Released on: Slash ‘N’ Burn (Single #7) Columbia Records, 16 March 1992
Peak UK Chart Position: #20
Band Ranking: #31
Released one month after Generation Terrorists as the first post-album release single, Slash ‘N’ Burn contained just one original B-side in addition to the previously released songs [A8] ‘Motown Junk’ and [B9] ‘Sorrow 16’. In contrast to the older songs, ‘Ain’t Going Down’ is one of the most subdued and quiet songs of the whole GT era, built around a simple but pretty acoustic guitar arrangement. One or two interesting tricks are used on Bradfield’s vocal; in the chorus he is multi-tracked, and during the verses he backs himself up on a separate vocal track.
While the previous acoustic B-side – [B15] ‘R.P. McMurphy’ – also did not feature drums, it did contain a tambourine. ‘Ain’t Going Down’ is, therefore, the first Manics track to contain no percussion at all. Another oddity is the very minimal lyrics, as the song consists of just two very short verses and a simple, one-line repeated chorus. It’s difficult to guess at what the very cryptic lines we are confronted with are meant to mean, but Bradfield’s delivery of them is very good.
Because Bradfield is responsible for the vocals, acoustic guitar and the electric guitar that joins the song in its final third, he is the only band member that performs on the track. These “solo” Bradfield songs would become significantly more common in the late period of the band, when they began to emerge quite often as B-sides.
While not quite as lovely as the previous similar effort, ‘Ain’t Going Down’ is nevertheless another real gem, a welcome island of calm in the stormy and unsubtle GT period.
“we brought you sensitivity and you never knew”