The following collection of Manic Street Preachers video clips is intended more for my personal benefit than yours as a reader.
After all, it’s my blog.
I came a decade late to MSP’s oeuvre, but since around 2002, these three childhood friends from mining country in Wales — James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore — have comprised my favored rock aggregation.
Having missed out on their rambunctious early 1990s rise, culminating with the classically intense album The Holy Bible, I’ve tended to focus on the band’s musical output during the “mature” period of my familiarity, and these songs have been uniformly invigorating for me.
Leading off the video parade and brief overview, there’s a BBC documentary from 1998. It tells the story of the band’s early years. When founding member Richey Edwards abruptly disappeared and was presumed dead, the three remaining members persevered, regrouped and adapted. The first song by the Manics to be released after Edwards went missing was “Design for Life,” one of the biggest hits of the decade in Britain — and relevant once again today.
In 2002, the Manic Street Preachers returned to Wales for a homecoming concert in Cardiff.
While it remains a personal favorite, the album Lifeblood (2004) was poorly regarded by fans and the band itself. After a period of reflection, Send Away the Tigers (2007) was a rousing success, inaugurating a remarkably fecund second (actually third) act for the group. In 2009, Journal for Plague Lovers was released to widespread acclaim. The album is built around Edwards’ remaining lyrics, included in a notebook he gave to Bradfield and Wire just before his (probable) death.
The excellent Postcards from a Young Man followed in 2010, then a fine compilation called National Treasure – The Complete Singles in 2011.
This set the stage for the two most recent (and to me, wonderful) albums by the Manic Street Preachers, separated by a year in terms of release, but recorded all at once in 2012.
First the softer and more acoustic Rewind the Film (2013) …
… and then a rousing and euphoric masterpiece, Futurology, my album of the year in 2014.
The band has toured constantly throughout the world in recent years, although as has tended to be the case with with bands I like, rarely in America. That’s okay, because there is much concert footage on YouTube.
Last week came a report that a new album may be in store next year. Rock and roll is dying; may the Manic Street Preachers live on.