CD: Manic Street Preachers, The Holy Bible 10th Anniversary Edition


It's difficult not to see The Holy Bible as Richey James's last will and testament, since this was the last Manics album he contributed to before his disappearance somewhere near the Severn Bridge. James wrote most of the lyrics, and they add up to one of the bleakest and most lacerating documents in rock'n'roll history, from the litany of self-loathing in the anorexic's saga 4st 7lbs to the ghastly sleepwalk through the Holocaust in The Intense Humming of Evil.

It's amazing that the band were able to turn James's panoramas of horror and disgust into music of such conviction, though they had to develop a new stylistic palette in the process. They turned away from the American-influenced anthems of their previous two discs, instead immersing themselves in the fraught and angular music of the likes of Magazine, Siouxsie & the Banshees or Gang of Four.

However, whether an album only 10 years old needs digital remastering must be a moot point, and the value of including the "previously unheard" American mix is even more questionable. On the other hand, the additional DVD justifies its inclusion with a long interview and a batch of ferocious live performances - not least a terrifying take of Faster from, of all places, Top of the Pops.


Adam Sweeting

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
CD: Manic Street Preachers, Lifeblood


Caroline Sullivan

05, Nov, 2004 @1:21 AM

Article image
CD: Manic Street Preachers, Everything Must Go (10th Anniversary Edition)


Dave Simpson

03, Nov, 2006 @12:15 AM

Manic Street Preachers: Generation Terrorists (20th anniversary edition) – review
The Manic Street Preachers may have been anti-nostalgia, but they certainly brought back the spirit of punk on their debut album, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

06, Dec, 2012 @9:45 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers review – raucous return to the harrowing Holy Bible
The band’s military re-enactment of their caustic 1994 masterpiece gives it a crackling new energy, writes Graeme Virtue

Graeme Virtue

09, Dec, 2014 @1:54 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers to perform classic Holy Bible album in full
James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore will play a series of shows in December, celebrating 20 years since their third album was released

Guardian music

23, Sep, 2014 @7:44 AM

Pop review: Manic Street Preachers, Barrowland, Glasgow

Barrowland, Glasgow
An absent friend hangs heavy over Manics' triumph, says Ian Gittins

Ian Gittins

26, May, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers, Wembley Arena

Wembley Arena

Alexis Petridis

11, Dec, 2004 @2:49 PM

4 stars Manic Street Preachers, Leeds University

, Leeds University

Dave Simpson

12, May, 2007 @10:52 PM

Article image
Manic Street Preachers – review
To a backing choir of 16,000 voices, the Manics perform all 38 singles and nearly take the 02 roof off, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

18, Dec, 2011 @1:03 PM

Manic Street Preachers, NEC, Birmingham

NEC, Birmingham

David Peschek

05, Dec, 2002 @1:12 PM