Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs

Right, holy shit, so am I actually doing this…?

“Repeat after me…”

The Manic Street Preachers are the greatest rock band ever. That’s not an opinion, it’s a conclusion that I’ve reached and am now saying it loudly and not listening to any dissenting voices, which in 2021 counts as a ‘fact’.

Their greatness is… complicated… and not easy to explain in a simple intro to a blog post… These 100 tracks aren’t necessarily the greatest songs ever. Even as a pathetically dedicated Manics stan*, even I would argue that they’ve only ever released one indisputable, stone cold classic record from front to back (see if you can guess which one after you read the list!). They may have supernatural control over melodies and how best to ensure a chorus hits just there, but at the end of the day they’re just a rock band. They have never really challenged the very boundaries of music, never pushed things forward or necessarily introduced anything new sonically. I would argue that only one of their albums is truly challenging and experimental, rather than just being a break from what the band usually produce (yeah, it’s the same album…). I mean, Jesus, they once shamelessly released a song including the lyric “The world is full of refugees/They’re just like you and just like me“. That’s unforgivably bad, isn’t it? They can’t come back from that, artistically.

“You stand there and you think about what you’ve done”

(*I may occasionally use cool, groovy, young person lingo like ‘stan’ so you think I’m a hip young gunslinger. Not, y’know, old enough to be a Manics fan)

I’m not able to explain their magic here, but over the next one hundred (!) entries you’ll hopefully all have a better idea. It’s not as dominated by the 90’s as I was worried it might be, and every album is represented (apart from one. Because their tenth album is worse than Hitler). I’ve been wanting to find the time to do this for ages, partially inspired by the great What is Music podcast covering their entire discography and reminding me of how many big veiny stonkers this band had bulging out of their collective musical swimming trunks. They’re talking about Muse on that podcast now, a band for morons, so you only need to listen to the last season. My major blind spot is I don’t think they’ve done a decent b-side since 2001. Now, I’m sure I’m wrong, so please correct my ignorance in the comments. Tell me how wrong I am. Post your top tens. Your top hundreds. The Manic Street Preachers’ fan community is one of the greatest in the world, and no other band are as connected with their fanbase and feed off their adoration as much as The Manics. So let’s celebrate that by calling me a fat slut in the comments because I didn’t choose Little Baby Nothing.

If you don’t have time for such nonsense, here’s the Spotify playlist and here’s all the songs in order on YouTube.

And, er, you might wanna bookmark this page – motherfucker’s gonna be long. Your next 500 trips to the toilet are sorted.

Continue reading “Love Their Mess and Adore Their Failures: Manic Street Preachers’ 100 Greatest Songs”

4 Little Simz: Grey Area

I say it with my chest and I don’t care who I offend, uh huh, ha

Just to let you know, dear reader, at times in this article it may sound like I’m derogating the general situation or decrying a loss of civility in wider society or lame things like that, but I am actually complaining about you personally, as your own behaviour is at the centre of what I’m talking about and it is completely within your power to address it. And, I’m sorry, but if you consider yourself left wing then you really are chiefly what I’m thinking of. We cool? We cool??

img_0854.png

If you are left wing, you are (generally, generally, generally!!) concerned with supporting the community rather than the individual but also want the state to make it as easy as possible for a human being to express themselves freely and with a truly equal framework of opportunity. That’s cool and- you know what?- I probably agree with you. If you are right wing you are (generallyGen-er-motherfuckin’-ly!!!) concerned more with allowing the more successful people as little impediments to their achievements as possible, you think the best state is one that interferes as little as possible, that things like high taxes and overzealous bureaucracy only discourages human potential. You (GENERALLY!!!!) thank that to support the less successful financially is actually just encouraging people to ‘do nothing’ and removes the impetus for them to truly excel. That’s cool. I don’t agree, but we both honestly believe that our positions on society are what’s best for either the good of the community/country/world or just, y’know, yourself and your own family. Maybe the latter’s more important to you. Maybe the former’s more important to me only because it will increase the good of the latter. Maybe we both think that the former plays a part in improving the latter but without the latter being dealt with the former has no chance but without the former being stabilised we don’t even have a latter but then what is the former if not just a larger collection of latters and the latter and the former both need to somehow work in synergy? Yes, that’s probably the one statement we can all agree with.

Continue reading “4 Little Simz: Grey Area”

25 Sir Babygirl: Crush On Me; 24 Tove Lo: Sunshine Kitty

What’s your favourite female personality? By my count, you’ve got a choice between two of them.

58a5b866d55a89f27644e465dd1d83df
As many as six?? Give over

 

We should all be extremely proud of ourselves as a society for getting to this many. Aren’t we amazing? There’s really no need for you to do anything worthwhile, you live in a society that’s been extremely kind to certain groups of people. No, don’t give any money to charity (you actually once read that article that said that giving money to charity was somehow absolutely the worst thing you could possibly do. You can’t remember the exact reasoning, something to do with Bono having glaucoma, but it was very convincing) just by existing in a wonderful society that gives people things you’ve already donated the most precious gift of all. Anyway. isn’t paying tax kind of like giving to charity? You did plenty of that in your early 20s before Uncle Ted told you about equity swaps. Just lie back and feel rightfully smug at all the amazing things society is doing that you’re not loudly objecting to most days. Did you hear that black people were allowed to dance in Oklahoma now? You did that! Or at least, you didn’t stop it!

Continue reading “25 Sir Babygirl: Crush On Me; 24 Tove Lo: Sunshine Kitty”

Necessary Evil 2019 (30-26)

30 Candy Says: You Are Beautiful, We Are All Beautiful v2

a3374970246_10

If this blog has one true aim, then it’s to introduce and promote new…

Well… no, actually, if this blog has one true aim then it’s to extensively psychoanalyse myself and admit my private shame into what I believe to be essentially ‘The Void’, all under the laughable pretense of ‘reviewing music’. Ha! I haven’t done any ‘music reviews’ since I was highly scathing as a twelve/six year old of the 1996 Dodgy album ‘Free Peace Sweet‘. Three piece suite! Now I get it! Sorry, Dodgy, that review was unnecessarily harsh. Reappraisal: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

OK, but if this blog had a secondary aim, then it’s to introduce and promote new artists to…

No, the secondary aim is just an excuse to talk about Manic Street Preachers as much as possible, isn’t it? With ‘Official Prince Chat’ sprinkled on the side as garnish. I might just rename the blog to ‘Artists I Liked When I Was a Kid, At Length (While I Wait for the Next Hotelier Album)’. Dot WordPress dot com.

(…)

“If it had a third purpose it’d be […] no actually it’d be [BANTER]. In that case the fourth purpose would be […] actually, it’d probably be [STONE COLD MEGALOLZ]. But the fifth purpose would definitely be… (repeat)”

Continue reading “Necessary Evil 2019 (30-26)”

47 Superorganism: Superorganism

We have to stop talking about ‘The Internet’ like it’s a distinct and separate thing, a place somehow separate to everything else. We need to stop talking about ‘The Internet’  in the same way we talk about that time I wet my pants ‘at the zoo’ or that time I wet my pants ‘at Kew Gardens’ or that time I wet my pants ‘at the UN National Assembly’. Also, we need to stop talking about the times I wet my pants, can we not talk about your day for a change??

000001.jpg

‘The Internet’ is no longer this curious and hidden alternative to reality used only by weirdos to secretly find what other depraved people near them also believe that Star Wars was never really that fucking good in the first place*. ‘The Internet’ is now just ‘Everything’. It has no unique facets or distinctive characteristics, it’s just ‘The World’.

Continue reading “47 Superorganism: Superorganism”