Manic Street Preachers-Forever Delayed-The Greatest ‘hits’
By Phil Rose esq

Big Bro sent me this double CD ‘to remind you why you loved them in the first place’. And I suppose it does do that but oh, so infrequently. It does a much better job of reminding me why I so frequently despair of the Manics.

How many great songs are there on this album? How many really great songs? Let’s count them shall we? By my reckoning it’s five. You Love Us, The Masses Against the Classes, Faster, Little Baby Nothing and Motown Junk. That’s a 25% hit rate on a ‘greatest hits’ album (I’m not counting remixes because they’re a dumb idea).

To find genuine fire and fury (You Love Us and Motown Junk) amidst the soft soap, chart friendly fluff does accentuate the brilliance of the minority but also shows of the awfulness of the majority. And the Manics can be a truly awful band. Maybe it’s just that I placed too much hope in them in the first place. I wanted them to release more and more and more songs with the venom and honesty of Motown Junk. But they didn’t and that makes their fall into pop so much harder to bear.. I’ve never heard There By The Grace of God before and if I never hear it again it will be too soon.

I was reading the NME special edition, cash-in Manics supplement and my eye fell upon a quote from James Dean Bradfield. ‘I never want to hear Revol again. That song is dog-shit’. What, as opposed to ‘Australia’, you mean?

I just don’t understand the Manics. Either they’re so full of energy and anger or they’re dead in the water (if you’ll pardon the expression). All their attitude and vim from 91-92, Generation Terrorists/Holy Bible era, when stripped away, leaves a band that find it difficult to really produce the goods.

The Manics were such a wonderful dream but I fear I have utterly woken up. Now I am resting all my hopes on the Virgin Suicides to resurrect that dream. But they’ll probably turn shite too and forget what they were all about to begin with, grow beer guts and swathe themselves in the flag of the nation they started out despising. They're like a once great friend who has joined the Conservative party and keeps phoning you up to rub it in by extolling the virtues of the free market. Ah me, dumb flag scum anyone? I guess that’s Mr. Wire now.