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Released in 1996, by a band who had lost their creative force, this proved to be one of the great comebacks and made an incredibly interesting band into something much more marketable and able to sell out stadiums. This was their first real album after the loss of Richie Edwards and is an exceptionally intelligent and well observed piece, but in many ways really missed Edwards as it lacks any feeling or heart in the sound.
Track 1 - Elvis Impersonator
A decent song which I really like because Nicky Wire steps into the lyric mode really well, his lyrics aren't as raw as Edwards' but nonetheless are political, intelligent and their references are well thought through, the song is honest and really bangs hard.
Track 2 - A Design For Life
Slow paced and melodic, this was the song that pushed them past being NME Luvvies to something more significant for the wider public, a good song with great lyrics and scoring, this is elegant but opulent, huge in scale, it is a triumph for their newer sound.
Track 3 - Kevin Carter.
Nice tune one of the better ones on the album, but still slightly pedestrian, it is tuneful but I find it a tad boring all the way through
Track 4 - Enola/Alone -
Good tune, keeps the sound building and the vocals are exceptional, really emotive and powerful.
Track 5 - Everything Must Go -
Another of the most popular songs on the album, creeping chorus builds to a full symphony and creates a beautiful sound, this is grown up rock and thoroughly deserved the plaudits.
Track 6 - Small Black Flowers that grow in the sky -
Nice lyrics, but a bit too staid for me, I wouldn't go out of my way to hear this song particularly
Track 7 - The girl who wanted to be God -
Nice lyrics, a bit dull in parts
Track 8 - Removables -
Track 9 - Australia - A true rock song.
Fine song, builds to a real crescendo, but again for me it lacks some of the rawness of the old MSP's and it feels almost like it has melded into the other songs.
Track 10 - Interiors (song for Willem De Koonig) -
This is a smart song, but it reminds me of a lovely minimalist house that looks great but doesn't have much in it.
Track 11 - Further Away
Nothing stands out
Track 12 - No Surface All Feeling -
An ok song, but really doesn't end the album on a high.
Overall, I don't like this as much as the previous MSP's album, it is too polished and is almost like they have deliberately moved away from their old sound, it is very much made for furniture adverts, the lyrics are profound and intelligent, but the music is a bit soulless. The vocals are emotive and exceptionally powerful but something about the whole sound feels a bit too polished for me.
Available on Amazon for £2.99, this is a good but definitely not great album.
The title 'Everything Must Go' pretty much sums up the feeling of the need for a change of direction following the disappearance of guitarist, lead lyricist, and much revered Richey Edwards a year before this album was released in 1996. 1994's 'The Holy Bible' was a triumph in the face of a seemingly imminent apocalypse, and much was made of the band "selling out" by recording the more radio-friendly rock that composes this album, but it seems unlikely that had Richey still been around that the record would have been much different: indeed many of the songs that made the final cut were in their embryonic stages even before he had disappeared.
What results then, is a record with elements of angst ('A Design For Life's often misinterpreted irony of the working classes 'just wanting to get drunk'), hopeless despair (the beautifully haunting 'Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky'), and even true love (Further Away) - a subject always viewed with a degree of cynicism on earlier offerings from the band. The culmination gives an album that to me that is every bit a classic as 'The Holy Bible' - there is not a bad tune on the album, with one of the best saved until last: 'No Surface All Feeling', which has a fantastic lyric set along with a chorus that truly soars - very much like the whole of the album itself. If you're looking to get into the Manics' studio releases then this is definitely the first that you should start with.
Welcome to the Manic Street Preachers Pt 2. After the disappearance of Richey Edwards, the Manics had to take stock, dust themselves off and decide to carry on - Everything Must Go is the result of that decision.
First Single 'A Design for Life' clearly indicated the new sense of direction - Sweeping strings set the tone for a tale of disillusionment and whilst still angry, displayed a more restrained, cultured side to the once vitriolic Welshmen.
This ended up being something of a 'singles' album, each month seeming to welcome the new arrival of another song - The title track, 'Kevin Carter', and ' Australia' all finding a home near the upper reaches of the british charts.
The lyrics may still remain intelligent and thoughtfully oblique (as shown by 'Interiors') but much of the messy, punky rage had dissapated with the disappearance of their little poet.
The Manics ultimately became superstars thanks to these songs, just dont expect the same band that constructed 'The Holy Bible'
I thought I would try my reviewing hand at one of my favourite albums of all time.... No not the Jive Bunny Megamix.... That's next weeks review.........
Let me take you back to May 1996.... Britain was under a Conservative government, with the country was gearing up for Euro 96....when football was apparently 'coming home'. War was breaking out in Chechnya, Aussie Gina G was representing the UK in the Eurovision song contest and Mark Morrison was topping the charts with his song about the safe return of a beloved coat he presumably mislaid. May 1996 also heralded the release of one of the seminal albums of the 1996 - The Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go.
My love of this album began on a jolly boy's beano to France with 4 mates all crammed into a radio less Fiesta on a day trip to France. It was played all the way there and all the way back and every song, every lyric is ingrained into my addled mind like the makers stamp on Swiss cheese. It truly is an album that stands the test of time and marked a controversial turning point in the story of The Manic Street Preachers.
A year prior to its release, the lead lyricist Richey Edwards decided to do a Lord Lucan and disappear on the eve of their US tour. Here was a brilliant but troubled soul who had a huge influence over the output of the Manics, but before his disappearance (suicide most likely but has been talk of him living as a monk somewhere) he had already been penned some of the of the tracks for Everything Must Go and where Richey left off, James Dean Bradfield and Nicky Wire took over the writing mantle with absolute aplomb as the album produced is one of epic proportions. Voted 50th best album of all time by GQ magazine in 2002 Everything Must Go, It is an album that stands the tests of time.
Track 1 - Elvis Impersonator - Blackpool pier - If anyone can tell me better harp usage in a rock song then please let me know. Great guitar solo mid way through, this excellent track eases you painlessly into the album 8/10
Track 2 - A Design For Life - Probably their most commercially successful track. The epic orchestral musical arrangement provides the perfect vehicle for the vocal prowess of James Dean Bradfield. Written about the working class struggle this song is simply massive. A true icon and classic of the 90's I defy anyone not to want to belt out the chorus of 'We don't talk about love..... We only wanna get drunk'. 10/10
Track 3 - Kevin Carter. Written by Richey about the Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Carter, who took a picture of a starving child and didn't help the child then committed suicide years later because of the guilt of not helping this child. This is an edgier track but remarkably catchy with the classically trained drummer performing a trumpet solo midway. Great guitar work on this track too. 8/10
Track 4 - Enola/Alone - superior guitar work and a great display of the vocal range of James Dean Bradfield. This has a very 90's Britpop - oasis type feel about the track but with slightly more substance 8/10
Track 5 - Everything Must Go - Has just as much of an anthem feel about this track as Design For Life. This track gives us more haunting vocals accompanied with a catchy and superb usage of a near full orchestra. Great uplifting track 9/10
Track 6 - Small Black Flowers that grow in the sky - generally regarded as the epitaph to Richey, but actually written about a documentary on animals in captivity. Just James, an acoustic guitar and a harp this track has more atmosphere than space. 9/10
Track 7 - The girl who wanted to be God - about the life of Sylvia Plath, we are taken to a more upbeat, in your face type track here...Catchy Chorus but not the best on the album by a long way and for me the vocals don't quite match the guitar work......7/10
Track 8 - Removables - if Kurt Cobain was to play with Radiohead this is the track they would have made. Darker, with less orchestra than other tracks this is more James Dean Bradfield at his very best vocally. 8/10
Track 9 - Australia - A true rock song. This has heavy guitar in abundance. Fast paced and upbeat, it has a catchy chorus which you cannot help nod your head, tap your feet too. 8/10
Track 10 - Interiors (song for Willem De Koonig) - written about the painter Willem De Koonig, this track has it all... classical accompaniment, haunting vocals, catchy intelligent lyrics and exemplary guitar work...including another excellent guitar solo mid-way through. 8/10
Track 11 - Further Away -. A bit 'poppy' for my liking but still stands up on its own as a quality song. Great vocals, as always, but not my favourite. Still a very worthy 7/10
Track 12 - No Surface All Feeling - Brilliant opening to the final track of the album and the standard doesn't drop throughout the song as it takes us on its journey. An emotive and haunting track this signs off the album in great style. 8/10
This is a classic album jam-packed with memorable and legendary anthems. Born out of adversity, this is a one off piece of brilliance. No weak track...no need to reach for the forward button. A truly seminal album of the 90's but one for all time. This raised the bar for music and the Manics have not been able to reproduce such a masterpiece since. But that is of no importance, as what they have made in Everything Must Go is more than enough genius in one lifetime.
Thanks for reading... it was my first ever music review.....shall I get my One True Voice singles down and review them??
Richey Edwards - a refugee from his own tortured soul, hiding somewhere in the Canary Islands? Or a slowly-fading ripple on the waters of the Bristol Channel? Either way, I don't think for a minute that we'll ever see him again. Even if he's not dead (and I really hope he isn't), people don't fake their own deaths on a whim.
'Everything Must Go' was the first Manic Street Preachers album of the post-Richey world. The terrifying darkness of 'The Holy Bible' has given way to a gentler feel, although still backed by some serious guitar noise. Nicky Wire exhibits his taste for bold socialist statements in his lyrics ('Libraries gave us power, then work came and made us free'), but these do unfortunately pale next to the splendour of the poetry left behind by Richey. Ah well.
Some scorching guitar solos run through this album. I'm especially fond of the outro to the last track, which is just brilliant.
1) Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
This song, and the album, begin on a ridiculously tranquil note, to the sound of waves washing against a beach. But don't relax, because JDB is soon storming his way into a power chord-driven chorus. It's an impressive piece of stadium rock, but it's over far too quickly.
2) A Design For Life
Ooh, here come the string sections. Here come the Manics with one of their biggest hits, an epic ballad of a song. Lofty sentiments (I won't repeat the lyrics about libraries again) and a soaring string section are subverted by lyrics about grinding bottles in people's faces. JDB puts everything into his vocals as always.
3) Kevin Carter
Richey humiliates Nicky Wire's passable lyrics with this song from beyond the grave - a tribute to award-winning photographer, Kevin Carter. Drummer Sean Moore gets to show off his other talents as he gives a damn fine trumpet solo and, as with James's other lyrics on the album, there's a real sense of the band putting as much as possible into these songs as a kind of tribute.
I have to be honest here, I don't really like this song. I don't know why, but it just seems unremarkable in an album with so many utter classics.
5) Everything Must Go
The album's title track. Hmm. 'Freed from the memory, Escape from our history'. The Manics bidding farewell to Richey, perhaps, and voicing their guilt at moving away from his more anguished musical vision. I don't know, that's just my view. In any case, this is one of the album's most memorable songs. Another anthem. More violin interludes (sensing a theme here?). Wire continues to produce lyrics which are much more coherent than those of Richey, but which are also a lot less imaginative. There's no doubt that the instrumentals are a great deal more impressive than the lyrics to this song, especially that riff at the end of the chorus.
6) Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky
Harp and guitar combine to produce an achingly beautiful little number, with James Dean Bradfield showing tremendous vocal sensitivity. Despite some extremely bleak imagery worthy of 'The Holy Bible', this song is strangely upbeat, although some people have told me I'm insane to say this.
7) The Girl Who Wanted to be God
This has become my favourite song on the album. The fast strumming and cool string bending of the verses give way to a hugely powerful and memorable chorus. One of my favourite lyrics ever is 'Hold me she said, Love me to death'. For me, this song is poetry with a rock beat. In its own way, it is just as heart-tearingly beautiful and perfect as 'Small Black Flowers'. Richey's work on this album is a fitting epitaph to his career. We salute you, Richey, wherever you are.
Apparently Edwards's final lyrics, this song contains many of the man's hallmarks. Much death and torture imagery, with pseudo-Christian overtones and quite a few disjointed lines indicating a stream of consciousness style. I've always felt that Richey's lyrics were more concerned with conveying mood than with coherency, and this is no exception. Another minor classic.
The Manics really realised their ambitions of stadium rock with this album, and this is yet another standout track. It rocks from start to finish, and had a really cool video when they released the single (you may still be able to catch a clip on the band's official website). I want to fly on until it hurts. And then I want to respect this song some more. Inspirational, and its opening chords were the first halfway recognisable thing I managed to play on the guitar (well, apart from the Marseillaise, but that don't count). There's little apparent meaning to the song, but it is fantastic-sounding.
This is an album where I tend to run out of steam before reaching the end. There are another three songs. 'Interiors', 'Further Away', 'No Surface All Feeling'. They are all great songs, although 'Further Away' is not a particular favourite of mine. 'Interiors' is another rocking track. It doesn't have the same hit single quality of 'Australia', and is much more reflective, but it's still magical. 'Further Away' seems to be lurching into love song territory, although I'm fairly sure it's not actually what Wire was trying to say. It's still got a fairly powerful rock feel to it. The album returns to a much gentler feel with the final song, the intensely introspective 'No Surface All Feeling'. I love this song, although not in any way I can articulate. It is probably the song which points most clearly towards the blander sound of their most recent album, but still retains much bite.
In terms of the band's progress, this album carries very little of their punk rock origins, and clearly points the way towards the pop-influenced sound of 'This is my Truth'. It is probably the band's most satisfying album overall, as it is accessible to those allergic to rock, while still having a healthy amount of savage guitar and impassioned JDB shouting.
From the sound of waves breaking on the opening track, this is a gem of an album. This is the first album produced as a 3-piece ( although some of the lyrics were written by Richey James, who disapeared shortly before recording of the album began), and the band have pared down the punk excesses of earlier work and produced something taut, emotional but not sentimental, inteligant but not clever. The first track, 'elvis impersonator: blackpool promanade' opens the album with a burst of power and feeling, followed by 'a design for life' the song now synomous with the manic street preachers. With a beautiful, soaring chorus, this is my personal favourite on this album. you can really hear the passion in James Dean Bradfords voice, which , together with the guiterwork, makes one the THE songs of the 90's. 'Kevin carter'- great little guitar riff and beat throughout, followed by 'Enola/alone' and 'everything must go', the albums title track. For me both of these songs are bittersweet , yet positive songs, with some nice drum work on everything must go. 'small Black Flowers that grow in the sky" This is the song which im going to have to say i don't really like. Theres nothing wrong with it,, it just doesnt seem finished. 'The girl who wanted to be god' , written about sylvia plath i found simliar to MSP earlier work, especially 'the holy bible' 'interiors' is more of the 'New' Manics style- big chorus and stylish vocals. 'Australia is another song which a lot of people will already know, stunning drums and guitars open a classic song complete with one of those riffs you just cant get out of your head. I havn'e mentioned all of the songs in detail as i want to leave something to the imagination! But this really is a gorgous album. It came out in 1996, and 7 years later, i still find it enjoyable and relevant. Listen if you depressed, if your happy,. sad or lonel
y. It really is music for all occasions.
The year was 1995 and during this year a still unsolved mystery involving former Manic Street Preachers former guitarist, Richie Edwards occurred. His car was found a the top of a cliff on the river Severn, however no body was ever found and his apparent fate remained a mystery. During 1996 the Manic?s came back with possibly their finest album to-date and proceeded to become one of Britain?s finest bands. At 13 this was my first taste of the Manic?s and I loved it, a band coming out of Wales who had three previous albums, had now released an album, which contained some of the best songs of the year. In fact thinking back this was probably one of the first CD albums I had ever bought, after only hearing about 3 of the songs on it. The band now a three piece comprising of lead singer and Guitarist James Dean Bradfield, Drummer Sean Moore and the mad rather eccentric Nicky Wire. The album opens with the superb ?Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier? a superb track that sums up the feel of the album right from the start. Opening with the waves as the tide comes in and a guitar coming through in the back ground, before a short harmony and then the proper start of the song with a simple guitar intro and the vocals following in quite shortly afterwards. The song carries on like this until the chorus before it really lifts off with the introduction of the drums to speed the song up. The vocals sound superb and the voice of James really carries the song along nicely while the drumming of Sean and the bass of Nicky and a superb beat and sound to the opening track. The lyrics on the whole are written by Nicky and you have to say from this album he is a good song writer. It fades out quietly with the sea again and the vocals descending into a fair ground style. Then almost straight away one of the most instantly recognizable Manics tracks and probably one of my favourites, ?A Design For Life? kicks off. It opens with a drum in the background with a sim
ple guitar intro before the vocals come in quite quickly. ?We don?t talk about love we only want to get drunk, We are not allowed to spend, And we are told that this is the end? The tune stays the same for a large part of the song with a clam soothing guitar and drum combination before again the chorus gets a little bit heavier than the verse of the track. The guitars sound great throughout and the drums play a big part in the song even though they are not predominant throughout the track. Again the vocals sound superb and James?s voice really does justice to Nicky?s lyrics. All round a good track that I?m sure almost every one will know. Then comes another of my favourite all time Manic?s tracks, ?Kevin Carter?. Opening with a guitar and short bursts of the drums before again the vocals come in reasonably quickly to get the song really going. A classic Manic?s track with heavy guitars in just the right places and a mellow vibe keeping the song plodding along. The vocals again make the song and along with the guitars and solid beat this is a song the Manic?s will find tough to better. A great track life as well as on the album, it just seems to be attached to a lot of memories from my time at senior school. Another superb track but not a single has to be ?Enola/Alone?. It?s probably the most upbeat song so far and opens with the drums and guitars together for the longest musical introduction of the album before the vocals come in to liven the track up. The guitars again sound superb with a superb backing beat from Sean. It?s songs like this that show the Manic?s are a truly great band as this really doesn?t come across as an album filler but a superb song in it?s own right. ?I?ll take a picture of you, To remember how good you looked? The song drifts into the end with the guitars really shinning through to steel the show. The vocals again sound excellent, with James?s voice really changing to suit the
style of the song. The song ends on a slower note before the start of probably the joint most recognizable song by the Manic?s, ?Everything Must Go?. A song that takes only seconds before you realise what your about to hear it opens with the drums playing a short intro before being quickly joined by the guitars for a short intro before the vocals join in. ?Freed from the century, With nothing but memory, Memory? The sound of the song always takes you back to the year of release. The vocals again sound superb with Nicky?s lyrics again superb and the arrangement by Sean and James really making the song come to life. The guitars play the main role in the track keeping it at a fast pace and really making it enjoyable to listen to. We then move onto track number 6 and ?Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky?. A very mellow start with a harmonic introduction on the guitar before the soothing, calm vocals come in to get the song underway. The harmony carries on until a second guitar comes in and changes it just slightly. The vocals really change well from the last track and it shows an amazing range in James?s vocal talents. It starts to pick up a little with the guitar taking a bigger part nearer the end of the song. The next track is a shorter one vocally, and ?The Girl That Wanted To Be God? is another decent album track that really does make this into their best all round album in my opinion. It opens up with a drumbeat gradually getting louder before the guitars join in soon after and then the vocals a short time after that. The vocals have again changed in style and the guitars really carry the song along beautifully. The arrangement again is just right and this really makes it a more enjoyable song and album on the whole. Then we come to another superb Manic?s track with ?Removables?. This opens a little more upbeat than the others with the drums opening up alongside the guitars before the vocals come in a little
slower than on others but with more aggression and feeling. The drums really hold the song together carrying it along while the lyrics really get inside your head and stay there. The song in places has a dark edge to it but this sort of adds to the effect and desire I think they had from the song. Another cracking track. But no where near as good as the next track, ?Australia?, which is another of my favourite tracks and in fact is one of the best Manic?s songs again, however maybe not quite as good as Everything Must Go and A design For Life. It starts with the drums and guitars joining to form the introduction and bring the song in on a high note before the vocals come in after about half a minute. The guitars really make this track as well and you can?t help thinking if this had been a different band would this have been anywhere near as good. ?I Want to fly home until it hurts, Sleep for a while and speak no words in Australia? The vocals again stand out and I have to say by this stage you really should have noticed just quite how good James?s vocals actually are. The song is a good one for singing along to as it?s a good easy going track that really flows along nicely with the aid of the drums. From there we move on to ?Interiors (Song for Willem De Koonig)?, which is another decent track and quite easy going but upbeat all at the same time. It opens straight away with the vocals being joined quickly by the guitars for a run into the song before the drums come in for the chorus. ?Are we too tired to try and understand, That nothing is nothing on that we depend? The vocals really stand out on this song with the guitars and drums playing very much a backup role to the strong purposeful vocals of James. Although the beat does bring the song along in places it is very faint, which adds a bit to the mood. The guitars also follow a similar pattern with quiet sections before they lift off a little for the chorus an
d of course the solo sections. All in all another quality track, which goes towards making this one of my favourite albums. So with only 2 tracks to go already this album had made a name for the band but they weren?t going to let it stop there and ?Further Away? really emphasises that point. A mellow track that uses James?s vocals again in a different style but yet he pulls it off once again. It opens with an upbeat drum intro joined quickly by the guitars and the by the vocals. The song carries on at much the same pace as the opening with the drums really standing out on this track but the guitars are playing a huge part themselves. The lyrics again are good and the vocals solid adding to an already impressive batch of songs. The album is rounded of by a very mellow but almost perfect track, ?No Surface All Feeling?. This is one of those you can listen to and makes you think about all sorts of things but also leaves you almost completely relaxed at the same time, if that makes sense. It opens with the guitar on it?s own before the drum comes in to form the intro and then the vocals coming in again just after the half minute stage. The quieter vocals for the verse add a lot of feeling to the track, whilst the faster sections for the chorus have a little something extra that similar songs are lacking, which make this so good. ?Maybe richer maybe wiser, Seems so easy to not go too far? The song strikes me as maybe a tribute to Richie and a fitting tribute at that. The drums and guitars keep the pace well for the quieter sections and also the louder chorus and carry the song off well. This is a prime example of the talent Nicky Wire has when it comes to writing songs and also how good Sean and James are at putting them together musically. So there we have it the 1996 effort from the Manic?s following the mystery disappearance of Richie, which looked like it may have been solved this weekend after a skeleton was found two
miles down stream from his car but alas it has turned out that it wasn?t him. This album proves to be a glowing tribute to Richie and really shows a good sense of determination and grit from the band, in how they managed to carry on and make an album this good. So final words on the album, personally I feel this is an album everyone should own whether it?s your type of music or not it is a quality album that anyone can enjoy and relax to. If you don?t already own it then you can get it from CD-wow.com for £6.99. Also they have a new Secret History called Lipstick Traces out on Monday 14th July, which includes a CD of brilliant covers by the band. Cheers Andy
'Everything Must Go' is marked in music history as one of the stand out album of the 90s. It was the Manic Street Preachers fourth album, but their first without writer, guitarist and image Richey Edwards. Aside from the mystery surrounding his disappearance what you must not forget that this album is a spectacularly good rock record in its own right. The title really says it all 'Everything Must Go' shows a big movement away from older ground of the Manic Street Preachers. Some people, me included feel the Manic peaked with their first album, but this remain a stunning album. The loss of Richey made a huge difference to the Manics. Although he did n ot contribute much on stage with his guitar the whole sound changed notably. Edwards wrote most of the songs in a split with bassist Nicky Wire and can lay claim to being one of the best lyricists of the 90s. It must have been a hard decision was made to carry on as a trio as all the Manic were school friends from a small town in South Wales, and this was the first result with a new look. From the earlier work and especially 'The Holy Bible' the words can hit you with the beauty of expression. You can clearly tell the differences between a song written by Rickey, and one by Wire. This album contains a mixture, and it is apparent. Just the title of 'Small Black Flowers that Grown in the Sky' makes an image that makes you wonder sort of mind can come up with that. Generally later songs like 'A Design for Life' or 'Australia?' work better as songs with melodies that run together better, instead of 'Kevin Carter' where James Dean Bradfield has been forced to work around Richey Edwards lyrics. That is not to say the newer songs don't carry a strong message, with a strong empathy for workers and liberties the Manics songs still remain one of the only chart bands to mean anything. The sound on 'Everything Must Go' as a result is almost totally differe
nt. The strings are out on several songs, and some of the songs are real anthems. The album was produced by Mike Hedges, and it results in an almost Phil Spector feel to the open spaces. A change indeed, but still results in a great album and up with the best of the Manics. The first track on 'Everything Must Go' opens and closes in one of the most un-rock n'roll way imaginable, with gentle waves lapping on the intro and a poetry recital leading it out. Somewhere in the middle of 'Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier' though it explodes into a cracking rock song. An interesting way to open the album it has the Manics way of being typically anti-American and anti-commercialism but has a glossy end to it. Good song, but nothing spectacular. 'A Design for Life' represents the change for the Manic Street Preachers. Instead of short and fast punk it is replaced with tuneful strings and melodies. You can almost whistle the tune, and that is a big shift. However the first words go 'libraries gave us power, then work came and made us free' the later being a reference to the Nazi concentration camps slogans. How many rock songs now have 'libraries' as their first word? As a comeback song this can both be all the best of old Manics and new Manics. Richey Edwards wrote much of 'Kevin Carter', the song does not flow as smoothly or gracefully as the first two, but packs a punch. The song is about Kevin Carter the award winning war photographer who killed himself after criticism of benefiting from the horrors of war in Africa. The lyrics are superb, a real touch of what Edwards could do. Perhaps a topic only he would think to draw out into a song. Some people do not like the fourth track 'Enola/Alone'. It is not unlike others with the wide atmospheric feel added in production, if a little overproduced. Maybe looks a little poor in comparison, but I like the upbeat and soaring
trac k. James Dean Bradfield's vocals are great on this, as is for the rest of the album while the lyrics are not the st and out on the album, still remain solid and better than most could do. The title track from the album does have a good way of summing up overall. 'Everything Must Go' is a literal check of leaving the past behind, but still looking back fondly. Like 'Design for Life' this is another real anthem with all the strings section put to use. It runs in a strange way with each line answering itself, but the lyrics are really great. 'Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky' as said earlier stands out as a real Richey moment. It is a much slower pace than the guitar driven earlier tracks, and uses a Welsh harp for a real feel. It is a dark and mysterious track that would not have looked out of place on 'Holy Bible', so seems a little out of place, but remains a thought provoking song. 'The Girl that Wanted to be God' contains some really good lyrical hook, and generally a quick paced and brisk rock song. Like much of the album it mixes the guitars and strings well. The song was apparently about Silvia Plath as a quote, and the song does seem like poetry in itself. A nice song to listen to, very easy to get into but not the best on the album. 'Removables' would also not look out of place on the 'Holy Bible', so no surprises that it was written by Richey Edwards. The lyrics are much darker that the album in general, and the guitar sound is harsher with a deep growl. It may not be to everyone?s tastes, but it is a real grower and superb lyrics. 'Australia' takes out more of the emotions in the band after Richey, especially Nicky Wire. Australia is literally the furthest place do go to, so screams significance. The chorus contains one of the best lines 'I want to fly and run until it hurts/In Australia' again typical. Another rea
lly good a nthem of the stadium rock variety. The album manages to have several of these, but remains good by not being too epic or overproducing. It is a delicate mix, and this has to be one of the best wit h such a fast paced just and hitting you in the face. Its full of energy, not exactly the punk attitude of ?Generation Terrorists? but a great song. Another sign of the intellect the Manics can bring to rock and pop is shown in the next song. 'Interiors (Song for Willen De Kooning)', is not a name your average person will have heard of. The actual song is another slow grower, but has a very good chorus when the guitars get going and some bass guitar all the way through. 'Further Away' is not unlike 'Enola/Alone' in many respects. It has the same speed and energy in the chorus and verses, even to the point of the same way it has been overproduced. It is not a great song, but still remains to keep the quality of the album so very high. Again the lyrics are almost effortless, but can really touch you if you bother to listen to them. It is a nice burst towards the end of the album, but there are really no weak links. The album is wrapped up with another epic tune, 'No Surface All Feeling' manages to be simple yet stunning. It does push the point a little, but again manages sublime lyrics a simple sound and is just so easy and great to listen through. At the end of the day, 'Everything Must Gois a good starting point for anyone new to the Manic Street Preachers. It is good quality music, and this album must be one of the best of the decade. It has the politics and intelligence that comes with the Manics, as well as being very easy to listen to. There is hardly a weak track over the twelve, and just about anyone should be able to appreciate this album. Although different to early stuff, this marks a new high point for them. Unfortunately the slide did probably begin from here, so enj
oy it now. <b r>
Now that the Manics are "bored and old" as Kurt Copbain might say, I thought it would be nice to look back in time and remember when the Manics were a band that actually had something worthwhile to say and some great songs to sing. Everything Must Go is actually the root of their new-found blandness, coming as a watershed after the disappearance of main lyricist Richey Edwards, but it is almost as good as their finest work and in my view the finest album of all time, The Holy Bible. 1996 was the year, the Tories were into their final year in government (ha ha ha) and girl power was about to explode with the Spice girls. Oasis were at their commercial peak and Britpop was in its last year of sustainable life. That was the scene when I was blown away (not literally) by the Manics? performance of A Design For Life on the then still fresh TFI Friday (yes, a long time ago). I subsequently bought the single and in the second week of release I mustered enough cash to buy the album. Everything Must Go seems to begin underwater in the early seconds of Elvis Impersonator, the song reaches the surface when the harp kicks in and explodes out of the water when the electric guitar comes in the chorus. James Dean Bradfield?s voice sounded stronger than ever before as he roared ?All American trilogy / In Lancashire pottery?. I don?t have a clue what this means but it doesn?t matter because the song is just too good. It then proceeds to dive back under the water and mutate into a snippet of the American Southern folk song Dixie. As that track fades out the supreme single of possibly the entire 1990s begins with the jittery guitar. The strings are far subtler than the bloated ones used in their next LP This Is My Truth? and add to the serene beauty of the verses. Nirvana-esque the distortion hits for the bridge and the chorus. The famous lines ?We don?t talk about love / We only want to get drunk? sound all the more sarcastic when viewed along wit
h the excellent video and its snippets from the last night of the proms and its sickening Union flag waving. Kevin Carter is the next track and at the time sounded unlike any other Manics song. It had a funky ?70s rhythm. It sounds like James Brown with a political agenda. The track is actually about a Pulitzer Prize winner who photographed a dying child beside a bird of prey but did nothing for the boy. Riddled with guilt, Carter took his own life. The lyrics are typically bleak and superior to most of the rest of the record as they were written by Richey Edwards. Enola/Alone is possibly the albums weakest link, but the fuzzy guitars have power and Bradfield?s voice is again in excellent form. To say it is weak is far too strong a put-down for a song that would stand out in a lot of other records. It certainly cannot live up to the majesty of the string-laden Everything Must Go. The title track is a true epic and a touching tribute to the band?s missing guitarist. Richey?s words are again used for Small Black Flowers? Again the lyrics are incredibly bleak in this sparsely recorded song with only a harp and a guitar. The sound was a major departure for the band and still remains a wonderfully touching and bare track. It?s followed by another almost-funky track with another roaring epic chorus. The Girl That Wanted To Be God. The poignancy of some of the lyrics in this song are very beautiful, especially the line ??Hold Me?, she said. ?Love me to death??. Removables is an angry track and it is the song that sounds most like anything off The Holy Bible. It is followed by another single, the last from the album, the rip-roaring Australia. It is a live favourite and it?s not hard to figure out why with the song?s vitality and energy. It is the closest the band come to their early work in this album, I feel. Interiors is a very different prospect and again sounds quite like a Holy Bible track. The quiet verse-loud chorus formu
la is again adhered to on this track. Further Away is like a twin to Enola/Alone but is a superior song in every way. Again the lyrics are touching. ?Further away/ Feel it fade into your childhood?. This song is perfectly placed as the second from last track. Again it is energetic but the melancholic words mix in with the sound as usual. But nothing can surpass what follows. Music is the most subjective thing in the world, but I cannot put the beauty of the epic No Surface All Feeling into words. It needs no strings to create its sound. It?s just two guitars, a bass and a drum-kit and the chords are simplicity itself. Coincidentally it was the last track the band rehearsed together before Richey disappeared. Again the lyrics (this time from Nicky Wire) are sublime, but I think the finest line ?Feel the guilt of a sinner/ Feel the cold of a winter?, was actually stolen from somewhere else. But that is not to take away from the second most wonderful piece of music ever recorded. Everything Must Go is hated by a lot of the ignorant pack of gothic fans from the Manics early days, but it was loved by critics and new fans alike. It has already reached classic status in many minds and is certainly one of the finest albums of the 1990s in my opinion.
Everything Must Go is the first Manic Street Preachers since the mysterious disappearance of their guitarist and songwriter as well as the leading force Richey Edwards. This could be a real problem album; a large part of the band had gone and it was going to be interesting to see how they would fare. And in an answer it is a brilliant album. The media have got behind this album because of the circumstances, and as a result is has a lot of hype and billed as the perfect album. Ok so maybe it is not perfect, but this is a very good album. The loss of Richey as songwriter has seen Nicky Wire emerge to write some tracks all by himself, and as some like Design For Life shows he is very good at this. The album is very powerful, they are able to show their real life experiences, without being that dark as some of their earlier stuff has. This album could also show that the Welshmen have moved a bit more into the mainstream. They have come away from the really dark and depressing stuff that I was not a huge fan of, but this could displease some of the real fans. They have gone into the music business, picking up some awards that you would really associate with other pop acts, but this album really has got quality music in here, and is well worth a look. 1. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier Slow start with water lapping before the real music cuts in. Great guitar solo in the middle, but there is a great change from verse, which is vocals only accompanied by acoustic guitars, but bursts into life with a very rocky chorus with louder and more electric guitars. Good song, it grew on me, though I would have liked to start the album off with a different one. 2. A Design for Life One of the best-known song by the Manic Street Preachers, a real favourite and it is really worthy of all the awards and comments it gets. A great song, really powerful both with all the lyrics and the way it is sung. Classic. All the
lyrics solely written by Nicky Wire in this one, as are many of the others on this album 3. Kevin Carter Another really good song both lyrically and musically. The lyrics tell the story of prize photographer Carter who took some powerful shots and lived the high life until it killed him. Simple song, good drumming for the real backbone and does come more to life in the chorus with guitars. Good trumpet solo from Sean Moore as well there. 4. Enola/Alone I like this song, although it has a quite sad message in the words, the chorus has a good feel and good rhythm to it. Again written all by Wire, a good song though easy to pick up and one of the more catchy ones. 5. Everything Must Go Another real classic from the Manics, like Design for Life a very, very powerful song. Well written song, going backwards and forwards between arguments, and the chorus is really great. Nice lyrics if you real them, written again by Wire. 6. Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky Written by Richey Edwards, this is a more depressing and darker song. Some good hard lyrics, though less powerful as a song than some of the others. Very dark song, little acoustic guitar backing and slow moving 7. The Girl Who Wanted to be God Good rhythm to the song, keeps going all the way through and nice and easy to listen to. Great way of bursting into life with the chorus shouting out the words: ‘the girl that wanted to be god’. I think I am right in saying this is about Sylvia Plath, the wife of famous poet Ted Hughes and a writer herself. Good song, a change in pace after track seven. 8. Removables Nice guitar intro into the song, and then continues with power full of guitars. Richey Edwards writes this song, a real good look on how the can feel and some great little words there. Very good song to show feelings, the moving and soul searching life. 9. Australia
Very simple, and as a result a really great song. Great song, full of energy that is a nice turn at this stage of the album. It is truly a good song, alive with the 10. Interiors Written by Nicky Wire, and one of his best works lyrically on the album. Again is a change to the last track on the album, much slower and a more depressing song. Good enough song, not one of my favourite but still has a feel to it that this is quality. 11. Further Away Not unlike Enola/Alone in that is and is very good. Another nice guitar solo in there, a good song to listen to near the end of the album 12. No Surface all Feeling. A great chorus, along the best on the album up with Design for Life, Everything Must Go and the first one. Slower verse, but builds up really well to a top chorus, full of great music and a good way to round off an excellent album. Overall a good album, even without the talent of Richey Edwards. Nicky Wire comes through, and this is top music. With all the hard things they have been through the lyrics and the music has a deep meaning and a feel to the music. Top quality, not a bad track on the album and the high point of the Manic Street Preachers.
The first word that comes into your mind when listening to this is "Dignity". How a band could lose such an integral member (let's face it, Richey was slightly more important than just rhythm "guitarist"/lyricist) and not fall down on their arses under the weight of rumour, gossip and despair is truly remarkable. This album would be remarkable if it were made at any point in time but it just takes on so many layers of poignancy if you look at their history. There is a gorgeous mixture of introspection and life-affirming tunes on this album. The most crucial line comes on the best song, Enola/Alone: "All I wanna do is live, no matter how miserable it is". Amidst the beautiful minor chord crunch that accompanies it, it's easy to get swept away in the emotion that you feel Nicky must have felt during the abyss of '95. No Surface All Feeling is in a similar vein with very calming vocals and it's a great sign-off, thought-provoking, sad, hopeful - even though it was written pre-disappearance. Also, the two understated and lovely acoustic numbers, Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky and Removables, are sparse and delicate gems. Two fantastic Richey lyrics accompanied first by a harp driven and morose melody and then a more cynical Nirvana Unplugged-style acoustic strum. I would be hard pushed to point out any weak moments. Australia is the only song that lacks the mellow, bittersweet alter-ego of all Manics' songs with a lot of light but a disappointing amount of shade. Everything Must Go treads a thin line between epic and emotionless but just comes out on the right side. This is the sound of a heart beating, despite tragedy, despite disaster and amazed and grateful to be alive despite all the odds.
I have had this album for over three years and it remains the only one where I still adore every song from start to finnish. Although individual songs on the Preachers' four earlier albums are of the same standard, as an album as a whole this is simply in a league of its own. Their career in music was meant for the creation of this album and it was impossible to think they (or any other 90's band) could reproduce its genius again (as has been shown by This is My Truth...). Simply put, this is without a doubt the best album of the 90's and if you have not heard it you would be doing yourself a great injustice not to by it NOW! Dan
This is a great album. It's the one that opened up the Manic Street Preachers to a much wider, more commercial audience. Probably because this album is much more of a mix of indie, strings and orchestras along with the old punk and rock element that made the Manic's name. It's the first album they recorded after the dissapearance of Ritchie Edwards, and you can sense the mourning in some of the songs. In no way though, is this an album full of angst or negativity. It's summed up well in the title track when James Dean Bradfield sings "I just hope that you can forgive us" with the title of the song and indeed, album being "Everything must go". It's about forgetting the past, starting a new, and this album is a celebration of the new Manics, who feel perhaps a bit of guilt for 'getting on with it'. A lot of the lyrics used are Ritchie Edwards' lyrics, so this album is in a way a tribute. Its all there in the music. Full of emotion. The second track is one of my favorites. 'Design for Life'. I think it was the first time they had incorporated strings into a song, and it worked amazingly. Bradfield's vocals with the crashing guitars and percussion build up making an amazing 'anthemic' sound, which they seem to do effortly on this record. The other thing i love about the Manics is that their lyrics always mean something. They always give you things to think about and often speak of people you may have never heard of, though they deserve to be heard of. An example is the superb track 'Kevin Carter', the renowned photographer, who was driven insane by the subject matter of his own work, leading him to suicide. It makes a song so much more appealing when you can think about and get inside the lyrics. There are a number of softer, relaxed tracks on this album- virtually unheard of on previous albums. It's an achievement that this sort of band could make the
switch, but my favorite thing is, that they kept that exciting, raw, sometimes jagged edge to the music in tracks such as 'Enola/Alone','Kevin Carter' and 'Further Away'. I love the guitar sounds and i love James Dean Bradfield's voice on this album more than any other. It really was a triumphant time for the Manics, turning such a tragic happening into a celebration and a new beginning for the band, but all in a respectable way. I don't think they will ever better this.
Good mix of belting, anthemic,indy/pop songs that made them more popular with a wider audience. - Advantages: one of their best, more upbeat not so moody, songs that will hook you - Disadvantages: no Richey Edwards, Whilst upbeat sad at times
This was the album that brought Manic street preachers into the top of the charts and into the limelight with this third album release ‘Everything Must Go’ which was released in 96. This was the year that the manics played main stages at festivals such as Phoenix 96, in front of thousands of people and finally got the appreciation by people which they should of deserved many years ago. The track listing for this album is: 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. Interoirs (Song For Williem De Koooning) 11. Further Away 12. No Surface All Feeling Out of all of theses tracks they had chart topping hits from, ‘Everything Must Go, ‘Australia’ and ‘Design For Life’. This was also the first album without their other guitarist Richey but still has his influence as many of the tracks on this album were co-written by him. This was the first of the albums that I bought, and includes some of their best music that they have done and are definite anthems that everyone knows them for, their tracks stands out from other the bands that were around at the same time that they became huge in the British music scene. This is definitely a classic album for its time, and is something that you could listen to decades from now and still enjoy it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Elvis Impersonator Blackpool Pier
2 A Design For Life
3 Kevin Carter
5 Everything Must Go
6 Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky
7 The Girl Who Wanted To Be God
10 Interiors (Song for Willem De Kooning)
11 Further Away
12 No Surface All Feeling