Released on: Gold Against the Soul (Album #2) Columbia Records, 14 June 1993
“We humans are the only animals who are burdened with the knowledge that we’re going to die. So every day you look in the bathroom mirror and try to convince yourself that you look OK, so you can carry on with your daily routine, when actually you know that you’re a flabby piece of shit. It’s really difficult to keep feeling good about yourself when you keep seeing all these perfect, airbrushed images in magazines.”
Richey Edwards on ‘Yourself’
Although it is definitely one of the least-discussed tracks in the early Manics discography, ‘Yourself’ is notable partly because it has such a clear and classic Edwards lyric on the subject of self-image, an issue which contributed to Edwards’ own sense of unease. Like so many of the songs on Gold Against the Soul, the track is comparatively apolitical in its treatment of a personal and philosophical subject and, barring a slightly awkward bridge, is very effective at doing so.
Musically, ‘Yourself’ marks the beginning of a very sinister sound that would recur a few times on Gold Against the Soul and its B-sides and which, crucially, hinted very strongly at the altogether darker path the band would go down on 1994’s The Holy Bible. Moore’s harsh drums and Wire’s ragged and throbbing bass (especially during the verses and underneath the solo) particularly contribute to the sense of menace that would dominate that album.
The band performed ‘Yourself’ on The Beat, a largely forgotten music magazine show on ITV, in 1993.
“reservoirs of guilt / that your fixed grin always hides”