Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Fantasy Setlists 12th - 16th April

Three more setlists for your viewing pleasure, this time with one presented so well I just had to include it in its original form!!!  Still loads more songs coming out of the woodwork that haven't been selected yet and I certainly haven't picked out many clear contenders for the final setlist yet.  After all the talk of openers and closers on the recent gigs, I'm finding it really interesting to keep an eye on these too!

I think as blogger-in-chief I reserve the right to say mine will be coming on Saturday and having had a listen through already it's the best gig ever!  Manics are you reading?

Claire @clarahopscotch
Prologue to History
This Joke Sport Severed
Dead Martyrs
Solitude Sometimes Is
Your Love Alone is not Enough
Motorcycle Emptiness
Anthem for a Lost Cause
Freedom of Speech Won't Feed my Children
30 Year War
This Sullen Welsh Heart (acoustic)
4 Ever Delayed (acoustic)
Me and Stephen Hawking
Kevin Carter
My Little Empire
Peeled Apples
Still a Long Way to Go
From Despair to Where
Everything Must Go
Golden Platitudes
A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun (with Duff McKagan)
Suicide Alley

"Rise up with me against the organisation of misery" - Pablo Neruda


Paul Fiander-Turner @havinaradox
Stay Beautiful
Motorcycle Emptiness
Imperial Bodybags
Everything Must Go
Found that Soul
No Surface All Feeling
Marlon JD
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
Ready for Drowning
Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky (acoustic)
This is Yesterday (acoustic)
As Holy as the Soil (That Buries Your Skin)
Dead Martyrs
(It's Not War) Just the End of Love
Nobody Loved You
Bag Lady
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
You Love Us
A Design for Life


Old Noshie @oldnoshie

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Fantasy Setlists 6th - 11th April

Two more excellent setlists to add to the ones we've had so far, I'm currently taking a short break from shortlisting mine to type this and I can tell you it's not easy!!  But obviously worth it in the end.....

I make it 81 songs selected in only 6 lists so far, so we're already getting a wide selection of songs!!!  And, unlike the top 50s, early on we have no song which has been selected in every set.  Which proves that some people might occasionally want a break from the big guns, even though we know that is extremely unlikely to happen in real life.  Keep them coming!!

Nostalgic Pushead @NostalgicPus
You Stole the Sun from my Heart
Motorcycle Emptiness
Roses in the Hospital 
Patrick Bateman
Little Baby Nothing (with Molly Yarde)
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
From Despair to Where
Everything Must Go
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
Suicide is Painless (Theme From MASH)
This Sullen Welsh Heart (acoustic)
Rewind the Film (with Richard Hawley acoustic)
This Joke Sport Severed (acoustic)
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (with NP herself!)
Methadone Pretty
Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
Postcards From a Young Man
You Love Us
Motown Junk
Some Kind of Nothingness
Show Me the Wonder
Nostalgic Pushead


Nick Tait @ApolloScream
Motorcycle Emptiness
Your Love Alone is Not Enough
All We Make is Entertainment
Show Me the Wonder
30 Year War
Die in the Summertime
The Masses Against the Classes
First Republic
Imperial Bodybags
Postcards From a Young Man
So Dead
You're Tender and You're Tired (acoustic)
I Think I Found It (acoustic)
Suicide Alley
Nobody Loved You
As Holy As The Soil (That Buries Your Skin)
Stay Beautiful
Motown Junk
You Love Us
A Design for Life

"Be pure, be vigilant, behave"

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Fantasy Setlists - 1st - 5th April

So, New Chart Riot is back with the first batch of fantasy setlists and so far we've had a mixture.  Generally speaking, however, the first few have gone how I expected - a combination of the tried and tested live staples mixed in with those that have either long since retired from the live arena or barely made their mark, if at all.  It's going to be interesting to see if that's how it remains given the more relaxed rules this time around!!  Loads of time to get your own entry in so get your thinking caps on!!

Pearls of Wisdom @Ddraig76
Judge Yr'self
Imperial Bodybags
Peeled Apples
From Despair to Where
Crucifix Kiss
Stay Beautiful
Be Natural
Roses in the Hospital
She is Suffering
4 Ever Delayed
You Love Us
A Design for Life
The Masses Against the Classes
You Stole the Sun from my Heart
Slash N' Burn
There by the Grace of God
Indian Summer
Postcards From a Young Man
Love's Sweet Exile
This is Yesterday


Adam Marshall @MarshFactor
Welcome To The Jungle > Motown Junk
Send Away The Tigers
La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh)
Little Baby Nothing (with Kylie Minogue)
Archives Of Pain
Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
4st 7lb
Marlon JD
Roses In The Hospital
This Sullen Welsh Heart (with Lucy Rose, acoustic) 
Still A Long Way To Go (acoustic)
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
Die In The Summertime
Rewind The Film (with Richard Hawley)
All Is Vanity
Motorcycle Emptiness
Solitude Sometimes Is
This Is Yesterday
No Surface All Feeling
Condemned To Rock 'N Roll
A Design For Life

"Work is only justified by leisure time. To admit the emptiness of leisure time is to admit the impossibility of life" — Guy Debord


Peeled Apples
Found That Soul
Drug Drug Druggy
Golden Platitudes
3 Ways to See Despair
Show Me the Wonder
Can't Take My Eyes Off You
4st 7lbs
Everything Must Go
Slash N' Burn
Stay Beautiful
Journal for Plague Lovers
Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky
There by the Grace of God
Anorexic Rodin
Motown Junk
Miss Europa Disco Dancer
Suicide Alley


Molly Yarde @4ever_delayed
The Masses Against the Classes
La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
Stay Beautiful
Europa Geht Durch Mich
All is Vanity
Some Kind of Nothingness (with Ian McCulloch)
Anthem for a Lost Cause
Motorcycle Emptiness
Prologue to History
Still a Long Way to Go
Marlon JD
Little Baby Nothing (with Molly!)
The Everlasting (acoustic)
Can't Take My Eyes Off You (acoustic)
Send Away the Tigers
You Stole the Sun from my Heart
Solitude Sometimes Is
30 Year War
You Love Us
A Design for Life

"If they give you ruled paper, write the other way" - Juan Ramón Jiménez

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Fantasy Setlist - The Rules!!!

After last year's chart action, New Chart Riot is back with a vengeance......with a new twist!!

So, what if you were in charge of the setlist for a Manic Street Preachers gig?  Which songs would you pick?  A greatest hits set maybe, a whole set of songs they never play live, covers, B-sides, all of the above?  For this "chart" of sorts YOU are in charge!!

The Rules!

  • Select 25 different songs of your choice. This may contain ANY song the Manics have ever recorded or played live.
  • If you wish to select a fantasy cover that they have never ever played in any form but you would like them to, you may (however bear in mind this is highly unlikely to be selected by anyone else!).
  • With the above in mind, James or Nicky solo songs are valid entries if you would like to see the full band play them.
  • It doesn't HAVE to be your favourite 25 songs.  Some may not work as well live or you may just want to see certain songs played more than others, the choice is yours.
  • The order of the songs ideally will be how you want your gig to flow, however the order may not be important to you (see scoring for the effect of ordering).
  • You may specify that a song is included in a solo/acoustic section if you wish (see scoring for the effects of this).
  • As an additional option, in true Manics style, you may add your own setlist quote (thanks JamGaw for this suggestion!).


  • No weighting will be applied to songs, each selection will count as 1 vote.
  • If you specified a song as solo/acoustic this counts against all votes for that song (i.e. there aren't separate entries for full band/solo songs).
  • For the 25 songs with the most votes, an average placing in the set will be calculated based on the order of your selections so that the final 25 is in the optimal order as decided by you.
  • If any of the top 25 entries has more votes as a solo/acoustic song than with the full band it will appear in the final set as solo/acoustic.

Submitting your Entry

Once you have your 25 selections, participants are encouraged to share their setlist (like with the top 50s) on Twitter for a lively debate with your followers!!  If you do this, put your own personal hashtag against each entry (e.g. #ManicsSetlistIanL) and let me know @Pyfbrown so that I can register your votes.  Each entry will go up on this blog with your Twitter name for anyone that may miss it to study and critique!!  Note: if you came across this blog through a site other than Twitter I will include another name as appropriate.

However, if you would rather blog your own setlist or just send it by email without counting down on Twitter in this way that's fine too, contact me to arrange this at the time.

The deadline for entries to be considered for the overall fans' setlist is Sunday May 18th 2014. Happy setlisting!!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Final Manics Fans' Top 50!!!

The chart below was compiled from 62 different top 50s  submitted by Manic Street Preachers fans during July and August 2013.  Points were awarded based on 50 for number one, 49 for number 2 etc, down to 1 point for number 50, and the final tally for each song is shown after the name of each one.  Where songs tied on points in the overall chart, the number of entries in the charts were used first to determine placing, followed by highest placing in an individual chart.  Any that still tied are shown with an "=" sign.  Thank you to all people who took part in, followed or promoted these charts, it has been great fun!!!

See also the full chart and sub-charts tabs with all manner of Manics-related lists that came out of these selections!!

Manics Fans' Final Top 50
1. Faster 2525
2. Motorcycle Emptiness 2436
3. A Design for Life 2076
4. Yes 1959
5. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) 1796
6. Motown Junk 1677
7. Little Baby Nothing 1512
8. Stay Beautiful 1506
9. From Despair to Where 1472
10. You Love Us 1358
11. PCP 1291
12. Roses in the Hospital 1179
13. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next 1175
14. No Surface All Feeling 1134
15. Your Love Alone is not Enough 1081
16. The Masses Against the Classes 1006
17. This is Yesterday 1004
18. Sleepflower 974
19. 4st 7lb 943
20. Life Becoming a Landslide 910
21. Judge Yr'self 900
22. Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky 899
23. Revol 873
24. Everything Must Go 835
25. Jackie Collins Existential Question Time 800
26. Slash N' Burn 796
27. Some Kind of Nothingness 792
28. The Everlasting 737
29. ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitsworldwouldfallapart 727
30. Autumnsong 725
31. Found that Soul 712
32. (It's Not War) Just the End of Love 699
33. Suicide is Painless (Theme from MASH) 695
34. Peeled Apples 676
35. Kevin Carter 667
36. You Stole the Sun from my Heart 664
37. Archives of Pain 653
38. Australia 645
39. Prologue to History 641
40. Enola/Alone 630
41. Solitude Sometimes Is 627
42. Die in the Summertime 615
43. Send Away the Tigers 615
44. Of Walking Abortion 610
45. This Joke Sport Severed 600
46. Ocean Spray 594
47. Ready for Drowning 583
48. Marlon JD 578
49. William's Last Words 566
50. She is Suffering 564

By Era
Generation Terrorists 7
Gold Against the Soul 5
The Holy Bible 12
Everything Must Go 7
This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours 5
Know Your Enemy 2
Lifeblood 1
Send Away the Tigers 3
Journal for Plague Lovers 5
Postcards From a Young Man 2
Others 1


In Our Own Words

Like the band, Manics fans are a notoriously wordy bunch, so what better way to celebrate the chart than to have the people that liked each song in the top 50 the most write about what they mean to them? This section will be updated as people submit their thoughts, so keep checking back for anyone that hasn't yet contributed! (new additions are in red)

1. Faster 
@molly_yarde @heather1917 @lionel3375 @havinaradox @OCJonnyoc @starkitten8 @KeithCameron2 @CultofCanucks83 (1st)

It's immediately obvious how Faster managed to seize the number 1 spot. As soon as you hear the first murmurings of 'I hate purity. Hate goodness,' you can tell you're in for a real shocker. The music clatters and ricochets around with a striking balance between chaos and control. And out of that comes the lyric, the impenetrable lines of which have been immortalized by generations of fans, astonished by the content of this glimpse in to Richey Edwards' head. There cannot be a fan out there who has not at some point doodled 'I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing' on their stuff. Again there's the contrast, from the cool logic and the rampant narcissism battling for precedence. Faster is a masterpiece, and by the final nerve-wrenching roar of 'So damn easy to cave in, man kills everything' there is nothing to be done but sit silently struck by the horror and brilliance which it conveys.

There's nothing I don't love about Faster. It's a manifesto, a design for life, in 3 minutes 55. It's a fuck you to everyone who ever put you down, even while you laugh and despair at yourself. Because it's angry and defiant and sad and tender and glorious. Because it's literate and proud and self-aware. Because it's about the damn annoying pain of having a mind of your own when you're supposed to be nobody. Because it's bleak and life-affirming. Because it still makes me ramble like a pretentious over-read adolescent. Because I have jumped up and down to the pneumatic, hydraulic vertical music like an idiot, and shouted the lyrics til I practically pass out. Because James wore a balaclava with his name on on TOTP, and people wrote into Points of View (why oh why), and I fell in love. That's why.

So I was 18 when it came out. Just out of my rave music phase. Sounded fresh, raw and powerful. Band looked awesome too. Loved the TOTP performance, Glastonbury set, then came Reading 94. On after Pulp and Radiohead the band blew me away with a set of total power and energy. I fell in love with the band at that instant. Faster was the catalyst. THB then got me into the lyrics in a nutshell Faster is the song I chose as my number 1 as it is the song I will always remember as the 'yep I'm hooked now' song.

For me, there is no finer song from the Welsh wonder boys, as is obvious from its placing on my/the chart. Pure genius. Inspired musicianship. This song made me truly sit up and take notice of the band, and I take my metaphorical hat off to them. It sits exquisitely on the masterpiece of an album that is THB and their image during this era fits perfectly with Faster.

We're creepily greeted with a quote from 1984 and then hit with a screaming guitar and angry vocals. Richey's lyrics are some of his finest and most intellectual, especially the opening verse depicting nouns at war and the following list of regurgitated literary masters.

I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing. Perhaps one of the most quoted lines from an MSP song. Deservedly so, an epic statement.

The final repeated line sums up my opinion of the lowest of the human race; destroyers of all.

The tune conjures fond and comedic memories of James (my husband, not JDB!) helping me to remember the lyrics whist we headed to work over a week of mornings.

The coolest Summer of my youth had arrived. Thirteen and on the verges of discovery, of what I did not know but a loud surprise that would render my soul immersed in the facing future of a life less ordinary. 1996 and the glory of its days awakened in the coastal shine of Sprite soft drinks and lunches made with the finest of freshly prepared sandwiches.

Helping my dad at work, excavations to lay the platform for future building. First year of Senior school finished, some torrid exchanges concluded in the dream and hope of it somehow getting better. For 3 months nothing but sunshine and fresh faced attitudes, an example of memories that would hold with me forever. That is where my love of everything Manics was born. Long Wave Atlantic 252 I thank you ever so much for your awakening, it remains the strength in me today long after you have passed into the folklore of cross-divided music.

Back then there were many songs that caught me. Dodgy “Good Enough”, Supergrass “Alright”, anything by Oasis – they were the band of my youth, the ones I identified myself with the most. The sheer need to feel harmonies of fire, a fire that would captivate all parts of who I was becoming as a person. Ageless in my heart also. Then they played “A Design For Life” and my youth became immortal, immortal through the eyes of a band I had never heard before, a sound I had never heard before. Classic yet pounding, wave upon wave of sound against the backdrop of a Summer light on rain and heavy on passion and growth.

That was my first introduction to a band who would end up changing the very way I think about life, the beliefs I hold, the values and morals which I subscribe to. Everything from ideas about Politics, Religion, Economics would be guarded heavily in the influence of their message, their music and their attitudes. Pre 1996 Manics was not even a light flicker in my imagination at that point, it was a time to enjoy a Summer of fun, a Summer of hard work and a Summer of discovering the joys of music I had never been aware existed.

In truth I wasn’t much of a music aficionado growing up, I liked sounds but I was more interested in words, in writing, in poetry, in sport than I was in listening too intently to a song and hearing each note and wanting to soak its message in fully. To me it was joyous but it was just a “thing” rather than something more meaningful which could change the very outlook and perceptions I had. It wasn’t until my College years that I fully understood or was willing to explore and understand the true meaning and depth with which the Manics created music.

Perhaps it came with growing up properly. I’m sure at 12 or 13 I was far too young to understand pre-1996 Manics, the true darkness and depth of what they wrote about, of what Richey wrote about and all of the weighty issues they tackled with such extreme force. I just loved “A Design For Life” for what it appeared at the time, a well-crafted guitar anthem, nothing more nothing less. The passing years allowed me to form my own thoughts and opinions on music with a much broader scope and helped me in understanding the torture and pain that was so much a part of the early Manics repertoire.

Having been through College and made some horrific mistakes, ones which I still regret regularly, Know Your Enemy is still an album which I hold dear to my heart. It helped me to form so many of my own ideas on subjects like War, death, pollution of the earth’s attitudes and beliefs system and was a constant source of strength while I set about doing my utmost to entire f**k up my life for a period of time. It was listening to this album and soaking in its message that led me to my ultimate fascination with all things Manics and exploring what it was about the band that simply filled my soul with a unique wonder.

To the past I went, to before that fateful Summer, to find out their history and what had led them from the very beginning of their origins. It was there I discovered The Holy Bible, an album so stretched into sorrow that it’s hard to even listen to it today without feeling a complete sense of overwhelming hopelessness. It was stunning in its concept and provided me with an uneasy feeling at first. My early Manics impression was of a band that made cheerful guitar anthems, not soul gripping masterpieces of human horror. I guess though, at the place I had found myself in life it was much more easier to eventually understand and welcome than it ever would have been as a 13 Year old.

Reading back on the reasoning for its concept and how they wanted to get back to their roots and away from the idea of being “too American” I also discovered the true extent of the pain the band were going through, especially Richey Edwards. The spiralling downwards of his life, the addictions and self harm and substance abuse were so overpowering and that came through vividly in every song, no more so than on the song Faster.

Beginning with a read passage from George Orwell’s film adaptation Nineteen Eighty-Four, it thunders violently into the first verse, guitars clashing against the violent noise of background abandonment “I am an architect, They call me a butcher, I am a pioneer, They call me primitive, I am purity, They call me perverted, Holding you but I only miss these things when they leave”. Faster is one of those songs that was unique in many ways. There has never been a clear definition of what it was about, even Richey himself was never fully clear on its meaning but from reading passages it seems as though mostly the song is a depiction of Richey’s tortured state of mind. Him wanting to be recognised for being something more than what he felt was. A soul so wounded by cuts and by abuse that he is struggling to find a way out, to find some kind of lasting happiness.

The second verse continues along similar lines with the lines “Self disgust is self-obsession honey and I do as I please, A morality obedient only to be cleansed repented” suggesting a desperate need or want to be cleansed only after he can fully admit to himself where he has gone wrong. James’s vocals are strewn across the landscape in almost violent clashes with the theme of the song and what it is trying to portray. Verse 4 is one of my favourite lyrical verses of all time. “The first time you see yourself naked you cry, Soft skin now acne, Foul breath so broken, He loves me truly this mute solitude I'm draining, I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing” It vividly depicts the hatred he felt for himself, everything about himself, both physically when he looks in the mirror to emotionally when he feels nothing, just emptiness everywhere. It is a haunting portrait of a man who is climbing further into the abyss and cannot find a way to climb back out. James emphasises the final line “I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing” in a way which brings meaning and depth to where the song is headed and to where Richey is headed, deeper into misery with every passing second.

The next verse starts off with the lines “Sleep cannot hide thoughts splitting through my mind, Shadows aren't clean, false mirrors too many people awake” again showing his utter contempt for what surrounds himself, this time not so much in his physical appearance but even in the shadows lurking. They are equally as unclean and a strain on his already soulless existence. The verse finishes with the lines “If you stand up like a nail then you will be knocked down, I've been too honest with myself I should have lied like everybody else” Richey seems to be looking at himself and trying to find peace with the fact that he not alone feels ugly but others who are equally unclean have figured out ways to deny that and to live a life of lies. Richey could never do that. He was always honest in admitting how fucked up he was and for him that must have seemed like the most horrible of existences, someone so swept up in lies, vacant and alone.

The following verse is a repeat part-chorus “I am stronger than Mensa, miller and mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter, I am all the things that you regret, A truth that washes that learnt how to spell” It’s interesting that this is a repeated verse, it signifies a somewhat strength in himself and his abilities as a wordsmith, certainly removed from the previous hatred he felt. I guess as complex a character as Richey was emotionally and for however much he hated himself physically he understood he had a gift and talent for writing that stretched beyond the mere ordinary. Vocally this verse ranges from the sensitive to the extreme. It emerges in sound and range with James repeating the final few words to emphasise Richey’s lyrics powerfully.

The final verse is a thrilling rush of the same line repeated with ever more increasing lust and vigor “So damn easy to cave in, man kills everything” The hopeless feeling that no matter what happens everything will die is repeated with the kind of vicious thought and energy that consumes a soul and fills it with pain and dread of someone’s life hanging out to dry.

The song essentially plays out like it’s title, starting off with powerful drums and building to a crescendo of guitars in the final repeated verse, going faster and faster with each passing line. For a soul that couldn’t stop itself from sinking into the depths of despair, Faster is a song that memorably and tragically speeds up a life illuminated in sheer anguish without a real sense of hope.

It remains one of the Manics finest pieces of energy induced trauma, played out with a raw passion for emotional hatred and soiled souls begging for help. A few short months removed from its release, Richey disappeared never to be seen again. A life filled with anger, pain, sadness and despair finally disappeared to a place free of all the destruction and chaos that had marred his soul so tragically. His lasting gift were these words, these thoughts and emotions that simply could never be fully understood by anybody else but at the very least left us with a lasting glimpse into a damaged soul through songs and through lyrics that will forever remain imprinted in early Manics’s folklore.

The Manics as a band have moved on and as such so has their influences and past and future references, they are a different band now from what they were back in 1994 and also much different from my early impressions as a 13 Year old boy. The Summer of ’96 remains forever in my memory, forever a distinguished awakening to a new sound and a new band that would capture my heart and soul so completely. But equally the legacy of Richey’s life also lives on, as a reminder what depths a soul can sink to while in equal measure leaving a manuscript of brilliance and genius through lyrics and thoughts and feelings. They go hand in hand, forever interlinked and taken with him in his heart to his newer place, away from the noise of a society that could never understand his hopelessness and pain.

2. Motorcycle Emptiness
@NI_Atheist @VagueMcLarity @MarshFactor @annaalessandro @cptwit77 @wade_fletch Mother of @Pyfbrown @sleepflower_ @dharmacide @DominikDiamond @RickyCrean (1st)

Motorcycle Emptiness is the greatest song in the Manic Street Preachers repertoire.

This was difficult to write, I'd much have preferred the chance to defend a maligned or overlooked choice. What is the point in championing a blatant and indisputable classic?


Amongst these charts, 11 out of 62 fans also placed it as number one, the highest of any other song. According to it is the Manics' 2nd most perfomed song, and the 2nd most 'scrobbled' on Before 'A Design For Life' - arguably the first time the Manics happened upon a musical style that fitted into the mainstream - Motorcycle Emptiness was their most successful release in terms of total weeks in the charts. It's popularity cannot be questioned, particularly as it is loved equally by fans collected (recruited?) during any era. 


I had a fairly deprived musical upbringing, my first Manics album was 'This Is My Truth...', I was 14. By the time 'Know Your Enemy' came out, I had an internet connection, a Manics fan site and was totally hooked, picking up the rest of the albums in discography order. Motorcycle Emptiness obviously stood out like a sore thumb on 'Generation Terrorists', but I preferred the heavier, punchier tracks like 'Slash N' Burn'. The notorious Steve Brown production didn't appeal to me. Only once heard live did I realise it was something special. Bizarrely, this was during a live performance on The Jonathan Ross Show. You can see it here: In context, nothing special. At the time it flicked a switch. At the National Treasures concert at the O2, I watched as they played the opening seconds of ME 2003 (now also used on the Rewind The Film tour). Then that riff kicks in, and that tone, it was a moment, I knew this would be a standout performance.


I won't go into detailed analysis of the meaning, but for me it is a cutting and articulate piece of commentary on consumerism. Whilst lacking the clarity and directness of a lyric like 'Faster' it is just as fierce and intelligent. Compared to other moments of brilliance, such as 'A Design For Life', which repeat verses, it is a remarkably full lyric that does not waste any of the 6 minutes. Musically it is a masterpiece. Like many Manics songs it is incredibly rousing and anthemic, despite the 'everything is shit' message. The main riff is astonishingly good. It also boasts probably the most tidy, efficient and glorious of guitar James' solos (the first one). It is also a great tempo for pogo-ing :-) 

Motorcycle has that great guitar riff through it. Always a live favourite and the best song by anyone bar none!

Mother of @Pyfbrown
To me this is the Manics at their best. James' voice and the guitar in this track is brilliant. Also love the instrumental piece in the middle of the track.

I always thought "Motorcycle Emptiness" was the best song on "Generation Terrorists" before I even knew the Manics well or knew that it was a single and had a swell video of the band hanging out in Japan. I bought a copy of the CD from a used music shop way back in 1993 when my only experience with the band was the "Stay Beautiful" video with the beautiful close-ups of a paint-besplattered dark-haired man and a "Motown Junk" vinyl ep my best friend/pen-pal had sent me for either my birthday or Christmas. The ep was okay. Here in America, Manic info is hard to come by unless you have the internet, and in 1993 the internet was still in its infancy as far as I know. So I listened a few times to the CD, but it didn't really fit my musical leanings at that time, like the ep, and the CD got lost in the CD pile in my closet. In 1998 I had a brief reconnection with the Manics via their "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours" album, which was actually available at the mall. Amazing. Our cable TV system gave us Canada's Much Music channel for about a year, which actually played music, and they played a healthy dose of British bands amongst the Canadian ones. I got to see "If You Tolerate This..." and "You Stole the Sun from My Heart" on there. Loved them. I knew what happened to Richey and why they were a 3-piece now, but I actually didn't pay attention to that fact much. Just loved the album and videos I was seeing. But then the channel disappeared and aside from the mall also having "Know Your Enemy," which I snatched up, they again eventually fell into obscurity with me after awhile. Never heard or saw anything else by them. I later married and had a kid and had no time for music of any sort til a few years ago when Jonsi Birgisson brought me out of my musical black hole. Taking up Icelandic because of my new-found love for Mr. Birgisson and listening to Iceland's RAS 2 station on the internet one night around midnight, I heard the name Richey Edwards amongst other words I didn't understand, followed by "Motorcycle Emptiness." OMG!! Manic Street Preachers!! I hadn't heard them or that song in so long!! I immediately became excited. Also immediately became obsessed with the Richey story. I found out they were talking about Richey because it was the eve of the 17th year of his disappearance. And, well, that song is what brought me back to the Manics, and I've been back for good this time. It's strange how life works sometimes, but I think things happen when it's time for them to. Must've finally been time.

3. A Design for Life
@proroan @Zoe_Gavin @IMightBeWrong_ (1st)

I was in my mid-teens in 1996 and just getting 'in' to music whilst hurtling towards GCSE exams and apparently growing up. Britpop was in its pomp and Oasis vs Blur was arguably one of the biggest things on the planet. The bandwagon was big enough to share with the likes of menswe@r (who were great) and Kula Shaker whilst giving some much deserved exposure to Pulp, Elastica and Manic Street Preachers.There were personalities everywhere; the warring oafish Gallaghers, the ever changing Albarn, the embodiment of geek chic in Jarvis but no one really came close to the fierce intelligence held by Wire and Edwards. Nicky and Richey weren't happy to just be a bit clever and well read; it was a display. It was a weapon against the mainstream and that's how a song alluding to Auschwitz got to number 2 in the UK charts.

The first single from Everything Must Go and since The Holy Bible and the events in February 1995 saw a change in tack. Introspection and rebuilding linked with nostalgia and a redefinition of the band's identity to give A Design For Life. 

My first exposure was the video. Mistreated celluloid showing the band in the ruins of the Roundhouse and Nicky strutting around dressed as a Madchester relic. The strings start gently and then the guitars but there is nothing that prepares you for the chorus. Simple, repetitive and now anthemic if you listen to the NME, it was a call to arms; a 20th century 'workers of the world, unite!' The Manics had reestablished their own socialist credentials whilst reminding us that we were still in the midst of class conflict. It would be another year before the Labour landslide and hopes pinned on Tony Blair.

The song is so self aware, identifying the working class and yet screaming that we shouldn't be underestimated, hints of Orwell, Bacon and Marx all tied together with Blackwood and Welsh mining. These are just a few of the reasons why I love this song, it's just unbelievable it was kept off the number 1 spot by Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison.

4. Yes
@ApolloScream @oneillpaudie @fuchsiagroaning @davidwells661 @Raindogtaylor @clairhorne @ElectricEmma (1st)

Sums up Holy Bible in 5 minutes. Great Guitars. Best lyrics. Everyone prostitutes themselves daily. Dark glimpse into Richey's mind.

I can still clearly remember hearing The Holy Bible for the first time, and before the intro to "If White America..." had even really started, I had skipped back to listen to the first track again. I hadn't fully grasped what I had heard and I probably still haven't. Too many ideas, and aggressive yet catchy tune that really sets the tone for what is to come. Richey may have written the lyric, but only JDB could have wrestled a tune out of it. As near to perfection as you will ever hear.

5. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
@sparklyl @kevincartermsp @MildManics @adamczuk @phillimess (1st)

La Tristesse was probably the song that got me properly in to the Manics all those years ago. I was 13 years old and can remember really clearly feeling this song was going to change my life. Bit of a big statement to make i know, but it really did. Literally from the day i heard it, i was instantly a fan, desperate to hear more and learn from this life changing band.

From the softly sung start to James growling vocals on the chorus and his amazing guitar solo in the middle, it's the perfect song to show James talent off to its best. It's content is sad and thought provoking, the story of a war veteran being "wheeled out once a year". My favourite line..."I retreat in to self pity, it's so easy". Pure Manics perfection.

This is my number 1 manics song simply because it was the song that introduced me to the greatest band in the world and as such it has changed my life. Love the song, lyrics and what a guitar solo! JDB really is my guitar hero. I never tire of hearing it.

La Tristesse Number one in my Top 50 was never in doubt for me. The others were always going to slot in afterwards. Melody, emotion, gee-tar and testosterone.
The subject is very did the very young Richey empathise so well with the other end of life? The lyrics and music are multi-dimensional.
"I sold my paid a bill" I had to stop listening to it one time because of that line. It physically hurt.

So I dusted off this gem from the ever expanding vinyl collection - I was hugely into the Manics from the Motown Junk days when my mate told me about "this new welsh band" in the sixth form common room. But when this single was released from Gold Against The Soul it blew me away.

The track, it's the build - Nicky's bass playing sets the scene thumping away and wonderful falsetto vocal from James Dean Bradfield, very much a progressive sound compared with Generation Terrorists. Then the ongoing guitar riff throughout the track - it's an instant hook. Then we are treated to the most amazing middle eight - the guitar solo, and the big angry drum build with the living hell being belted out of the cymbals and the snare drum. It's such a few minutes of emotion and enters your brain and leaves far too quickly.

The 12" single is now 20 years old - I can't believe it, and seeing James looking like Che Guevara and Richey looking so so mean in the poster sleeve makes me feel both melancholic and celebratory at the same time. I love this band and I love this track - it's timeless.

La Tristesse is in my opinion the most perfectly executed Manic Street Preachers song of all. In terms of passion, lyrical content, melody and musicianship.
I could argue the same for Tolerate or Design For Life but La Tristesse holds the Richey trump card.
Up until recently I believed that this was the only recording on which Richey's guitar could be heard. I've just found out he can be heard on No Surface All Feeling as well but nevertheless.
The lyrics are unmistakably Nicky and Richey's and I've never heard any other bands tackle the issue of old age so well. Especially so young - Jarvis was in his mid 30s when he wrote Help The Aged.
The solo is one of James' very best and when played live he adds another swirly riff at the end of the song which I just adore.
In summary I think this is the best collaboration between all four Manics which was ever recorded - check out Sean's drums before the solo and Nicky's bass carries the intro on it's own. James is heroic as ever and Richey is there to be heard as well.

6. Motown Junk
@JackyBhoy88 @Pyfbrown @manicstreetmeg @BenMyers1 (1st)

Raw and powerful, it was about how they exploded onto the scene with a snarling, fast punk-rock vibe.

This was always going to be my number one, that position was never in doubt. I've always thought that this is the perfect song to play on vinyl - maybe it's because for 10 years I only ever had it as the B-side to the 'Slash N' Burn' 7", so it is now ingrained in my memory as such. It's also the first Manics song I ever heard.....was it on the Indie Chart on the Chart Show, was it on Snub, I'm not sure which came first, but it didn't mean much to me at the time. As time has gone on my favourite songs have changed but eventually this just pushed its way to the front and is unlikely to be beaten. Not only my number one Manics song, my number one song. Full stop.

7. Little Baby Nothing
@trustthewizards (1st)

8. Stay Beautiful
@oldnoshie @jenvidg @lizzyhalpin (1st)

Some words that describe me, and my feelings towards this song (and the accompanying video): Shambolic Tenacious Aesthetic Yearning Behemothic Elegance Allegiant Unadulterated Temerity Influential Fervent Unconditional Lyrical Stay Beautiful. x

9. From Despair to Where
@oneillpaudie (2nd)

10. You Love Us
@NI_Atheist (2nd)
From the early days as a sarcastic love song designed to antagonise the fans of the band they were supporting You Love Us is a seminal song that is rarely far from a live set list. It also has a great video that at the time of release pushed boundaries. After all these years It sounds as good and as energetic as ever and as it turns out they were right all along, We fans really do love them.

11. PCP
@qualityusername (1st)
PCP is an anthem of frustration and indignation at the idiocy and injustice in the world. Featuring classic Manics slogans, and short lists of absurd and evil preceding each chorus - drawing up brief but vivid visions in ones mind. 

Somehow there is hope in PCP - track 13 on one of the bleakest albums in history. Somehow PCP manages, in just under 4 minutes, to revitalise, rejuvenate, and restore. The Holy Bible spirals through deep desolation and acute anguish but in one track you feel almost restored. The more political and less personal nature of the lyrics brings you back to reality.

That isn’t to say that it is cheerful or joyous. The thing is, PCP, given its place in time and on the album should probably sound defeated, but instead James funnels 50 minutes worth of built-up ferocity straight through a Marshall amp stack and rallies his troops for one last swipe at the enemy. It is this determination and relentless anger in the face of it all that made the Manics.

12. Roses in the Hospital
@fionabolland @dharmacide (2nd)

In 1993, the Manics toured Gold Against The Soul. That was my first proper Manics concert and the first concert I went to without 'adult supervision'. When we arrived at the venue, there was a long queue of people that my then-provincial eye termed 'punks'. Most were drinking vodka from the bottle and I was equally intimidated and exhilarated. The best moment of that night was cathartically singing 'We don't want your fucking love' at the top of my lungs. For that reason, Roses in the Hospital is the song I associate with the power of music; to unify, educate, provoke and, ultimately, provide a sense of belonging.

13. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
@wade_fletch @manicstreetmeg (3rd)

14. No Surface All Feeling
@DavyFlats (1st)

15. Your Love Alone is not Enough 
@sglaithwaite (1st)
Brilliant duet with glorious soaring melody which charmed a nation. Probably final true time achieved mass communication with the masses. It is the song that encapsulates aims of the band and truly sounds like a record to sell 16 million copies and split in glory. Richey would have been proud. The one track that non fans love and proved the Manics can compete at top of the chart and maintain true dignity. Plus lovely Nicky sung heartfelt line to end. On day of chart not surprising the Manics belted this out at Hyde Park to mass hysteria!

16. The Masses Against the Classes
@Pyfbrown (7th)
THE best number one single of all time. Not a line to throw away lightly. Great though it was, 'This is my Truth....' was rather sedate in places for my well known rock and metal tendencies, so when that album was followed on the eve of the new millennium by an opening line of "Hello, it's us again..." and one of the most belting choruses in living memory you can imagine that I was fairly pleased. Just crank it up and scream along. Perfect closing line too.

17. This is Yesterday 
@lionel3375 @clairhorne (2nd)

18. Sleepflower
@Raindogtaylor @RorsDM (5th)

The second album and second amazing opening track. I could even argue that the rest of the album is down hill from this track. It remains one of JDB's best riffs and is a great piece lyrically. Throw in an amazing solo and a rock out you never want to end and this could well have been  my number one on another day. I waited what seemed a very long time to hear Sleepflower live and it was a real highlight when they played at the Ritz this year. They could play it every time for me. 

One of their -few?- 'we have all been there' moments, articulated with depth and respect. Guided by some of JDB's finest axe-gymnastics.

19. 4st 7lb
@eggshell15 (2nd)
It lets someone understand the horrible beauty of getting skinny till "a girl's third rib appears" and her "flesh disappears" no matter whether the listener is anorexic or not. Breathtakingly beautiful lyrics and terrifying music multiply its impact. I think it just can be described in this one line. "I want to walk in the snow, and not soil its purity".

20. Life Becoming a Landslide
@lenchik3000 (3rd)
This song hits me in the gut every time - the immense energy, the heartbreak, music, lyrics, vocals, official video - sheer joy and deepest sorrow only Manics can do...

And ..! this song has converted my friends' 20 year-old classic pianist of a son in to one of us..! :) Long live the Manics & #themanicsfamily! :)

21. Judge Yr'self
@sparklyl @ElectricEmma (2nd)

I have always been surprised this song was hidden away, it's a total gem! It bursts with energy and almost grabs you by the throat when you hear it. JDB almost roars the words at you. Lyrically it's the Manics at their best. It's almost impossible to place it in an era, it truly stands out on it's own. "Heal yr'self, hurt yr'self, judge yr'self"...can it get any better?!! 

22. Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky
@lenchik3000 (1st)
This song will never stop breaking my heart. There is no song in this world quite like it.. Pure genius.

23. Revol
@jenvidg (4th)

24. Everything Must Go
@ginnerphil @wade_fletch @clarahopscotch (7th)

25. Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
@manics_bot (3rd)
I swear to the only sweet jesus I believe in*, I can talk days and nights about how I love this song, but I'll save it and just point this out to all of you: "oh mummy what's a sex pistol" is one of the greatest fucking lyrics of all time. *=JAMC

26. Slash N' Burn
@starkitten8 (5th)
From the opening riff which grabs your immediate attention, this punky political ride deserves its place at the introduction to MSP's debut album. Kudos delivered to James for succeeding in fitting the words to music (you see - he's always had to do it!). A crowd pleaser when performed live (rare these days), inducing fist punching and singing from the masses. That's all you need. Oh, and it includes an orgasm; what's not to love?

27. Some Kind of Nothingness
@ApolloScream (3rd)
My top 2 in the Manics Top 50 were from The Holy Bible so I guess having this song as my no 3 is quite surprising, it's about as far removed from Yes and Faster as the Manics have got, and it does appeal to me for different reasons. For a song that starts with such a bleak lyric it becomes one of the most uplifting, life affirming songs I've ever heard I can't hear it without punching the air by the end. The repeated "never stop" refrain then back into the chorus is one of the best moments in popular music, utterly joyous, utterly defiant, and absolutely bloody brilliant! If this song had been released just a few years earlier it would have been a top 5 cert, as it was it became the first Manics single to miss the top 40 in near enough 20 years - there have been greater crimes committed - but not many! And finally, I know some people criticised the band for appearing on Strictly performing this, bugger those people is what I say, how could they attempt one last shot at mass communication without communicating with the masses when they got the chance?! The best band ever, with one of their best songs ever, on one of the best tv shows ever - I was having multiple fangasms all over the shop!! 

28. The Everlasting
@fuchsiagroaning (4th)
Not necessarily one of Wire's lyrical high points, but still a testament to the Manics' ability to create soaring melancholy tunes teetering on the edge of lighter-swaying cheesiness (or, arguably, plunging directly into it) and (again, arguably) coming out the other side integrity unscathed. A bedtime necessity in my early teens, The Everlasting admittedly caught a piggyback ride on sentimental value to reach the number 4 spot in my top 50, but the Stealth Sonic Orchestra remix and a series of empyrean acoustic renditions entirely eclipsing the album version places it firmly among my all-time favourites.

29. ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitsworldwouldfallapart
@andyjohnsonuk (3rd)

30. Autumnsong
@fionabolland (1st)
Firstly, I'll admit that Autumnsong doesn't have the greatest lyrics. I know that it is considered over-the-top stadium fodder. I know that it lacks any kind of political depth. But, most importantly, I also know that whenever I hear it, Autumnsong makes me... (whisper it).... Happy. Why? Because, to me, it's a glittering, singalong pop song; a nostalgia-fuelled call-to-arms that actually lets me believe my best years may still be ahead of me. And what's life without infinite hope? Put succinctly, and most accurately, by my fellow contributor @ApolloScream: No matter how shite the day may be, this song works wonders at improving it!

31. Found that Soul
@Pyfbrown (10th)
So good they named a song after the opening line (sort of). Always the better half of the double header with 'So Why So Sad', it's kind of like 'Masses..' without the E numbers. This follows on nicely from my piece on 'Masses' as the next song they released, it indicated that 'Know your Enemy' was going to be different again, as all the previous albums had been to the ones they preceded. There are some great songs on KYE, but only 'Ocean Spray' and 'Baby Elian' really came close to matching this one for me. I find it interesting that I was the highest voter after I placed it at number 10, yet it made it as high as number 31 in the final chart. That just tells me that it is a bit like KYE, it's never going to be your favourite, but it is well-liked for what it is - a rollicking good rock song.

32. (It's Not War) Just the End of Love
@cptwit77 (5th)
INW is one of my favourites. It's one that always gets a bounce going at a gig. JDB loves to get a clap along going for it every time.

33. Suicide is Painless (Theme from MASH)
@starkitten8 (3rd)
The mother of all covers, this song could have been written by our Blackwood boys. It takes you faraway and makes you stop and think. Another top opening riff which becomes pure gorgeousness when joined by James' voice, turning seductively growly. The track melts you, cuddles you then kicks you in the gut with the change in tempo, to barren fields and dark skies. Some fine drumming by Sean and delicious bass from Mr Wire, too.

Strangely enough, I've never heard the original!

34. Peeled Apples
@JackyBhoy88 @lonelyaesthetic (3rd)

Chilling intro and so pulsating and powerful but the lyrics are all typical "Richey style".

I didn't listen to JFPL much before the tour so was unfamiliar with the songs. Hearing it live firmly planted it in my top 5 Manics songs. The moment the thudding intro started right through until the last note died away I was mesmerised.

The lyrics are Richey at his best, obscure, baffling, brimming with imagery of his fears, paranoia, & self abuse.

Art, history, literature, & politics always blend into one within his lyrics, creating rich & complex visual maps of his thoughts & feelings.

Peeled Apples is complex & overflowing with imagery & messages, likewise my reason for admiring it so, is complex & something I can't put into words. Ultimately though, what I take from it is something hopeful, something to battle on for.

"Trespass your torments, if you are what you want to be."

35. Kevin Carter
@pluralistbaby (2nd)

36. You Stole the Sun from my Heart
@molly_yarde (3rd)
You Stole The Sun is one of the Manic's biggest 'pop' songs as it were. It's probably their most anthemic chorus ever, and you'd have to be made of stone to not have your own set of exaggerated arm gestures for swinging along to it! The lyric though is incredibly touching, the 'drinking water to stay thin' line in particular suggesting its focus on Richey. While a dramatic roof-raiser in its musical entirety, You Stole The Sun also makes a beautiful acoustic, and while admittedly it's not the Manic's most cerebral song, its pure power and the enjoyment it invokes defiantly have it nailed as a fantastic hit.

37. Archives of Pain
@RorsDM (1st)
Antithesis of my politics. Yet like JDB, I don't have to "endorse" lyric to get it. Every word and chord is meant. Manic Street Preachers.

38. Australia
@jenvidg (2nd)

39. Prologue to History
@KeithCameron2 (2nd)

40. Enola/Alone
@ginnerphil (2nd)

41. Solitude Sometimes Is
@ginnerphil (1st)

42. Die in the Summertime
@RorsDM (3rd)
I'd both love to know and hate to know where Richey pulled these memories and his interpretation of them from. Band sure understood.

43. Send Away the Tigers
@wewerenevertold (3rd)

44. Of Walking Abortion
@RorsDM (2nd)
You listen to this, and soon you're placed alongside most appalling leaders in history. Are you responsible? Or do you just wash your car?

45. This Joke Sport Severed
@clarahopscotch (1st)
Everyone has different criteria for picking their favourite song by their favourite band. Indeed, that favourite song is also likely to change from time to time, be surpassed by new pretenders or to be replaced by older favourites. Some may look at the technical aspects of the song; The complexity of a riff, the subtlety of a key change. Music is intertwined with our lives and songs will inevitably remind of times in our existence, good or bad. They have the power to take us back to places not visited for years and evoke emotions in much the same way.

For me, This Joke Sport Severed does much of the above. I'm not very literate on the craft of making music but I can certainly bore you senseless talking about the emotional side. I love how it begins so simply with an acoustic guitar before pausing for what seems like a lifetime before exploding into a crescendo of strings. Hearing it live on the first night of the Journal for Plague Lovers tour in Glasgow was euphoric. I felt that moment all the instruments kick in with every part of my body. The song grabbed me and to this day, it hasn't let me go.

46. Ocean Spray
@lonelyaesthetic (1st)
My number one choice was never in any doubt, Ocean Spray will always be my first choice, no song before & no song after has altered my passion & appreciation for the Manics as Ocean Spray.

It is immensely sad yet resoundingly hopeful, it contains such raw emotion & feeling, the likes of which you wouldn't automatically relate to JDB. It contains some of the finest lyrics he's ever penned, & although Nicky helped out it remains JDB's. The trumpet is a moment of pure Sean, & blends seamlessly with the rest of the score.

It's a touching tribute to a painful period of his life, it's a powerful reminder that I can make it through my own painful moments.

47. Ready for Drowning
@manics_bot (1st)
Short Version:
This is easily my go-to song when somebody asks me about Manics' post-Richey era and what to listen to. It has such beautiful intro with JDB on omnichord I believe, the organ harmonizes with his voice well and also sounds great on the bridge, and I love Mike Hedges' production on this. The lyrics are typical Manics but it doesn't mean they aren't good. It's a great song and I think it should've been the third single off the LP over YSTSFMH.

Long Version:
I used to dislike This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours as a whole. I know it charted better than any of their previous materials and generally praised by critics alike, but I just didn't get it. I admit at that time I thought the strings sounded overdone, the edge was lost, and the lyrics were either whiny or pointless. For months I hadn't given it a listen, but then one day I listened to Ready For Drowning. The lyrics hit me really hard. "I'll do anything to prove I care.. fascinated by good, destroyed by evil.. what is there to believe in?" I've once been to a town that was "getting ready" to be flooded to supply water to other regions. All residents had already moved out but some of them were visiting as it was the last day before the flooding. The song resonated with what I had felt that day. It wasn't sadness or regret, to be honest, it was more like what English speakers would say being 'all at sea', if that makes sense. And I'm sure it was the same for everyone visiting there. You can't do anything now, you feel powerless, and you just don't know what to do, although you know you want to do anything to save it. To me they looked like being drowned and lost. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my hometown, where I grew up to be who I am, where my roots lie. But it was the closest thing I could feel about losing my home and watching it getting removed from the map. This song reminded me of all those feelings all too fresh, in a sense that is not too emotional or whiny but excruciatingly painful and honest. It was then this song made me realize how great the entire album is, and also realize how effortlessly, constantly, unwincingly and unbelievably great the Manics are. They always seem to 'get me' without trying, even when I don't get them at first. And there are only so many bands that are capable of that, right? To me this song represents what the Manics have given to me, and that's why I put this on the first place of my Manics Top 50.

48. Marlon JD
@KeithCameron2 @lizzyhalpin (7th)

49. William's Last Words
@wewerenevertold (6th)

50. She is Suffering
@RickyCrean (2nd)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Manics Top 50s - 31st August 2013 part 3

And so to part 3 of the charts on the final day of Manics Top 50 voting, we started the day with the nice round number of 50, but after 12 late entries we ended up with 62, which is amazing so thanks for all your efforts!!!  Anyone that has been following this blog for a while will know that I have been mentally ticking off songs that have previously received no votes when they turn up in a chart, and I am proud to say that our last chart (submitted 10 minutes before the deadline!) managed to include the last remaining no-vote album track!!!  Given the number of songs to choose from I think it's great that there is someone out there that has a place for each one and, yes, there may still be some no-vote B-sides and compilation tracks, but some people may not have actually heard them to include them.

I'm not going to comment on each chart individually (you're probably fed up with seeing me saying the same things all the time!), but it is interesting that these four charts don't have the usual albums coming out on top, with good showings from 'Know Your Enemy', 'This is My Truth...' and 'Everything Must Go'.  And I know we have had at least one before, but the two closing charts come from the Irish wing of the Manics family, meaning we have had charts from England, Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland, Ireland, USA, Canada, Spain, Norway, Finland and South Korea (hope I haven't missed anyone out!).

So, after two months of re-visiting the Manics back catalogue, tearing your hair out trying to whittle the songs down into only 50 choices, the gnashing of teeth as you try and work out if you like 'Faster' better than 'Yes', the "damn-it-I-forgot-to-include-Masses-Against-the-Classes" feeling, Twitter countdowns and blog posts, we are finally close to the end result - the definitive unofficial Manics Fans Top 50.  Shortly I'll be totalling up the columns on my spreadsheet, so I'll be in on the secret, but you'll have to wait until the weekend of the 7th and 8th September before you find out!!!  What's your money on for number 1?  I have a top 5 in my head, in order, so I'm intrigued as to whether I got it right!!  Thanks again to everyone who voted, followed and commented on other people's charts, recruited other people or re-tweeted to get the message out there, see you next weekend.....

Steve Laithwaite @sglaithwaite
1. Your Love Alone is Not Enough
2. Motorcycle Emptiness
3. Little Baby Nothing
4. A Design for Life
5. Prologue to History
6. Stay Beautiful
7. Solitude Sometimes Is
8. Autumnsong
9. You're Tender and You're Tired
10. Ready for Drowning
11. You Stole the Sun from my Heart
12. Some Kind of Nothingness
13. Faster
14. From Despair to Where
15. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
16. 1985
17. My Guernica
18. She is Suffering
19. Golden Platitudes
20. Rewind the Film
21. Kevin Carter
22. Baby Elian
23. She Bathed Herself in a Bath of Bleach
24. This is Yesterday
25. Peeled Apples
26. Valley Boy
27. Nobody Loved You
28. Roses in the Hospital 
29. You Love Us
30. Die in the Summertime
31. Yes
32. Everything Must Go
33. Me and Stephen Hawking
34. Archives of Pain
35. Life Becoming a Landslide
36. Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head
37. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
38. No Surface All Feeling
39. Revol
40. 4 Ever Delayed
41. Tsunami
42. Spectators of Suicide
43. Send Away the Tigers
44. Miss Europa Disco Dancer
45. William's Last Words
46. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
47. Wattsville Blues
48. The Future Has Been Here 4 Ever
49. Emily
50. Motown Junk

By Era
Generation Terrorists 6
Gold Against the Soul 4
The Holy Bible 7
Everything Must Go 6
This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours 8
Know Your Enemy 4
Lifeblood 3
Send Away the Tigers 3
Journal for Plague Lovers 4
Postcards From a Young Man 3
Others 2

(Number shared with Final Top 50 - 31)


Lizzy Halpin @lizzyhalpin
1. Stay Beautiful
2. A Design For Life
3. From Despair To Where
4. Life Becoming A Landslide
5. Motorcycle Emptiness
6. Roses In The Hospital
7. Marlon JD
8. Enola/Alone
9. Always/Never
10. You Love Us
11. This Is The Day
12. No Surface All Feeling
13. William's Last Words
14. Golden Platitudes
15. Autumnsong
16. My Little Empire
17. Little Baby Nothing
18. Underdogs
19. Judge Yr'self
20. Revol
21. Faster
22. A Song For Departure
23. Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
24. Emily
25. Postcards From A Young Man
26. Umbrella
27. 4st 7lb
28. Of Walking Abortion
29. Found That Soul
30. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
31. Further Away
32. The Masses Against The Classes
33. No One Knows What It's Like To Be Me
34. Hanging On
35. Sepia
36. Glasnost
37. Repeat
38. Leviathan
39. Out Of Time
40. Yes
41. Suicide Is Painless (Theme from MASH)
42. Tsunami
43. Sleepflower
44. Motown Junk
45. Die in the Summertime
46. Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky
47. Everything Must Go
48. Australia
49. Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning)
50. Hazelton Avenue

By Era
Generation Terrorists 7
Gold Against the Soul 5
The Holy Bible 7
Everything Must Go 11
This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours 2
Know Your Enemy 1
Lifeblood 4
Send Away the Tigers 2
Journal for Plague Lovers 3
Postcards From a Young Man 3
Others 5

(Number shared with Final Top 50 - 30)


DavyFlats @DavyFlats
1. No Surface All Feeling
2. Motorcycle Emptiness
3. Further Away
4. Motown Junk
5. Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning]
6. Roses in the Hospital
7. Stay Beautiful
8. Of Walking Abortion
9. Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
10. Automatik Teknicolour
11. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
12. Solitude Sometimes Is
13. A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun
14. The Future Has Been Here 4 Ever
15. Ready for Drowning
16. From Despair to Where
17. Faster
18. PCP
19. Let Robeson Sing
20. Marlon JD
21. Archives of Pain
22. Close My Eyes
23. Yes
24. I Live to Fall Asleep
25. Life Becoming a Landslide
26. Found that Soul
27. We Are All Bourgeois Now
28. My Little Empire
29. Enola/Alone
30. Glasnost
31. This Is Yesterday
32. Mausoleum
33. Sleepflower
34. Door to the River
35. Removables
36. Dead Martyrs
37. Intravenous Agnostic
38. William's Last Words
39. My Guernica
40. It's All Gone
41. Facing Page: Top Left
42. His Last Painting
43. Don't Be Evil
44. The Convalescent
45. She Bathed Herself in a Bath of Bleach
46. This is the Day
47. The Year of Purification
48. A Design For Life
49. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
50. Your Love Alone is Not Enough

By Era
Generation Terrorists 3
Gold Against the Soul 5
The Holy Bible 7
Everything Must Go 7
This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours 3
Know Your Enemy 9
Lifeblood 3
Send Away the Tigers 1
Journal for Plague Lovers 4
Postcards From a Young Man 3
Others 5

(Number shared with Final Top 50 - 24)


Ricky Crean @RickyCrean
1. Motorcycle Emptiness
2. She is Suffering 
3. No Surface All Feeling
4. Kevin Carter
5. Enola/Alone
6. Nobody Loved You
7. From Despair to Where
8. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
9. Glasnost
10. Your Love Alone is not Enough
11. A Design for Life
12. Yes 
13. Little Baby Nothing
14. La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh)
15. Faster
16. We Are All Bourgeois Now
17. 1985
18. Door to the River
19. Close my Eyes
20. Let Robeson Sing
21. Everything Must Go
22. Born to End
23. Royal Correspondent
24. Small Black Flowers that Grow in the Sky
25. S.Y.M.M.
26. So Why So Sad
27. Rewind the Film
28. The Everlasting 
29. The Love of Richard Nixon
30. Miss Europa Disco Dancer
31. Interiors (Song for Willem de Kooning)
32. This Joke Sport Severed
33. Spectators of Suicide
34. Montana/Autumn/78
35. Yourself
36. Further Away
37. Motown Junk
38. I Live to Fall Asleep
39. Autumnsong
40. I'm Not Working
41. (It's Not War) Just the End of Love
42. Freedom of Speech Won't Feed My Children
43. Dead Martyrs
44. You Love Us
45. Prologue to History
46. Life Becoming a Landslide
47. Send Away the Tigers
48. To Repel Ghosts
49. Slash N' Burn
50. Black Dog on my Shoulder

By Era
Generation Terrorists 7
Gold Against the Soul 4
The Holy Bible 3
Everything Must Go 8
This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours 8
Know Your Enemy 7
Lifeblood 5
Send Away the Tigers 3
Journal for Plague Lovers 1
Postcards From a Young Man 1
Others 3

(Number shared with Final Top 50 - 25)