Released on: Gold Against the Soul (Album #2) Columbia Records, 14 June 1993
Drugs were a common subject in Manics lyrics almost from the beginning, but there are few songs which focus on the subject as obviously as ‘Drug Drug Druggy’. It could have something to do with the title.
In any case, the band’s attitude towards drugs was never positive, and what meaning can be gleaned from the lyrics of this particular track seem to further reinforce that idea. Specifically, one or two lyrics – especially “the CIA say you’re all they’ll ever need” – recall very strongly a line from way back in [E4] ‘New Art Riot’, “everybody’s taking drugs because it makes governing easier”. Both songs seem to suggest that drugs are useful to governments and authorities because they produce docile citizens. Then of course there is the related idea that illegal drugs have allowed certain sections of society to be legitimately ignored, such as the urban poor hooked on heroin.
For his part, Edwards himself commented on ‘Drug Drug Druggy’ by saying that it reflected his ‘ambivalent’ attitude towards drugs. If someone boasted that they had had ten pints and were “really out of it”, most people would think it was pathetic, he thought – if someone says the same thing about having smoked a couple of joints, Edwards argued that we should respond in exactly the same way.
These kinds of lyrics mark the Manics as one of the bands who formed part of a kind of musical backlash against drugs, which had made such an impact on the output of many bands in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s (for better or worse). Artists that espoused an anti-drug stance were not always sincere, though, as N.W.A. Pointed out on their 1989 single ‘Express Yourself’. Core rapper on that track Dr. Dre released his album-length paean to dope, The Chronic, three years later, as if to underline the point.
All of this is set against a musical backdrop that is almost Gold Against the Soul at its most metallic; chugging guitars, those distinctively harsh drums from Moore, and a particularly snarling vocal from Bradfield.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“show your scars you’re so aware / I’m not barbaric, I just care”
CIA – Central Intelligence Agency. The United States’ primary foreign intelligence agency, formed in 1947 and known for their countless interventions in foreign countries, including a number of toppled regimes.