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.