Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Manic Street Preachers

I would say Manic Street Preachers are as undervalued as Glen Cook is.
I love many of their songs as much as I love my favourite Glen Cook novels.

They are in many ways similar to Glen Cook. They are not afraid of experimenting. Every single album released by them is significantly different from the others. They write songs the way they want to write, just like Glen Cook writes his novels. They don’t care about critics, but they are highly valued by them, just like Glen Cook.

They are not very famous, but they have many die-hard fans, just like Glen Cook. They were as controversial as Glen Cook was gritty. Thankfully they matured and changed over time. They are still able to play pure and fun rock or become utterly melancholic, but their lyrics are nowadays much more positive. Some of their earlier songs were too depressing to me, exactly the same as some of Glen Cook's later novels are to me.

I am sure EVERYONE would find some songs that suit his/her taste,
no matter what his/her taste is. I posted several 2-minute samples of their songs with lyrics in my other posts. Below are 2 samples without any singing. The reason for that is the fact that you have to get accustomed to their lyrics before you start really enjoying them. Most of them when heard for the first time is simply distracting. Some of their lyrics are hard to enjoy even for a die-hard fan like me, but musically they are always amazing.


First sample is a rock-only sample. Please notice what an outstanding guitarist James Dean Bradfield is.



Manics have never wanted to be a classic rock band. They have been experimenting with their music and they have been often using instruments unusual for a rock band. In fact it made them write even more enjoyable musical arrangements.



(Thursday, 21 April 2011 )

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Motorcycle Emptiness (from the 1st album – Generation Terrorists)



Culture sucks down words
Itemise loathing and feed yourself smiles
Organise your safe tribal war
Hurt maim kill and enslave the ghetto

Each day living out a lie
Life sold cheaply forever, ever, ever

Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness
Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness

Life lies a slow suicide
Orthodox dreams and symbolic myths
From feudal serf to spender
This wonderful world of purchase power

...

(Thursday, 21 April 2011)

Monday, 28 September 2015

La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh) (from the 2nd album – Gold Against The Soul)



...
La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh
La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh

I sold my medal
It paid a bill
It sells at market stalls
Parades Milan catwalks
Oh, the sadness will never go
Will never go away
Baby it's here to stay

La tristesse durera
Scream to a sigh, to a sigh


(Saturday, 23 April 2011)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

A Design for Life (from the 4th album – Everything Must Go)




I wish I had a bottle
Right here in my pretty face
To wear the scars
To show from where I came

We don't talk about love
We only want to get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the end

A design for life
A design for life
A design for life
A design for life

We don't talk about love
We only want to get drunk
And we are not allowed to spend
As we are told that this is the end

A design for life


(Saturday, 23 April 2011)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Black Dog on My Shoulder (from the 5th album – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours)




Am I coming home to you again
Or am I stupid just by design
Does it matter if you really ever know

This black dog is out of control
My mouth is so dry
My eyes are shut tight
There's a black dog a coming tonight
Black dog's a coming tonight

(Saturday, 23 April 2011)

Friday, 25 September 2015

Epicentre (from the 6th album - Know Your Enemy)



We use ourselves like politicians
For all the money and indecision - indecision
Indecision

Feels like there's no escape
Except through my hate
Second hand germ warfare
Denied oxygen everywhere

Like a stunned fox - with memory loss
A sad numb creature - I worship the painkiller
It is my epicentre
It is my epicentre

Non-existent energy adrenalin my God
Still clinging to the umbilical chord - umbilical chord
...

(Saturday, 7 May 2011)

Thursday, 24 September 2015

I Live To Fall Asleep (from the 7th album - Lifeblood)


...
I live to fall asleep
It helps me through the day
Drink has never dulled
A pain so deep does run

I live to fall asleep
Serene alone happy
Holding on to screams
Waiting for the time

When did you become another distant friend
Everyone who loved you stayed waited till the end
When did you become another distant friend
Everyone who loved you stayed waited till the end
Oh, when did you decide that sleep could save your life
How could you become another boy struck dumb
How could you become another boy struck dumb with love

I live to fall asleep
I live to fall asleep

So lazy, lazy, lazy
Chuck down all the pills
Needing to remember how and why to live
Oh, when did you decide that sleep could save your life
How could you become another boy struck dumb
How could you become another boy struck dumb with love

I live to fall asleep
I live to fall asleep

(Saturday, 7 May 2011)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Rendition (from the 8th album - Send Away The Tigers)



Rendition, rendition, blame it on the coalition
Oh the air miles that I’m missing, oh I wish we still had Jack Lemon
Rendition, rendition I never knew the sky was a prison
It's a long hard revolution, oh good God I feel like a liberal

For tomorrow I will beg, steal and borrow
Another moment of joy, pain and sorrow
I wish I knew what I did wrong
Can anybody hear the screaming of us? The screaming of us
In the long hard revolution

Rendition, rendition, blame it on the coalition
The CIA will stay invisible, oh good God I sound like a liberal
Rendition, rendition I never knew the sky was a prison
It's a long hard revolution, oh good God I feel like a liberal

For tomorrow I will beg, steal and borrow
Another moment of joy, pain and sorrow
I wish I knew what I did wrong
Can anybody hear the screaming of us? The screaming of us
In the long revolution
...

(Saturday, 7 May 2011)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Marlon J.D. (from the 9th album - Journal For Plague Lovers)



He stood like a statue
As he was beaten across the face
With a horsewhip
Where wounds already exist
A well-oiled rifle
Never lonely Marlon J.D.
If you wanna come down, come down
Give him some dignity

So say, so say Marlon J.D.
So say, so say Marlon J.D.

Learn to live without clutter
To live without luxury
Sometimes I envy them
Goodnight yourself, Marlon J.D.
He did not defend himself
He didn't even raise his hand
I will not beg because
This is how I am

So say, so say Marlon J.D.
So say, so say Marlon J.D.
So say, so say Marlon J.D.

"Bare floors, plain white walls,
No window curtains, nothing but essentials.
With no luxuries, no ornamentation,
Utter simplicity.
But it's also clean,
It's clean as a rifle."
...


PS. Here's a very short fragment of the film "Reflections in a Golden Eye" (starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando) which was the inspiration to the above song:



(Saturday, 7 May 2011)

Monday, 21 September 2015

A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun (from the 10th album - Postcards From a Young Man)


...
We found expression for our hate
Without any kind of consequence
Who needs patience anymore
When all our pleasures virtual
Pleasures pleasures pleasures virtual

A billion balconies facing the sun
A billion faces turned to their screens
The perfect answer to camouflage our screams
A billion lies becoming the truth
An ecstasy of the eye
As wide as eternity tonight
As wide as eternity tonight

A billion balconies facing the sun
A billion faces turned to their screens
The perfect antidote to answer our screams
A billion lies becoming the truth
An ecstasy of the eye
As wide as eternity tonight
As wide as eternity tonight

(Saturday, 7 May 2011)

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Rewind the Film (from the 11th album - Rewind the Film)

Manic Street Preachers are getting old, but they do it in style. Beautiful. Please, compare the below song to A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun from their previous album (under the same label) and tell me what other band could write so great, yet so different songs. Hardly any.

The strings in this song are beautiful. They kick in at 1:47 together witj lyrics:

I want to feel small
Lying in my mother's arms
Playing my old records
Hoping that they'll never stop


This song makes me feel infinitely calm and peaceful.

The song features Richard Hawley – it’s mostly his voice that is heard and James Dean Bradfield sings only in refrains.



Hypnotizing. I can’t stop listening to this song.

Here's what James Dean Bradfield said about the new album:
"It's much more acoustic based - I think there's one electric guitar
on the entire record. But it's not Campfire Street Preachers, we're not banging boxes or anything."


(Monday, 8 July 2013)

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Rewind The Film – a masterpiece

To me Rewind The Film (11th studio album by Manic Street Preachers) is a masterpiece, but I realise that this album would not be enjoyable to everyone. Musically it’s simply beautiful. Lyrically it’s very good, but quite melancholic. With both aspects it’s a matter of taste, so I made this little sample to help you judge the album yourself. Below the sample there are my favourite quotes from every song.



1. This Sullen Welsh Heart (feat. Lucy Rose) (0:00 – 1:05)
I can't fight this war any more
Time to surrender, time to move on

2. Show Me The Wonder (1:03 – 2:02)
We may write in English
But our truth remains in Wales

3. Rewind The Film (feat. Richard Hawley) (2:00 – 3:27)
I want to feel small
Holding on my father's hands

4. Builder Of Routines (3:25 – 4:24)
How I hate middle age
In between acceptance and rage

5. 4 Lonely Roads (feat. Cate Le Bon) (4:22 – 5:14)
I'm trapped inside the skin
Can't let love back in

6. (I Miss The) Tokyo Skyline (5:12 – 6:37)
I long for the non-communication
Everything is happily lost in translation

7. Anthem For A Lost Cause (6:35 -7:25)
Take this, it's yours
An anthem for a lost cause

8. As Holy As The Soil (That Buries Your Skin) (7:23 – 8:22)
Oh, I love you so, won't you please come home
Oh, it's been so long, I can't let go

9. 3 Ways To See Despair (8:20 – 9:08)
I'm no longer the centre of the universe
A bare admission that makes it seem worse

10. Running Out Of Fantasy (9:06 – 10:18)
My fantasy forever locked inside
The obsession with change has bled my dry

11. Manorbier (10:16 – 11:08)
[There are no lyrics in this track, but there is some chorus humming toward the end.]

12. 30-Year War (11:06 – 12:22)
All part of the same establishment
I ask you again “What is to be done?”

(Thursday, 2 January 2014)

Friday, 18 September 2015

Futurology – another masterpiece by MSP

Just 3 days ago (on 7 July 2014) Manic Street Preachers have released their 12th studio album titled Futurology. Already after the second listen of the full album I consider it a masterpiece! It has never happened to me with any album by Manics! Great job!

Musically it's simply superb and unique - great energetic rock, with a strong futuristic feeling, combined with some slower and calmer tracks. Lyrically it's very good – not really controversial, sometimes angry, at moments quite personal, but mostly true and insightful.

Only Manic Street Preachers can release so different, yet so fantastic albums one after another (their previous masterpiece was Rewind The Film). Futurology takes all the best from all their earlier albums and it is the most universal Manics album. Perfect!

Below there is a sample that I found on the net. It gives an idea about the album, but I think the sample could be better. The start of the sample is particularly annoying because the actual sample starts at 0:33. Moreover there are too long breaks between the tracks.

The song that caught my attention instantly was Black Square (13:46 – 15:45), but it’s one of the lighter tracks on the album and on the CD it sounds much better! Three other unforgettable songs are: Walk Me To The Bridge, The Next Jet To Leave Moscow and Sex, Power, Love and Money.

All the songs sound better on the CD than on the sample, believe me.

The sample features some quotes from every song, but my favourite quotes are different. They are below the sample.



Here are my favourite quotes (not every quote is actually on the sample):

1. Futurology (0:33 – 2:03)
We’ll come back one day
We never really went away

2. Walk Me To The Bridge (2:15 – 3:38)
So long my fatal friend
I don’t need this to end
I reimagine the steps you took
Still blinded by your intellect

3. Let's Go To War (3:50 – 5:03)
And all the false economies
Speak falsely of your dreams

4. The Next Jet To Leave Moscow (5:15 – 6:46)
So you played in Cuba
Did you like it brother?
I bet you felt proud
You silly little fucker

5. Europa Geht Durch Mich (feat. Nina Hoss) (6:58 – 8:17)
More words and less meaning
Communication disappearing

6. Divine Youth (feat. Georgia Ruth Williams) (8:30 – 10:04)
And I sing to myself
My civil wars within
The victories and failures
I daily lose and win

7. Sex, Power, Love and Money (10:15 – 11:29)
We could have been heroes
But failures more fun

8. Dreaming a City (Hugheskova) (11:41 – 13:34)
[There are no lyrics on this track.]

9. Black Square (13:46 – 15:45)
“Art is never modern
For art is eternal”

10. Between the Clock and the Bed (feat. Green Gartside) (15:56 – 17:19)
Between the Clock and the Bed
There’s only space and hell

11. Misguided Missile (17:31 – 18:57)
I am a self obsessed fool
Self centred and bruised

12. The View from Stow Hill (19:09 – 20:40)
The misguided tweets
The sad facebooking
Cheapness surrounds me
But I’m not looking

13. Mayakovsky (20:52 – 22:49)
[There are no lyrics on this track, except for the name Mayakovsky at one moment toward the end of the song.]


(Thursday, 10 July 2014)

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Manic Street Preachers albums

(Originally posted on Thursday, 10 July 2014; updated most recently on 2 September 2017)

Here are my ratings and mini-reviews of Manic Street Preachers albums. The albums are described in the order from the oldest to the newest one. Obviously my opinions are totally subjective, but I tried to point out the songs that I believe are universally impressing – they are labelled as “unforgettable”.

Generation Terrorists (GT), released in 1992 – my rating: 5/10
(music-only rating: 8/10)
1. Musically very good and energetic (rock only) album but the lyrics are mostly too controversial or rebellious to me.
2. From 18 tracks on the album 6 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest mostly because of the lyrics.
3. There are 3 unforgettable songs: Motorcycle Emptiness, Little Baby Nothing and Stay Beautiful. The first one is very climatic – I would call it Manics’ anthem. The second one and the third one complement each other perfectly.
4. The remaining 2 tracks on my favourite list are: You Love Us, Methadone Pretty and Condemned to Rock 'N' Roll.

Gold Against The Soul (GATS), released in 1993 – my rating: 4/10
(music-only rating: 8/10)
1. Musically very good and energetic (rock only) album but the lyrics are mostly too controversial or rebellious to me.
2. From 10 tracks on the album 3 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest mostly because of the lyrics.
3. There is 1 unforgettable song – La Tristesse Durera. It features one of the most enjoyable guitar solos I have ever heard. Fantastic!
4. The remaining 2 tracks on my favourite list are: Sleepflower and Roses in the Hospital.

third album (I will not even name it), released in 1994 – my rating: 1/10
1. Utterly unbearable album to me – by far too dark, especially lyrically. Most of the lyrics were written by a band member who suffered from depression and was a drug addict. He disappeared some time later – probably committed suicide, but the body was never found.
2. From 13 tracks on the album 0 made it to my favourite list. I declined all the songs both because of the lyrics and because of music.
3. I've read a very short review of this album with which I fully agree: “This album is not much of an album at all. It's scattered lyrics are so incoherent that they are a perfect compliment to the horrible instrumentation. This album is barely listenable, and it is far too dark for anyone who wishes to stay sane to listen to repeatedly.”
4. The fact that Manics (to be precise the missing band member) titled the album the way they (he) did doesn’t help either, to say the least. I am a religious person and I think that mocking a religion (any religion) is pathetic. Thankfully Manics 8 years later (in 2002, without that missing band member) released a beautiful single titled There by The Grace of God. It’s good to see that even such a controversial band like the early Manics can change over time and look at some things from a different perspective.
5. I must admit that the song Faster is not that bad lyrically, but the shrieking, high-pitched guitars ruin it to me anyway. The live performance of the song at the Glastonbury Festival in 2007 sounds a whole lot better.

Everything Must Go (EMG), released in 1996 – my rating: 6/10
(music-only rating: 9/10)
1. Musically very good and very diverse. Lyrically much less controversial, but still too little positive.
2. From 12 tracks on the album 5 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest mostly because of the lyrics.
3. There is 1 unforgettable song – A Design for Life. The strings in this song are simply beautiful.
4. The remaining 4 tracks on my favourite list are: Australia, Everything Must Go, Enola/Alone and Interiors.

This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (TIMTTMY), released in 1998 – my rating: 7/10
(music-only rating: 9/10)
1. Musically simply beautiful, but lyrically too depressing. Hardly any positive songs. There are no classic-rock songs on this album – the first such album by Manics.
2. From 13 tracks on the album 6 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest mostly because of the lyrics.
3. There are 2 unforgettable songs: Black Dog on My Shoulder and If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next. The first one features strings and one whole minute at the end of the song is purely instrumental. BEAUTIFUL. The second one features thrilling music with strong lyrics. From what I remember it’s the first Manics’ song that I have heard and recognised as theirs. Later I realised that I had heard Motorcycle Emptiness before that, but didn’t remember the name of the band.
4. An honourable mention goes to My Little Empire. It’s not really unforgettable, but it’s still one of my favourite Manics’ songs. When I listen to this song I always think that James Dean Bradfield is just toying with his guitar in between the lyrics. And the lyrics themselves are enjoyably ironic in the second part of the song. Cool track.
5. The remaining 3 tracks on my favourite list are: You Stole the Sun From My Heart, Be Natural and Ready For Drowning. The last one is an example that sometimes Manics’ lyrics can’t be fully understood without a comment. There is a line (repeated several times) “So where are we going? We're not ready for drowning.” It turns out that it’s “about the town of Capel Celyn which was drowned to supply water for Liverpool in the 60s. Families who had relatives buried in the cemetery were given the option of either moving them to another cemetery, or leaving them. Consequently, eight bodies were disinterred (…).” I quoted a part of a comment posted by Smileydogdanceon on this site:
http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858527150/

Know Your Enemy (KYE), released in 2001 – my rating: 7/10
(music-only rating: 7/10)
1. Musically and lyrically very diverse. It’s like 3 different albums mixed together.
2. From 16 tracks on the album 8 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest mostly because of the music (most of them feature electric guitars making noise rather than music, which gets irritating really quickly).
3. There are 3 unforgettable songs: Epicentre (it sounds like a whole orchestra playing), Miss Europa Disco Dancer (great fast basses combined with a harp) and The Convalescent (a quintessential Manics song – energetic, bold, a little political, a little personal, with a great chorus humming at the end).
4. The remaining 5 tracks on my favourite list are: Found that Soul, His Last Painting, Royal Correspondent, The Year of Purification and Let Robeson Sing. The last song features a fragment of a poem Freedom Train by James Langston Hughes, recited by Paul Robeson himself. Here’s the fragment used in the song:
Now let the Freedom Train come zooming down the track
Gleaming in the sunlight for white and black
Not stopping at no stations marked coloured nor white
Just stopping in the fields in the broad daylight
Stopping in the country in the wide open air
Where there never was a Jim Crow sign nowhere
And no lilly-white committees, politicians of note
Nor poll tax layer through which coloured can't vote
And there won't be no kinda colour lines
The Freedom Train will be yours
And mine


Lifeblood (L), released in 2004 – my rating: 7/10
(music-only rating: 10/10)
1. Musically even more beautiful than TIMTTMY. Lyrically it’s more melancholic than depressing, but I must admit that when I was younger I didn’t see the difference. There are no classic rock songs on this album just like on TIMTTMY.
2. From 12 tracks on the album 6 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest partly because of the lyrics and partly because of the music.
3. There are 2 unforgettable songs: I Live to Fall Asleep (beautiful melody fitting the lyrics perfectly) and Empty Souls (incredibly chilling sounds).
4. The remaining 4 tracks on my favourite list are: Glasnost (great lyrics with very good music and incredible gentle guitar solo), Fragments (unique instrumental parts), Solitude Sometimes Is (unique instrumental parts), and To Repel Ghosts (ghostly sounds fitting the lyrics perfectly).
5. All of the songs mentioned above in my opinion are among the best Manics have ever produced, but I must point out that I needed some time to appreciate them. The last song that I grew to like very much is Empty Souls. Originally I ignored it, just because of the title (and the relevant lyrics), but after I saw the video for this songs (nine years after it was released!) I was blown away. The video fits the lyrics (and the music) perfectly.

Sand Away The Tigers (SATT), released in 2007 – my rating: 9/10
(music-only rating: 9/10)
1. Almost perfect album – great rock music and very good and quite positive lyrics!
2. From 10 tracks on the album 8 (EIGHT – 80% !!!) made to my favourite list. I declined the rest partly because of the lyrics and partly because of the music (one song features parts that are rather screamed that sung).
3. There are 3 unforgettable songs: Your Love Alone is Not Enough (great music with great lyrics, featuring also Nina Persson of The Cardigans with her great voice), Indian Summer (great rock ballad with energetic melody and quite positive lyrics) and Autumnsong (fun lyrics with great music and great guitar solo).
4. An honourable mention goes to The Second Great Depression. It’s not really unforgettable musically, but it’s still one of my favourite Manics’ songs. The refrain gives a very positive message:
I thought about it a million times
When you and me did nothing but smile
Remember all those days
I thought about it a million times
When you and me did nothing but smile
When forgiveness was the best
Just forget about the rest

The song is truly about depression. Someone I know who suffered from depression told me something that is literally written in the lyrics:
I can't believe I let it happen.
5. The remaining 4 tracks on my favourite list are: Rendition, Imperial Bodybags, I’m Just a Patsy and Send Away the Tigers. They are very close to the unforgettable songs, really.

Journal For Plague Lovers (JFPL), released in 2009 – my rating: 2/10
1. All the lyrics were written by that missing band member (they used his old lyrics and written music for them). They are mostly far from my liking.
2. From 13 tracks on the album 2 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest mostly because of the lyrics.
3. There is 1 unforgettable track: Marlon J.D. There are great guitar riffs and interesting lyrics referring to a scene from a film with Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor titled Reflections in a Golden Eye.
4. The remaining track on my favourite list is Peeled Apples.

Postcards From a Young Man (PFAYM), released in 2010 – my rating: 9/10
(music-only rating: 9/10)
1. Lyrically and musically very good. There are many lyrics I truly like and many songs with great guitar parts.
2. From 12 tracks on the album 8 made it to my favourite list. I declined the rest partly because of the lyrics and partly because of the music.
3. This album is a "grower" - I like it more and more every time I listen to it. Originally I rated it 7/10, but later I bumped my rating up to 8/10 and now I rate it 9/10. It's mostly because I never get tired of the songs I mention below.
4. There are 3 unforgettable songs: Golden Platitudes (beautiful rock ballad with great lyrics), A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun (very energetic rock song with strong lyrics) and I Think I Found It (quite positive lyrics with electric guitars combined with a mandolin).
5. The remaining 5 tracks on my favourite list are: Postcards From a Young Man, Don't Be Evil, It's Not War Just the End of Love, All We Make is Entertainment and Auto Intoxication.

Rewind The Film (RTF), released in 2013 – my rating: 10/10
(music-only rating: 10/10)
1. Musically simply beautiful and lyrically perfectly fitting to my state of mind (calm and settled). I must admit that I wouldn’t enjoy it so much if I were younger.
2. From 12 tracks on the album 12 (TWELVE - 100 % !!!) made it to my favourite list. The whole album is perfect to me. I enjoy the lyrics of every single song, which is a miracle.
3. There are 4 unforgettable tracks: Show Me The Wonder (very lively song with strong trumpet parts), (I Miss The) Tokyo Skyline (fun lyrics with interesting music – I don't know how to describe it but it seems to me that the tuning of the song seemingly keeps rising forever), Rewind The Film (incredible musical composition with surprisingly positive feeling, considering the lyrics) and 30-Year War (great music with bold lyrics).
4. The remaining 8 tracks on my favourite list are: This Sullen Welsh Heart, Builder of Routines, 4 Lonely Roads, Anthem for a Lost Cause, As Holy as the Soil (That Buries Your Skin), 3 Ways to See Despair, Running Out of Fantasy and Manorbier.
5. The album is quite melancholic, but not depressing. I would say it’s rather positive in a way that makes me even more calm and peaceful. I would call it an album for long winter evenings, but in fact it feels great even in summer. To me the album is a state of art – a true masterpiece.

Futurology (F), released in 2014 – my rating: 9/10
(music-only rating: 9/10)
1. Musically very good and unique – great energetic rock with a strong futuristic feeling, combined with some slower and calmer tracks. Lyrically very good – not really controversial, sometimes angry, at moments quite personal, but mostly true and insightful.
2. From 13 tracks on the album 10 made it to my favourite list. The album is almost perfect. Originally I loved it utterly, but three songs didn't survive the test of time – I declined them partly because of the lyrics (too dark or with parts in German) and partly because of the music.
3. There are 4 unforgettable tracks: Black Square (great music with fantastic lyrics - "Let us overcome our endless progress" ... "When every single day you’re haunted by perfection" ... "Let us dig our own graves, Let us choose our own wars and make our own mistakes" ... "Free yourselves from the tyranny of objects"), Walk Me To The Bridge (great guitar riffs with strong lyrics referring to a suicide friend), The Next Jet To Leave Moscow (beautiful music with ironic personal lyrics) and Sex, Power, Love and Money (extremely enjoyable musical beats with lyrics that I enjoy for personal reasons).
4. The remaining 6 tracks on my favourite list are: Futurology, Divine Youth, Dreaming a City (Hughesovka), Between the Clock and the Bed, Misguided Missile and The View from Stow Hill.
5. Already after the second listen of the full album I considered it a masterpiece! It has never happened to me with any album by Manics! Great job! Only Manic Street Preachers can release so different, yet so fantastic albums one after another.

I also reviewed one collection composed of a remastered version of the album Send Away The Tigers album together with a second CD titled “B-sides and Rarities” AND a DVD titled “Live at Glastonbury 24.06.07”:

Send Away The Tigers 10 Year Collectors’ Edition, released in 2017 – my rating: 10/10
1. My individual ratings:
CD1 only: 10/10
CD2 only: 10/10
DVD only: 10/10
2. I reviewed it in detail here:
Send Away The Tigers 10 Year Collectors’ Edition review
3. From 18 "new" songs (songs that were not on ANY studio album) that can be found in this collection as many as 15 songs made it to my favourite list. Incredible!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

My favourite list of Manic Street Preachers songs

(Originally posted on Friday, 7 August 2015; updated most recently on 2 September 2017)

I had to expand my favourite list of Manic Street Preachers songs (the original list featured “only” 75 songs) just because the “B-sides and Rarities” that are in this collection:
Send Away The Tigers 10 Year Collectors’ Edition review
are simply fantastic!

Now the list features 90 songs divided into 5 discs (18 songs per disc). I also replaced two songs from the previous list and changed the order of all the songs according to my current preferences. The first disc is “the best of the best” (from my point of view) and the following discs are ordered in a similar manner. I described the first disc in detail here:
My favourite list of Manic Street Preachers songs (1 CD version)

I'm sure other die-hard fans of Manics would totally disagree with me, but I don't care – it's my list. Obviously any “my favourite list” is totally subjective and personally I prefer lyrics that are not too controversial or rebellious, but I still enjoy some strong and/or thought-provoking ones.

The order of the songs on every disc is atypical – more than half of the songs on each disc are ordered counter-chronologically and the rest are ordered chronologically. Why? Because I enjoy the songs from the most recent albums more, so I want my discs to start and end with them.

The list is a kind of base for my ratings for all Manics' albums that are described here:
Manic Street Preachers albums


Here is my favourite list of MSP songs – album versions of all the songs [with slight modifications]:


Disc 1

1. The View from Stow Hill
2. Builder of Routines
3. Don't Be Evil
4. Marlon J.D.
5. Little Girl Lost
6. Indian Summer
7. Empty Souls
8. There by the Grace of God
9. Epicentre [without the hidden song at the end]
10. Black Dog on My Shoulder
11. Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning)
12. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) [with a louder beginning]
13. Little Baby Nothing
14. Autumnsong
15. Ghost of Christmas
16. All We Make Is Entertainment
17. 30-Year War
18. Black Square [without the annoying beginning]


Disc 2

19. Sex, Power, Love and Money
20. Show Me the Wonder
21. A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun
22. Peeled Apples
23. Welcome to the Dead Zone
24. Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
25. Solitude Sometimes Is
26. The Convalescent
27. My Little Empire
28. Australia
29. Sleepflower
30. Motorcycle Emptiness
31. Imperial Bodybags
32. Umbrella
33. 1404
34. I Think I Found It
35. (I Miss the) Tokyo Skyline
36. The Next Jet to Leave Moscow


Disc 3

37. Misguided Missile
38. Running Out of Fantasy
39. Postcards from a Young Man
40. Fearless Punk Ballad
41. The Second Great Depression
42. Fragments
43. His Last Painting
44. Ready for Drowning
45. Enola/Alone
46. Roses in the Hospital
47. You Love Us
48. Miss Europa Disco Dancer
49. Rendition
50. Leviathan
51. Anorexic Rodin
52. Golden Platitudes
53. Rewind the Film
54. Futurology


Disc 4

55. Walk Me to the Bridge
56. 4 Lonely Roads
57. (It's Not War) Just the End of Love
58. Foggy Eyes
59. I'm Just a Patsy
60. Glasnost
61. Let Robeson Sing
62. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
63. A Design for Life
64. Stay Beautiful
65. You Stole the Sun from My Heart
66. Royal Correspondent
67. I Live to Fall Asleep
68. Lady Lazarus [without the poem at the beginning]
69. Morning Comrades
70. As Holy as the Soil (That Buries Your Skin)
71. Manorbier
72. Between the Clock and the Bed


Disc 5

73. Dreaming a City (Hughesovka)
74. Anthem for a Lost Cause
75. Auto-Intoxication
76. Boxes and Lists
77. The Long Goodbye
78. Send Away the Tigers
79. To Repel Ghosts
80. Found That Soul
81. Be Natural
82. Everything Must Go
83. Methadone Pretty
84. Condemned to Rock 'N' Roll
85. The Year of Purification
86. Heyday of the Blood
87. Love Letter to the Future
88. This Sullen Welsh Heart [without the too-quiet start]
89. 3 Ways to See Despair
90. Divine Youth


When I look at the above list I think that Manic Street Preachers are one of the best bands in music history. And one of the most underrated.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

I Think I've Found It

The first time I have heard this song I thought: “A mandolin? Really?” Now it’s one of my favourites. Only Manics can combine a mandolin
(or some other rarely-used instruments) with electric guitars and make it enjoyable.

I grew to like this song mostly because of very positive lyrics,
which is something rare for Manics.

I found this song with full lyrics on Youtube. Enjoy!



(Friday, 1 November 2013)

Monday, 14 September 2015

Manic Street Preachers’ official videos

Below are official videos for some singles released by my favourite music band – Manic Street Preachers. It’s interesting to see how they have changed over time. Under the same label there are my earlier posts featuring short fragments of some of their other songs with lyrics.

I got to know Manics around their 5th studio album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (1998) and I am a fan of the “post-Richey era” which started with their 4th album Everything Must Go (1996).

Motorcycle Emptiness (from their 1st album – Generation Terrorists)



Slash 'N' Burn (also from the 1st album, just to show you what their concerts looked like in their early career)



From Despair To Where (from the 2nd album – Gold Against The Soul)



Everything Must Go (from the 4th album – Everything Must Go)



If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (from the 5th album – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours)



So Why So Sad (from the 6th album - Know Your Enemy)



Empty Souls (from the 7th album – Lifeblood)



Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (from the 8th album - Send Away The Tigers; the song features Nina Persson of The Cardigans)



Postcards From A Young Man (from the 10th album - Postcards From A Young Man)



Show Me the Wonder (from the 11th album – Rewind the Film)



Walk Me to the Bridge (from the 12th album - Futurology)


(Thursday, 29 August 2013; with later updates)

Sunday, 13 September 2015

My favourite list of MSP songs (1 CD version)

(Originally posted on Sunday, 5 June 2016; updated most recently on 2 September 2017)

The whole my favourite list of Manic Street Preachers songs that can be found here:
My favourite list of Manic Street Preachers songs

Here is my favourite list of Manic Street Preachers songs (1 CD version) – album versions of all the songs [with slight modifications]:

1. The View from Stow Hill
2. Builder of Routines
3. Don't Be Evil
4. Marlon J.D.
5. Little Girl Lost
6. Indian Summer
7. Empty Souls
8. There by the Grace of God
9. Epicentre [without the hidden song at the end]
10. Black Dog on My Shoulder
11. Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning)
12. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) [with a louder beginning]
13. Little Baby Nothing
14. Autumnsong
15. Ghost of Christmas
16. All We Make Is Entertainment
17. 30-Year War
18. Black Square [without the annoying beginning]


Below there are my favourite lyrics from every songs and my additional comments to some of the songs.


1. The View from Stow Hill

Music: The BEAUTIFUL start of the song is the reason why I HAD to start with this song. And this is why the order of the first 12 songs is chronologically reversed.
Lyrics: I never do anything just because many other people do it and this is why I have never had Facebook or Twitter account, which explains why I LOVE the lyrics:

Look up to the skies
Avoid the casual litter
Running from the pitiful nihilism

The misguided tweets
The sad facebooking
Cheapness surrounds me
But I am not looking


2. Builder of Routines

Lyrics: The lyrics toward the end are soo true, but only more mature people can appreciate them:

How I hate middle age
In between acceptance and rage
Democracy sure made a fool out of me
But I am the builder of routines


3. Don't Be Evil

The lines have all been blurred
To the point of no return
With normal people living normal lives
Normal things seen through normal eyes

Don't be evil, just be corporate
Fool the world with your own importance
Portray your tedium for the world to see
Your own movie star and it's for free


4. Marlon J.D.

Trivia: Please, take a look at the end of this post:
Marlon J.D.

Learn to live without clutter
To live without luxury
Sometimes I envy them
Goodnight yourself, Marlon J.D.

He did not defend himself
He didn't even raise his hand
I will not beg because
This is how I am


05. Little Girl Lost

Lyrics: Every time I hear this song, especially the first two lines of the lyrics below, I feel as if it were about me.

You've been trying too hard
You've been reading too much and too fast
You've been lost for too long
You've been looking for hope so soon

(…)

I put the colour back in your eyes
I put the feeling back in your tired eyes
You've been avoiding the truth
But you will make your way back soon enough


6. Indian Summer

Lyrics: One of the best lyrics ever written by Manics, at least to me. I have to quote most of them.

If God persists
Persists in saying yes
I guess we have
We have to test ourselves
Maybe this summer
Will come and clear our minds
To find the impulse
To love the sunshine

I guess we have to test
Until there's nothing left
We said the truth was fixed
It's lost without a trace

Whose crime is eternity
When time lost is certainty
The Indian Summer

Maybe this time
We'll kiss and we'll not shake hands
Indian Summer
Still and unbroken
And leave all this
Material beneath
Remember the reasons
The reason that made us be


7. Empty Souls

Lyrics: There are many people who can't find their place in the world and listening to this song on one hand makes me feel better, because I did find my place, with my wife and my children, but on the other hand I feel anguish for those who did not find their place.
Trivia: The single features altered lyrics – the original line from the studio album “Collapsing like the Twin Towers” was replaced by “Collapsing like dying flowers”. I prefer the original comparison.

For empty souls will stand alone
Shivering like black-eyed dogs
Waiting to be taken home
Where that is they only know

Exposed to a truth we don't know
Collapsing like the Twin Towers
Falling down like April showers
Colossal endless like a marathon
God knows what makes the comparison
God knows what makes the comparison
For empty souls
For empty souls


8. There by the Grace of God

And all the drugs in the world
Can't save us from ourselves
Victims with the saddest hearts
Passing by the grace of God
There by the grace of God

With grace we will suffer
With grace we shall recover
There by the grace of God
There by the grace of God


9. Epicentre

We use ourselves like politicians
For all the money and indecision - indecision
Indecision

Like a stunned fox - with memory loss
A sad numb creature - I worship the painkiller
It is my epicentre
It is my epicentre

(...)

You don't drink - you don't get high
So make sure you take your medicine boy
You don't drink - you don't get high
So make sure you take your medicine boy


10. Black Dog on My Shoulder

Music: The song features strings and one whole minute at the end is purely instrumental. BEAUTIFUL.
Lyrics: The phrase “black dog” is a metaphor for depression (the illness).

There's a black dog on my shoulder again
Licking my neck and saying she's my friend
Solitude the one thing that I really miss
Guess my life is a compromise

This black dog is out of control
My mouth is so dry
My eyes are shut tight
There's a black dog a coming tonight
Black dog's a-coming tonight


11. Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning)

Say you can remember
Say where is the tomorrow
Say where you're coming from
Say what you have left us

Are we too tired to try and understand
That nothing is nothing on that we depend
Take my hand together and we will cry
It really makes no difference to
What we see inside
What we see inside


12. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)

Music: The song features one of the most enjoyable guitar solos I have ever heard. Fantastic!
Trivia: The lyrics “La tristesse durera” are reportedly the last words of Vincent van Gogh, but without the final word “toujours”. The whole sentence “La tristesse durera toujours” means “The sadness will last forever”.

I sold my medal, it paid a bill
It sells at market stalls
Parades Milan catwalks

Oh, the sadness will never go
Will never go away
Baby it's here to stay


13. Little Baby Nothing

Trivia: The song features the voice of Traci Lords – a former pornstar. She did a really good job singing in this song.

My mind is dead, everybody love's me
Wants a slice of me
Hopelessly passive and compatible

Need to belong, oh the roads are scary
So hold me in your arms
I wanna be your only possession

(...)

You are pure, you are snow
We are the useless sluts that they mould
Rock 'n' roll is our epiphany
Culture, alienation, boredom and despair


14. Autumnsong

Now baby, what've you done to your hair?
Is it just the same time of year
When you think that you don't really care?
Now baby, what have you done to your hair?

So when you hear this autumnsong
Clear your heads and get ready to run
So when you hear this autumnsong
Remember the best times are yet to come


15. Ghost of Christmas

Trivia: The tomahawk mentioned in the lyrics below is a kind of bicycle.

Christmas day stuck in the seventies
Play all day with your Scalextrics
Oh my god, I got a tomahawk
How sweet life can be

No X-Box and no computers
We just used our imagination
A leather football was perfection
What more could you want?


16. All We Make is Entertainment

All we make is entertainment
A sad indictment of what we are good at
We're all part of the grand delusion

All we make is entertainment
It's so damn easy and inescapable
We're so post-modern, we're so post-everything


17. 30 Year War

It's the longest running joke in history
To kill the working classes
In the name of liberty

(...)

And the endless parade of Old Etonian scum
Line the front benches “so what is to be done?”
All part of the same establishment
I ask you again “what is to be done?”


18. Black Square

Let us overcome our endless progress
“Art is never modern for art is eternal”
When every single day you’re haunted by perfection
Paintings are never finished but merely abandoned

Let us wipe the slate clean let us dig our own graves
Let us choose our own wars and make our mistakes
“Free yourselves from the tyranny of objects”
Purged of all colour the purest abstraction

Friday, 11 September 2015

Send Away The Tigers 10 Year Collectors’ Edition review

(Originally posted on Saturday, 27 May 2017)


Send Away The Tigers is the 8th studio album by Manic Street Preachers (my favourite music band), but it's the first one that I FULLY enjoyed. It's a great classic rock album with some fun and quite positive, yet still thought-provoking lyrics. Pure fun!

This is arguably their most consistent and homogeneous album. I believe that any person who likes rock music would enjoy it.

In May 2017 this great album celebrated its tenth anniversary and to mark the occasion a 10 Year Collectors’ Edition of the album "packed with unheard music, unseen footage and artwork from the band’s own archive" was released.

My rating (overall): 10/10

My individual ratings:
CD1 only: 10/10
CD2 only: 10/10
DVD only: 10/10

Send Away The Tigers is a great album and its remastered version is even better. More importantly there are 18 (EIGHTEEN !!!) songs that were not on ANY studio album (they were either B-sides or were never officially released). Among them there are such diamonds as Welcome To The Dead Zone (on the CD1) and Umbrella, Ghost of Christmas, Little Girl Lost and 1404 (on the CD2).

The CD2 on its own would be a dream come true for most of the music bands, but for Manics it's only “B-sides & Rarities”. On top of that the CD1 contains demos of all the songs from the original album, including the demo of the song Underdogs that was replaced by the song Welcome To The Dead Zone. By the way, the Underdogs demo is surprisingly good. Additionally the CD2 contains acoustic versions of the songs Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (Nina Persson solo!) and Autumnsong.

But it's not all !!! The DVD is as fantastic as the CDs! The main feature of the DVD is the live concert at the Glastonbury Festival in 2007 that featured a very good set-list. There are classics like Motorcycle Emptiness, You Stole the Sun From My Heart, Everything Must Go, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next and A Design for Life. There are also some of my favourite tracks from the album Send Away The Tigers – Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (with Nina Persson!), Autumnsong and Imperial Bodybags. There is also the song Ocean Spray which has never been among my favourites, but this particular performance is very appealing to me. I also greatly enjoyed that particular performance of the song Motown Junk, which was a non-album single released in 1991 – before their first studio album.

And it's still not all !!! The DVD extras contain 4 music videos (most importantly Your Love Alone Is Not Enough and Indian Summer videos), a making-of video for Your Love Alone Is Not Enough video, a Track by Track interview with the band and videos from rehearsals and practices sessions. AWESOME!

Here's if the full content:
https://store.manicstreetpreachers.com/products/send-away-the-tigers-10-year-collectors-edition-2cd-1dvd-book-set

I'll finish with the thing that people start with in a music store – the physical package. It's the first thing you come across and I'm afraid that in this case some people may refrain from buying the collectors’ edition because of how the package looks.

When I got the box and it was still in a transparent foil the first thing I thought was: “Why the hell am I seeing parts of the CDs and the DVD?” It turned out that the CDs and the DVD are slid into paper slots that are incorporated in a hardcover booklet. In other words: there are no plastic covers for the CDs, nor the DVD! I am a freak who needs to be sure that his CDs will not get damaged by sliding them in and out of a tight slots, so to be satisfied I had to empty my own 3 plastic CD covers to protect the CDs and the DVD the way I think is adequate. It’s a shame that something called “collectors’ edition” comes with such a poor package. Here's how I handled this problem:



Well, I don’t think it’s the band’s fault. Knowing how the corporations operate I believe that the band were given a kind of ultimatum and were asked to choose between “a better package” and “less content”. If that was the case then they made the right choice. The content is all that counts, not the package. And the content is well worth the price.

On a bright side: the leaflet features similar pictures to the ones in the original leaflet, which is very good because the feeling about the album is not changed. The difference is that the new leaflet features not the final (a little shorter) lyrics in printed letters, but the pictures of the original (a little longer) lyrics that are mostly handwritten. Cool.

To be perfect the package should also contain lyrics for all the songs, not just the main ones, but there are so many songs that it would be problematic. Maybe the lyrics could be uploaded to the band's official site and the booklet would just point it out?

Summing up: Send Away The Tigers 10 Year Collectors' Edition (CDx2 + DVD Box set) was worth every penny. My wife kept her promise and paid for it as a present for my 39th birthday. :)

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Whoooa! Who is she?

(Originally posted on Monday, 29 May 2017)

Who is she? Who is she? Who is she?



Some comments from the video above lead me to the video below. Almost as good. :)

F1 2010 China Race Edit from danielenF1 on Vimeo.


You can find a remastered version of this great song here:
Send Away The Tigers 10 Year Collectors’ Edition review

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Yves Klein tribute

(Originally posted on Sunday, 10 December 2017)

Have you ever heard about Yves Klein? Neither have I. Until now. The song below is amazing when you know a little about him. The lyrics (written by Nicky Wire) are simply perfect and the music is refreshingly vintage. A great tribute.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Klein

http://www.manicstreetpreachers.com/cat-news/manic-street-preachers-international-blue/