Friday, 10 February 2012

Manic Street Preachers - Generation Terrorists 20 years on

Exactly 20 years ago today one of the greatest bands of all time released their landmark debut album. When 'Generation Terrorists' was released on February 10th 1992, it was quite unlike anything else that was around at time. Free from the dance-infused baggy sound of Britain in the early 90's and not showing any hints of grunge or crusty leanings, the Manics hit the public with 19 tracks of punky glamour soaked in a big rock production that gave the American bands a run for their money. 

Knowing that they were better than the rest, the band's original idea for the album was to release it in a sandpaper sleeve so it would scratch the shit out of whatever album happened to be filed next to it. This was a radical thinking gang of musicians armed with a bag of irresistibly catchy tunes and thrillingly subversive lyrics. It was all about creating joy and magic from "culture, alienation, boredom and despair" and capturing the imaginations of as many people as they could. Sounding like a mouth watering blend of The Clash, Guns N Roses and Public Enemy, this was only the beginning. 'Slash And Burn' sets the tone brilliantly, bursting with excitement and sounding like a band who truly believed they were going to rule the world. The lyrical genius of Richey and Nicky was already apparent as they compared the banking system to genocide on 'Natwest Barclays Midlands Lloyds' and the royal family to the Third Reich on the furious 'Repeat'. 

Providing more head-banging awesomeness were 'Born To End', 'Love's Sweet Exile' and 'Stay Beautiful', all complete with superbly exhilarating riffs that were as melodically captivating as they were exciting. Then of course there was the timeless 'Motorcycle Emptiness', a perfectly constructed rock anthem and the stunning 'Little Baby Nothing' which dealt with the sexual exploitation of the female gender in a way that had never seemed so powerful before. 'You Love Us' pretty much summed it up though: they had arrived to shake things up and many who encountered their incredible music were soon to be converted for life. Released twenty years ago today and still sounding incredibly vital, here's to 'Generation Terrorists'.....

BBC Wales are celebrating the album's anniversary too....

No comments:

Post a Comment