About Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers are a Welsh rock band formed in Blackwood in 1986. The band consists of cousins James Dean Bradfield , and Sean Moore , plus Nicky Wire . They are often colloquially known as "the Manics". Following the release of their debut single "Suicide Alley", the band was joined by Richey Edwards as co-lyricist and rhythm guitarist. The band's early albums were in a punk vein, eventually broadening to a greater alternative rock sound, whilst retaining a leftist political outlook. Their early combination of androgynous glam imagery and lyrics about "culture, alienation, boredom and despair" has gained them a loyal following and cult status.
With their debut album, Generation Terrorists, the Manic Street Preachers proclaimed it would be the "greatest rock album ever", as well as hoping to sell "sixteen million copies" around the world, after which they would split up. Despite the album's failure to meet this level of success, the band carried on with their career. The group became a trio after Richey Edwards disappeared in February 1995. The band went on to gain critical and commercial success in spite of his absence. Edwards was legally "presumed dead" in 2008.
Throughout their career, the Manics have headlined several festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival and Reading, won eleven NME Awards, eight Q Awards and four BRIT Awards. They have been nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1996 and 1999, and have had one nomination for the MTV Europe Music Awards. The group has reached number 1 in the UK charts three times: in 1998, with the album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours and the single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next", and again in 2000 with the single "The Masses Against the Classes". They have sold more than ten million albums worldwide.
Manic Street Preachers formed in 1986 at Oakdale Comprehensive School, Blackwood, South Wales, which all the band members attended. Bradfield and the slightly older Moore are cousins, and shared bunkbeds in the Bradfield family home after Moore's parents divorced.
During the band's early years, Bradfield, alongside the classically trained Moore, primarily wrote the music while Wire focused on the lyrics. The origin of the band's name remains unclear, but the most often-told story relates that Bradfield, while busking one day in Cardiff, got into an altercation with someone who asked him "What are you, boyo, some kind of manic street preacher?"
Original bassist Flicker left the band in early 1988, reportedly because he believed that the band were moving away from their punk roots. The band continued as a three-piece, with Wire switching from guitar to bass, and in 1988 they released their first single, "Suicide Alley". Despite its recording quality, this punk ode to youthful escape provides an early insight into both Bradfield's guitar work and Moore's live drumming, the latter of which would be absent from the band's first LP. The Manics intended to restore revolution to rock and roll at a time when Britain was dominated by shoegaze and acid house. The NME gave "Suicide Alley" an enthusiastic review, citing a press release by Richey Edwards: "We are as far away from anything in the '80s as possible."
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