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 MANIC STREET PREACHERS (Alternative Rock)

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AutorMesaj
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Number of posts : 172
Registration date : 31/05/2008

MesajSubiect: MANIC STREET PREACHERS (Alternative Rock)   Sam Mai 31, 2008 4:03 pm



Origin: Blackwood, Caerphilly, Wales
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative Rock, Britpop, Hard Rock (older material)
Years active: 1986–present

Website: www.manics.co.uk

Members:
James Dean Bradfield
Nicky Wire
Sean Moore

Former member:
Richey James Edwards

Manic Street Preachers (often known colloquially as the "Manics") are a Welsh rock band, consisting of James Dean Bradfield (lead vocals, guitar), Nicky Wire (bass guitar, vocals) and Sean Moore (drums, vocals). Co-lyricist and guitarist Richey James Edwards, or Richey James as he preferred to be known, disappeared in 1995; his whereabouts are unknown.

The band gained mainstream popularity in the UK in the mid-1990s and are known for their intelligent and often political lyrics and have a dedicated following. Although during the early part of their career they were regarded as a punk rock band, their music is now often generally regarded as alternative rock, due to changes in their sound.

Politically, the Manics appear as a socialist group — a stance inflected by their working class upbringing in Blackwood, Caerphilly, South Wales (they grew up during the miners' strike of the 1980s) as evidenced by their often highly politicised lyrics and actions (they once dedicated an award to Arthur Scargill, leader of the National Union of Mineworkers and later the Socialist Labour Party). The band also played a highly publicised gig in Cuba as guests of then President Fidel Castro.

They came together in 1986, when James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Sean Moore and rhythm guitarist Flicker formed Betty Blue in the small South Wales town of Blackwood. Two years later, Flicker had left and Nicky’s friend Richey Edwards (previously the group’s driver) joined in his place. Richey would later say in Vox magazine, “If you built a museum to represent Blackwood, all you could put in it would be shit. We used to meet by this opening called Pen-y-Fan. It was built when the mines closed down but now the water has turned green and slimy. They put 2,000 fish in it, but they died. There’s a whirlpool in the middle where about two people die every year”. A bleak image, then, but it provided the necessary fuel to drive the band.

Inspired by the passion of The Clash, and moved by Thatcher’s suppression of the miners, the band’s lyrics exploded with politicised anger. Their first single, the self-financed Suicide Alley, didn’t make great waves, and the band moved to London. There, they found a sympathetic character in the form of Bob Stanley: later a member of Saint Etienne, but then a freelancer for the Melody Maker.

Stanley released a collection of their demos as the New Art Riot EP in June 1990. It caught the attention of Philip Hall, who became their publicist and co-manager.

In early 1991 Heavenly released Motown Junk, an inspired three-minute punk blast. Later that year it was followed by You Love Us, a swaggering, arrogant self-regarding slice of brilliance.

The Manics paved the way for a resurgence of guitar bands in Wales. In the press, they were forced to live with punning headlines referring to sheep, boyos and leeks - they got all the clichés out of the way so the bands of the so-called Cool Cymru would be taken more seriously.

Yet their image often overshadowed the music. On 15 May 1991 came a turning point for the Manics. Following a gig at Norwich Arts Centre, Steve Lamacq, then writing for the nme, argued with the band that they were a cartoon band - not real punks. The band refuted this, but still Lamacq persisted. Frustrated, Richey Edwards took a razor and calmly carved the words 4 REAL into his forearm. Lamacq was horrified; Richey needed 17 stitches. Six days later the Manics signed to Sony. Richey had suffered from depression for many years, and self-mutilation had become increasingly common for him. But the Norwich incident was the first time the guitarist had aired his emotional problems in public.

In February 1992 the debut album Generation Terrorists was released. Heavily influenced by Appetite for Destruction, Richey said of it, “We wanted to sign to the biggest record label in the world, put out a debut album that would sell 20 million, and then break up. Get massive and then just throw it all away”. The album sold 250,000 copies worldwide. Predictably they didn’t split up, but the album polarised opinion between those that saw them as the new saviours of rock and roll, and detractors who considered them contrived and insincere. Not that the Manics cared: they were off on their first American tour, shortly after the LA riots, and singles such as Slash ‘N’ Burn and Motorcycle Emptiness were climbing up the charts.

The second Manics album was released in June 1993. Gold Against The Soul was overproduced and less passionate, but did contain the classic songs La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) and From Despair to Where. However, they also chose to support Bon Jovi for a string of unwise live dates. The troubles continued with the death on 7 December 1993 of their mentor Philip Hall, who had been battling cancer for two years. Meanwhile, Richey’s problems were worsening. Weighing less than six stone and subjecting his body to drinking and cutting binges, he was eventually admitted to the Priory in Roehampton.

Richey’s despair was documented in what is now considered the Manics’ masterpiece, 1994’s ‘The Holy Bible’. Unremittingly bleak, the opening song Yes contained the lines “I eat and I dress and I wash and I still can say thank you / Puking, shaking, sinking / Can’t shout, can’t scream, I hurt myself to get pain out”. The song was about prostitution, but every line emanated from Richey’s fragile state of mind. He rejoined the band for tours with Therapy? and Suede (and an early incarnation of Vitriol I.D.) in Europe, and a series of frantic shows at the London Astoria in December. The final night saw them destroying 10,000 worth of their equipment. “We’ll never be that good again,” said Nicky after the event. It was also their last live appearance as a four-piece.

Although they had never found transatlantic success, at the beginning of 1995 they were preparing to give America one last try. However, on 1 February Richey walked out of the Embassy hotel in London and never returned. His passport and money were found in his Cardiff Bay flat, and two weeks later his car was discovered beside the Severn Bridge - a notorious local suicide spot. The file on his disappearance remains open.

“We decided to carry on in April,” said Nicky Wire in The Guardian, “after two months of waiting by the phone and feeling ill and exhausted. We thought we’d been so close, and in the end we couldn’t do anything for him.” September saw the band record a cover of Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head for the war child “Help” album, and by January 1996 the Manics were recording their comeback album ‘Everything Must Go’. It was released on 20 May to critical acclaim, went double platinum and yielded four top ten singles: ‘A Design For Life’, the title track, ‘Kevin Carter’ and ‘Australia’. The sound represents a cross between the heavy rock of ‘Gold Against The Soul’ and a new, less agressive, almost britpop like sound.

Two Brit Awards later, they released the LP This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours which gave the band their first number one single in If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, perhaps the only song that references the Spanish Civil War to ever appear on Top of the Pops.

On December 31st 1999 the band said goodbye to the 20th Century with a gig at Cardiff Millennium Stadium, attended by upwards of 50,000 people. This was followed by their second number one single, The Masses Against the Classes, which hit the top spot despite not having a video or marketing support from their record company.

Shortly afterwards, Nicky stated that “the fourth era of the Manics is beginning”.
The fourth era, so far, has involved an audience with Fidel Castro in Cuba, the 2001 album Know Your Enemy, and continuing success. Their long awaited greatest hits collection, Forever Delayed, appeared in October 2002, followed in 2003 by Lipstick Traces, a two-disc collection of covers, B-sides, and outtakes including the last song recorded with Richey, ‘Judge Yr’self’.

The Manics returned in November 2004 with the more reflective Lifeblood, which featured the singles The Love of Richard Nixon and Empty Souls, both of which went straight in at number two in the charts.

Not to rest on their laurels, the band released a 10th anniversary edition of The Holy Bible in December 2004 which included a digitally remastered version of the original album, a never before heard U.S mix and a DVD of live performances and extras.

In April 2005 the Manics released a limited 3 track E.P. titled God Save the Manics as a free download but with hard copies distributed also without cost at the final date of their small, intimate ‘Past Present and Future’ tour at Hammersmith Apollo, London - their last show before a two year hiatus.

Later that year the band contributed the new track Leviathan to September’s war child charity album Help: A Day in the Life, becoming one of the few bands to contribute tracks to both albums.

2006 saw both James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire releasing solo albums, The Great Western and I Killed The Zeitgeist respectively. But both insisted that this in no way meant an end to the Manics and in December the band headlined XFM’s Winter Wonderland gig in Manchester.

2007 sees the band enter yet another era with their 8th studio album, Send Away The Tigers, which was released on May 7th.

The first official single released from Send Away the Tigers was "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough" which features Cardigans vocalist Nina Persson. The single charted in its debut week at #26 based on downloads alone before rising steeply to #2 - missing the top spot by only a "couple of thousand" sales [1]. A third single, "Indian Summer", was released from the gold-selling "Send Away The Tigers" on 1st October. It entered the UK charts at #22.

On 5 February 2007 the band announced a major UK tour to begin in May. The gigs also included the now-traditional acoustic set by James Dean Bradfield. Support for the tour was provided by the Coventry band The Enemy, as well as Johnny Boy, Kids in Glass Houses, The Strange Death of Liberal England and Fear of Music. In support of the album the band also played summer festivals including WDR Rocknacht in Cologne, Germany (14 April), Rock Ness in Scotland (9-10 June), Greenfield festival in Switzerland (15 June), Hultsfred Festival (Sweden), the twin festivals of Hurricane and Southside in Germany (22-24 June), Glastonbury Festival in England (24 June), T4 on the Beach in Weston-super-Mare, England (22 July), Summer Sonic Festival in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan (11-12 August), V Festival in England (18 and 19 August), Tennent's Vital in Belfast (21 August) and Electric Picnic in Ireland (31 August - 2 September).

On 28 February 2008 the band was presented with the God Like Geniuses Award award at the NME Awards ceremony at the IndigO2, where they played 13 of their most popular songs. Immediately after the awards finished, the band headlined a special gig at the O2 Arena, which also featured Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, Klaxons and The Cribs. Frontman of The Enemy, Tom Clarke, along with former Catatonia star Cerys Matthews guested during the set, featuring on "You Love Us" and "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough" respectively. The band also played "Umbrella" for the first time. They follow the likes of The Clash, New Order, and last year's winners, Primal Scream, in receiving the award.

The band released a Christmas single on 1st December. Ghost Of Christmas was available as a free download on the official Manics website throughout December 2007 and January 2008.

In February 2008 the Manics covered Rihanna's hit song "Umbrella". Their version appeared on a CD titled NME Awards 2008 given away free with a special souvenir box set issue of the NME magazine, which went on sale 27th February. Additionally, the Manics' version of the song has been available on iTunes since 5th March. Despite being chart eligible (it reached number 47 in the UK), the release was not intended as an official single . Two further versions (Acoustic and Grand Slam Mix) were later made available on iTunes and now comprise a three-track Umbrella EP.

The band are currently working on demos of new songs with Dave Eringa. In March, they demoed six songs in four days[4]. Their next studio album, their ninth, will be their last under contract with Sony. James Dean Bradfield is said to be playing very "Holy-Bible-esque" riffs, wanting the next album to be "very heavy, very angular, very meaningful".

The Foo Fighters have announced that the Manics will support them at their gig on 2nd June at the City of Manchester Stadium.

The Manics are due to play at this years Reading and Leeds Festivals, headlining the NME/Radio 1 stage.

Fellow Welshman John Cale has invited James Dean Bradfield to play at a Nico tribute he is directing at the Royal Festival Hall this autumn. James has said he intends to cover a song from The Marble Index.


Discography:

- Generation Terrorists (1992) - #13UK
- Gold Against the Soul (1993) - #8UK
- The Holy Bible (1994) - #6UK
- Everything Must Go (1996) - #2UK
- This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (1998) - #1UK
- Know Your Enemy (2001) - #2UK
- Forever Delayed (Compilation) (2002) - #4UK
- Lipstick Traces (A Secret History of Manic Street Preachers) (Compilation) (2003) - #11UK
- Lifeblood (2004) - #13UK
- Send Away the Tigers (2007) - #2UK



Awards:

* One of The Writers' Best Albums (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - The Daily Telegraph
* Writers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Melody Maker
* Reader's Band of 1996 (Runner Up) & "Writers' Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996" - NME
* Writers' Best Live Band of 1996 - NME Brat Award
* "Writers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Vox
* Writers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - The Sunday Times
* "Writers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Sky
* Writers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 & Readers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Select
* Readers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Q Awards
* Writers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Music Week
* One of Writers' Top Ten Albums (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Metal Hammer
* Writers' Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 (Runner Up) - Kerrang!
* One of Writers' Top Five Albums (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Independent On Sunday
* Readers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - Hot Press
* Writers' Best Album (Everything Must Go) of 1996 - The Guardian
* Best Album & "Best Group" - BRIT Awards, 1997
* Best Band In The World Today - Q Awards, 1998
* Best Album & "Best Group" - BRIT Awards, 1999
* Q Merit Award - Q Awards, 2006
* Best Track (Your Love Alone Is Not Enough) - Q Awards, 2007
* 'God Like Geniuses' - Shockwaves NME Awards, 2008
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