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Friday, April 15, 2005

Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible 10th Anniversary Edition

I was a latecomer to the Manic Street Preachers, not really getting into them until last year, when all of the sudden my Britpop interests launched, and I discovered that This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (or whatever it's called) is about the best of the lot. So I didn't have The Holy Bible the last 10 years and I'm not an MSP completist in any sense.

That said, the album itself is very impressive -- political, oblique, aggressive, complex, and dirty. It's hard to even pick a favorite track, although "Ifwhiteamerica..." is probably mine. The bonus material here is extensive but not astonishing: lots of live cuts and about 15 songs with videos/concert footage on the DVD, as well as a 30-minute interview, which wouldn't be overly enlightening to a long-time fan I'd think (but I was surprised to learn that "75%" of the lyrics on this album were Richie's -- I always associate them with Nicky Wire).

The US mix makes up the bulk of the second disc, and it's worth hearing as an archive, but it's definitely inferior to the original. The sound is bigger, which detracts from that dirty, underground feel of the original mix. The band sounds even more stadium-ready than they already do, but THB should feel like the soundtrack for dark-basement revolutionaries.

I still think Truth is the better album, but I know I'm probably in the minority with that opinion. This one's got a whole different feel (as captured by the inexplicable cover art) and the added material's a good portrait of the band's live sound and visual aesthetic at the time.


Blogger Ian said...

I own the non-special edition of this one, and I love it lots. If I had a decent job I'd probably pick up the special edition just for the remastering, assuming it's good.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I thought you'd be the first to comment. :)

Having not heard the original, I can't tell you if it's a big step up, but it does sound good.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Non-twitching Tabitha said...

I would have to say that The Holy Bible is my favorite Manics album. I recently acquired the US Mix and it is awesome. Before that, I only had the Japanese import and it is good, but the US Mix adds another dimension.

7:35 AM  

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