Once the band who loved to be hated, and whose claims that they would sell millions of records were derided, the Manic Street Preachers were now on the verge of jUSI that kind of success. ’A Design For Life’, the first new material to be released since Richey’s disappearance, had jUSl gone in at Number Two.

’I’m proud that we’ve reached something of a peak,’ Nicky Wire told me. ’But it’s bittersweet always tainted wrth sadness because of the Richey thrng.’

The ’Richey thing’ was still open wound. ’It’s JUSI like missing your best fnend,’ confessed Wire. ’For four years we’ve been totally obsessed wrth each other. Everyone else had girlfriends, we had each other. We were sad bastards, really.’

Richey may have added nothing mus:ca|ly, but Wire missed his on-stage presence: ’There were times in our career when we’ve been the most exciting live band ever, but now, you look over and realise Richey’s not there.’

Wire’s appearances at aftershow parties on this tour were strained at times he even seemed sluggish on stage. Success was sitting uneasily on the Manics’ rounded shoulders. (Toby Manning)

7996 ~— The year when the Manics finally hit a winning streak sees them scoop two Brit Awards (Best Album and Best British Group), two NME Brats and top most magazines’ end of year pol/s.

August 1998


I started making a documentary From Despair To Here about the Manics in December of last year. They were interested in working with us as part of

we went back to Wales with them.

They’re happy about stepping back into the public eye, because they have a real confidence in the new music. But they realise that, although Everything Must 60 was a great album, people were on their side after Richey. They know they may not get such an easy ride from the press now.

They are very aware of their past as a band, aware of all the time and tragedy. As James said to me, ’I don’t think we could have made the last album without going through everything we’ve gone through. Musically and lyrically, Everything

'For four years we've been totally obsessed with each other.

Everyone else had girlfriends, we had each other' mam...

’A Design For Life’, ’Everything Must Go’, ’Austra/ia’ and ’Kevin Carter’ are a// top ten sing/es.

I997 The Man/cs step back into the public spotlight to promote new album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. ’lt’s the album with the most sense of purity and most sense of beauty,’ says Nicky

Close Up, a wrder arts strand for the BBC, rather than it Just being a one-off promo for the new album.

Once they had committed themselves to the documentary, they went along with it 100%. We went to France while they were recording This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours which is fantastic then

Must 60 was our towering achievement.’ (Mike Connolly)

From Despair To Here, BBCZ, Wed 23 Sep, 9.30pm. The Manic Street Preachers are at Dundee Caird Hall, Fri 18 Sep 8: Glasgow SECC, Sat 12 Dec (with Catatonia supporting at SECC).

ALBUM REVIEW The Manic Street

Preachers This Is My Truth Tell Me Y0urs (Epic) *‘k‘k

There's going to be an awful lot of hype about this album. The Manics have rightfully grown to become one of the most respected bands in the UK and when they release new material it's something of an event in the bubble of the music world. Many have already been speculating that it could be the most influential album released this year. It will almost certainly enter the charts at Number One and go on to sell by the barn load.

But (didn't you know that word had to appear) it's not

the best album they've ever made. It's perfectly in synch with this season's penchant for taking epic looks on the grim side of life but then that has more to do with fashion coming round to the Manic's point of view rather than the Manics changing their schtick. Yet where before they would scream their disgust at everything around them, this album shows them steeped in a slow melancholy, ‘happy being sad' to steal one of their lines.

This album is more mellow than manic. There are lots of big, lush string arrangements which drape everything in a soft focus mist. Sometimes it works and is genuinely touching; at other points, 'Black Dog On My Shoulder’ is

a good example. it becomes rather flabby and mushy.

Lyrically, the Manics pursue their familiar concerns of social injustice and emotional extremes and, as ever, their way with words is scalpel sharp; phrases like ‘dancing with the disco rapists' from ’Tsunami' have the sudden power to startle.

If the lyrics provide food for thought then the music is equally complex. This is a grower of an album more than one with an immediate knock 'em dead appeal. Good rather than great, it won’t live up to everybody‘s expectations but it deserves a place in most record collections.

(Jonathan Trew) I This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours is released on Mon 14 Sep

111 mmsr 27 Aug—10 Sep 1998