 'Door to the River' and 'There by the Grace of God'. In 2004, they released seventh album 'Lifeblood' which preceded a UK arena tour. In 2005, they announced their last tour for two years. During their shows, they gave out copies of their new EP 'God Save the Manics' to concert goers before releasing it on their website as a free download. Their eighth album 'Send Away the Tigers' came in the charts at number 2 in 2007. Later that year they released Christmas single 'The Ghosts of Christmas' as a free download. In 2008, they were awarded the God-Like Geniuses Award at the NME Awards ceremony. Their ninth album, 'Journal for Plague Lovers', was released in 2009 and even features some lyrics from long lost bandmate Edwards. In 2010, they released the pop album 'Postcards from a Young Man' with first single '(It's Not War) Just the End of Love' being given much radio airplay. Their subsequent tour was supported by the band British Sea Power and two other singles 'Some Kind of Nothingness' and the title track were later released. The next compilation, 'National Treasures - The Complete Singles', came out in 2011 and was followed by a European tour. In 2012, an interview documentary film about their debut album was screened at the Chapter Arts Centre in Wales with the profits going to Young Promoters Network.

Manic Street Preachers - This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (20 Years Collectors' Edition) Album Review

By Mark Moore in Music Reviews on 12 December 2018

By 1998, Britpop bands were on the decline yet for the Manic Street Preachers, the creative juices seemed to flow stronger than ever. The Welsh boys released their fifth studio album 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours' that year; not your typical Manics record, and one that went a long way in reinventing their sound. Given how unexpected it was, not everyone was sure about this release at the time. But in the end it proved to be a great addition to their back catalogue and is still relevant twenty years on.

When you look back at the singles, you realise why this was such a game changer for the Manics. They didn't have as much of the political outrage of previous albums, but that's largely down to losing their key lyricist Richey Edwards; the change is apparent in such tracks as 'You Stole The Sun From My Heart', though the likes of 'If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next' and 'Tsunami' showed that there was still fire within the Manics.

But the reissue of this album for the fans is not about the thirteen original tracks (after all, we already know and love them!), but all the extras including demos, b-sides and live rehearsal recordings. This is about hearing the band stripped back and gaining an insight into what some of the songs from the album could have sounded like, and opening up the debate about which version was better along the way. The third disc brings in the remixes as well as some interesting b-sides; the Manics are up there with Oasis for banging out a great b-side.

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Music News Round-Up: New Ian Brown And Gerard Way Songs, Drake Breaks Beatles Record

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 28 October 2018

Drake Damon Albarn Ian Brown Gerard Way Manic Street Preachers

The latest music news rounded up, including a first album in 11 years from Damon Albarn's The Good, The Bad & The Queen.


Rap megastar Drake has just overhauled a Billboard chart record held by The Beatles for over half a century, after his new track with Bad Bunny landed in the top ten this week.

The 32 year old’s guest spot on ‘MIA’ means that he’s now had 12 songs reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2018 – the most that any artist has had in a single year. It meant that a chart record that had stood for 54 years, when The Beatles scored 11 top ten hits in 1964 when both ‘I Feel Fine’ and ‘She’s A Woman’ entered the charts in America on December 26th that year.

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Seven British Bands That Couldn't Crack America

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 11 August 2018

Oasis Paul Weller Sugababes Manic Street Preachers Girls Aloud Take That Stereophonics

Seven British bands who couldn't grasp the Holy Grail of the American market.

The histories of American and British pop music is inextricably linked. Often, the same bands that enjoy success in the States also hit the charts in Old Blighty, and vice versa. Think The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, or Nirvana headlining Reading ’92 – common language and similar culture make the transition easy for many.

However, there are notable exceptions on this front – artists who, however massive they make it in Britain, for whatever reason can’t crack America. Here, we look at seven of the biggest British bands who just couldn’t make it out there.


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Manic Street Preachers - First Direct Arena, Leeds 02.05.2018 Live Review

By Alex Lai in Music Reviews on 03 May 2018

On the road to promote their much-acclaimed 13th album, which was a place shy of topping the UK charts, Manic Street Preachers showed they are far from becoming a heritage act. Their diary sees them soon take to Europe for prestigious support slots with Guns 'n' Roses, before they embark on the festival circuit.

A combo of 'International Blue' and the classic 'Motorcycle Emptiness' is about as impressive an opening as you can get, also acting as a reminder of the dexterous guitar abilities of James Dean Bradfield. From there the Welsh titans take a decent stab of a potted history, while also avoiding a safe 'hits only' set to reward their hardcore fans - album tracks and B-sides feature in the shape of 'No Surface All Feeling', '4 Ever Delayed' and 'Horses Under Starlight'. While these may not be familiar to all in attendance, few British acts have artillery of the standard of 'The Masses Against The Classes', 'If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next' and 'You Stole The Sun From My Heart' to stir the senses.

The destructive anthems are momentarily parked for a short acoustic set in which 'Faster' works surprisingly well and a burst of 'Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You' is dedicated to the local and Welsh icon Gary Speed. New cuts sound splendid on stage, highlights of which are the huge 'Hold Me Like A Heaven' and 'Distant Colours'. Perhaps the nicest aspect of the show is the tangible friendship between Bradfield and Nicky Wire, channelled through an on-going narrative in-between performing which covers recent news about Gibson guitars and harks back to school football teams over 40 years ago. It is this connection and the one forged with their fans through a superb catalogue which keeps the Manics a force to be reckoned with.

Manic Street Preachers performing live at the Manchester Arena as part of their UK 2018 Spring tour. The band recently dropped their first album in four years 'Resistance Is Futile' - Manchester, United Kingdom - Saturday 28th April 2018

Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile Album Review

By Mark Moore in Music Reviews on 13 April 2018

Just when you think they've about drifted away into the mist never to return, Manic Street Preachers kick back with another epic album. Unlucky for some, Manic Street Preachers release their thirteenth studio album today - rather appropriately, Friday the 13th.

Luckily, 'Resistance Is Futile' is epic enough to avoid the superstition that surrounds it. Having already released the distinctive 'Distant Colours' and 'Electric Blue' which has that classic Manics energy to it, the third single was 'Dylan & Catlin', bringing in a duo with James Dean Bradfield's complementing that of The Anchoress beautifully.

Opening track 'People Give In' has the stamp of Manic Street Preachers all over it, complete with wonderfully contradicting lyrics such as "People give in, people stay strong". On the other hand, it is a slight change in direction for the band; that rock edge is still there but it's certainly one of their more melodic albums. 'Sequels Of Forgotten Wars' along with 'Hold Me Like Heaven' showcase the more melodious blends.

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Manic Street Preachers Want A Sense Of Optimism In Their Music

By Clive King in Music / Festivals on 08 December 2017

Manic Street Preachers Nicky Wire James Dean Bradfield

Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire has admitted he tried to ''put a sense of optimism'' into his lyrics for the band's latest album 'Resistance Is Futile'.

Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire tried to put across ''a sense of optimism'' in his lyrics for their new album.

The 'Motorcycle Emptiness' rockers are preparing for the release of their 13th LP 'Resistance Is Futile', and the band's lyricist has admitted the words are almost a protest to the state of the world at the moment.

He explained to NME magazine: ''On the single ['International Blue'] and the whole album, there are a lot of mini tributes to things that make your life feel a little bit better.

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Manic Street Preachers Announce New Album And 2018 Arena Tour

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 17 November 2017

Manic Street Preachers

The Manics' 13th album, 'Resistance Is Futile', will be released in April 2018.

Welsh rock heroes Manic Street Preachers have unveiled details of a new album, to be titled Resistance Is Futile, along with a significant arena tour of the UK in 2018.

Less than a month after they teased their fiercely loyal fanbase with the possibility that they may never release another album, the trio announced on Friday (November 17th) that their 13th studio record will be released on April 6th next year, via Columbia/Sony. It can be pre-ordered via the Manics' site here.

It will arrive a little under four years since their last album Futurology, itself a sort of ‘twin album’ to the acoustic Rewind The Film, which both arrived within nine months of each other.

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The Stone Roses' Uncertain Future

By Clive King in Music / Festivals on 13 September 2017

The Stone Roses Manic Street Preachers

The Stone Roses' biographer John Robb isn't sure whether the group have split or not, but admits their unpredictability keeps them ''interesting''.

The Stone Roses could ''combust at any moment''.

That's according to John Robb, the group's biographer, has compared to the band to fellow British rockers Manic Street Preachers, hinting they are a bit more predictable than the Ian Brown-fronted outfit, who he insists have a ''brilliance'' about them but it is too ''fleeting''.

He said: ''I love Manic Street Preachers, but there's a certainty to them. That's not a criticism of them, just that you know they'll all be in the Manics for the rest of their lives. The thing about The Roses, is that from day one that band could have combusted at any moment. Their brilliance is so fleeting and hard to grasp, that it disappears. They get it in their hands, then they just let it go again.

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Manic Street Preachers Send Away The Tigers (10 Year Collectors' Edition) Double CD and DVD Review

By Mark Moore in Music Reviews on 16 May 2017

Manic Street Preachers have been around since the mid 1980's and over the course of those 30+ years they've always managed to find a way to re-invent themselves and keep their music current and relevant. However with this release, the band have taken a different step and offer their ever loyal fans a treat with a collectors' edition (not reissue) of "Send Away The Tigers" to mark its 10 year release.

As is the case with most collectors' editions, it's all about the added extras and with this release there is plenty of fantastic new additions spanning two CD's and two DVD's to keep listeners/viewers interested.

Naturally, the album itself is there but there are a few interesting extras on the first disc that are worthy additions. There's a brilliant (and unpredicted) electronic, jazz tinged cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" as well as a number of demo versions of album tracks, which are sure to go down well with listeners. One of the most intriguing things about the inclusion of demo versions is that you can hear just how the recording process developed and changed each track, down to its individual elements.

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James Dean Bradfield , Manic Street Preachers - On Blackheath Festival 2015 - Day 1 - Performances - James Dean Bradfield - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 12th September 2015

Manic Street Preachers - Latitude Festival - Day 3 - Performances at Suffolk, Latitude Festival - Southwold, United Kingdom - Sunday 19th July 2015

20 Years Missing: Sister Of Manic Street Preachers Star Speaks Of Family Pain

By Holly Williams in Lifestyle / Showbiz on 02 February 2015

Manic Street Preachers

The 20th anniversary of 'presumed dead' guitarist brings back personal agony.

Twenty years on since the unexplained disappearance of Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards, his sister talks of the pain she and her family have gone through over the years, especially on the part of their late father Graham.

Image caption Manic Street Preachers are still releasing music

Sunday, February 1st 2015 was the 20th anniversary of Edwards' disappearance, though it's now more than six years since he was officially 'presumed dead' in 2008. The star went missing ahead of a scheduled US flight in 1995, that would mark the beginning of their overseas tour that year. While it seemed that he deliberately made himself scarce after it was discovered that money had been removed from his bank account and he had been seen in Newport at the passport office and bus station, as well as taking a long taxi journey to Severn View service station, it was never discovered what exactly happened to him. His car was found abandoned and in later years there would be claims of his spotting abroad, but the family was forced to have him declared legally dead by 2008.

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Manic Street Preachers and Grosvenor House Sunday 21st October 2012

Manic Street Preachers Friday 29th June 2012 receives the 25th Anniversary O2 Silver Clef Award presented by The Manic Street Preachers,