Released on: Generation Terrorists (Album #1) Columbia Records, 10 February 1992
Although easily thought of as another of the more forgettable entries in Generation Terrorists, there are some real strengths to be found in ‘So Dead’. The instrumental break is fairly impressive and the outro is workable, but the real edge is in the lyrics, which without really coalescing into a real message like the best Manics songs does contain some lines which, in another universe, might have become miniature Manics manifestos.
In particular, the lines “it’s not that I can’t find worth in anything / it’s just that I can’t find worth in enough” sound like an explanation of sorts for the anger felt by both the band themselves and the many fans who have identified with them so strongly. They are not, as they have sometimes been portrayed, depressive or furious about everything; it is just that there is not enough worth, value, realness or genuine feeling in the surrounding environment. In a January 1995 interview with Select, Bradfield specifically referenced this line when discussing Edwards’ time spent in what he called “health farms” and hospitals, saying “that’s the way he feels”.
“You’re gonna pay for my intelligence” also feels like a reference to the band’s reputation for aggressive and in this case perhaps vengeful intellectualism. For Edwards especially, intelligence, reading and knowledge were a source of power frequently reflected in his lyrics. Intelligence and critical analysis were a weapon against the numbing, dehumanising logic of contemporary capitalist society.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“I’ll feed you lines to make you smile / you’re so easy to dehumanise”
Marilyn – Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles, California. American actress, model, singer and sex symbol who died at the age of 36 in 1962.
Nicotine – a highly addictive stimulant found in the nightshade family of plants and which give cigarettes their habit-forming quality.
Communion – in Christianity, an especially close relationship between Christians, their church, and god.