Released on: Love’s Sweet Exile/Repeat (Single #5) Columbia Records, 28 October 1991
Peak UK Chart Position: #26
Band Ranking: #18
Also on Album: Generation Terrorists (Track 13)
To be clear, ‘Repeat (UK)’ was originally known simply as ‘Repeat’ when it was released as an A-side jointly with [A17] ‘Love’s Sweet Exile’. It is usually referred to by the former title because that name was used to differentiate the track from its remixed version when both appeared the following year on Generation Terrorists. Both the original A-side and album versions are identical, however.
This song is largely a return to the anti-monarchist themes first espoused on [B10] ‘We Her Majesty’s Prisoners’. Repeat is a far less notable work by comparison, however; besides a few deft samples the track is ultimately just a series of less-than-gripping riffs wrapped around less-than-inspiring slogans belted out by Bradfield. The result is arguably one of the most compelling candidates for deletion for those who would have liked to see Generation Terrorists‘ sprawling length cut down. It may be just a shade over three minutes, but they are three minutes the album can surely afford to lose.
If ‘Repeat’ was originally released as a B-side, its fairly mediocre quality would make more sense – that the band had enough confidence in the track to elevate it to joint A-side status is strange. Listened to now, especially in album context, ‘Repeat’ feels like a minor recording which pointed more to where the Manics had come from rather than where they were going to. Accordingly, it was ignored by the band when compiling their singles ranking for NME in 2011.
The opening sample recounts Public Enemy telling a London audience in 1987 to “consider [themselves] warned”. The clip was originally used as part of the group’s song ‘Countdown to Armageddon’, which the Manics had sampled once before on [A8] ‘Motown Junk’. Public Enemy’s production team The Bomb Squad would remix ‘Repeat’ as [T27] ‘Repeat (Stars and Stripes)’.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“useless generation / dumb flag scum”
Useless generation – the front cover of Generation Terrorists consists of a photograph of Edwards with a tattoo bearing the album’s title. This was airbrushed, however – the tattoo actually incorporated this phrase.
Khmer Rouge – literally “Red Khmers”. The followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, which led by Pol Pot controlled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. During that time, the regime perpetrated a genocide which killed at least 1.2 million people.