Manic Street Preachers: Everything Must Go 20 – reissue review

EMG_BOX_1_2048x2048_5ef3fb1d-c6bf-45a0-b3a5-30db08d04765_grandeManic Street Preachers: Everything Must Go 20

(Sony)

Box Set/LP/CD/DL

Available 20th May

7/10

Celebrating twenty years of their commercial breakthrough, Manic Street Preachers reissue the album with a plethora of extras. Simon Tucker revisits. 

Everything Must Go shouldn’t have worked. Its move from the caustic and angular sound of their previous masterpiece The Holy Bible to the symphonic and warm at first seemed like far too big a step for a select few of the fanbase but then they listened and they listened again and they listened again and then they, and the rest of the UK it has to be said, realised that what they had here was not some cheap sell-out or grab for pounds, more a group of people setting themselves free from the torment that had surrounded them creating a work that is joyous in its positivity yet also retaining a foot in the darker lyrical world that the band had become synonymous with.

As a first taster for a new album goes, Design for Life is pretty special. A Spector wall of sound swoops and pulls out our emotions not only given the band commercial success but one of the most subversive singles ever to reach the upper echelons of the charts. Design for Life is a hymn to the working classes but instead of the arrogance of other bands currently all over the media in the turgid “Britpop” movement the song is a hymn to our roots and the blood and sweat that our forefathers put in to making our lives as good as they could possibly be. Starting with one of the great opening salvos “Libraries gave us power, then work came and set us free” Design for Life sounds like a band throwing their curtains to the world open and letting outsiders know what living in a poor but loving community was like.

Moments like this are scattered throughout and although there remain five songs containing their absent friend’s lyrics this is Wire’s masterwork. Those who paid attention knew that Wire was developing at a rapid rate as a lyricist so were not at all surprised at how well he adjusted to being the main writer on the album. Thematically, the album still concerns itself with subjects that previous MSP albums touched upon but this time hope resides within making it less nihilistic and more inspiring, giving us a path and purpose, positive action instead of self-destruction.

Musically EMG finds James Dean Bradfield on full-throttle signing at his most powerful no doubt aided by Wire’s lyrics which often eschew the rapid fire wordplay favored by Edwards instead given a far more straight forward narrative and structure which lets Bradfield breathe and make each word wore clear. Sean Moore’s drumming has always been top-level and on this album he is given production which aides the listener in truly appreciating his quality as the sound is so big it allows his tom fills to echo out into the distance and his snare to smash our core.

Manic Street Preachers could have easily followed the path New Order did and created a work that clung on to their previous selves, instead they reached out to the light, screamed a giant “fuck it” and went for the stars…something they achieved.

Everything Must Go 20 Box Set:

  • CD1 Everything Must Go remastered + B sides
  • CD2 B sides
  • DVD1 Live at Nynex
  • DVD2 Freed From Memories + A Design For Life / Everything Must Go/ Kevin Carter / Australia videos
  • 180gm heavyweight vinyl Everything Must Go remastered
  • 40 page book

TRACKLISTING

CD1:

  1. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
  2. A Design for Life
  3. Kevin Carter
  4. Enola/Alone
  5. Everything Must Go
  6. Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky
  7. The Girl Who Wanted To Be God
  8. Removables
  9. Australia
  10. Interiors (Song For Willem De Kooning)
  11. Further Away
  12. No Surface All Feeling
  13. Mr Carbohydrate
  14. Dead Passive
  15. Dead Trees And Traffic Islands
  16. A Design For Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Version)
  17. A Design For Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Instrumental Version)
  18. Bright Eyes (Live)
  19. A Design For Life (Live)
  20. Black Garden

CD2:

  1. Hanging On
  2. No One Knows What It’s Like To Be Me
  3. Everything Must Go (The Chemical Brothers Remix)
  4. Everything Must Go (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Remix)
  5. Everything Must Go (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Soundtrack)
  6. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (Live Acoustic Version)
  7. Horses Under Starlight (Instrumental)
  8. Sepia
  9. First Republic
  10. Kevin Carter (Busts Loose) (Remixed By Jon Carter)
  11. Kevin Carter (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Remix)
  12. Kevin Carter (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Soundtrack)
  13. Everything Must Go (Acoustic Version)
  14. Velocity Girl
  15. Take The Skinheads Bowling
  16. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
  17. Australia (Lionrock Remix)

DVD1 – LIVE AT NYNEX:

Duration 01:38:00

  1. A Design for Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Remix) (Live)
  2. Everything Must Go (Live)
  3. Enola/Alone (Live)
  4. Faster (Live)
  5. Kevin Carter (Live)
  6. La Tristessa (Scream To Sigh) (Live)
  7. Removables (Live)
  8. Roses In The Hospital (Live)
  9. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier (Live)
  10. The Girl Who Wanted To Be God (Live)
  11. Motown Junk (Live)
  12. Motorcycle Emptiness (Live)
  13. No Surface All Feeling (Live)
  14. This Is Yesterday (Live)
  15. Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky (Live)
  16. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (Live Acoustic Version)
  17. Yes (Live) Explicit
  18. Australia (Live)
  19. Stay Beautiful (Live)
  20. A Design for Life (Live)
  21. You Love Us (Live)

DVD2 – FREED FROM  MEMORIES

Duration 01:18:00

 PROMO VIDEOS

  1. A Design for Life
  2. Everything Must Go
  3. Kevin Carter
  4. Australia

VINYL SIDE A

  1. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
  2. A Design for Life
  3. Kevin Carter
  4. Enola/Alone
  5. Everything Must Go
  6. Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky

 VINYL SIDE B

  1. The Girl Who Wanted To Be God
  2. Removables
  3. Australia
  4. Interiors (Song For Willem De Kooning)
  5. Further Away
  6. No Surface All Feeling

 

~

The Manic Street Preachers can be found via their website   or via Facebook   and Twitter where they tweet as @Manics

All words by Simon Tucker. For more of Simon’s writings for Louder Than War visit his author’s archive or follow him on Twitter @simontucker1979.

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