[A122] ‘Found That Soul’

Released on: Found That Soul (Single #26) Epic Records, 26 February 2001
Also on: Know Your Enemy (Album #6) Epic Records, 19 March 2001
Peak UK Chart Position: #9
Band Ranking: #13

The Manics may have ultimately decided against releasing Know Your Enemy as a double album, but they did cause a small stir by opening its promotion by releasing a “double single” of sorts – both ‘Found That Soul’ and [A125] ‘So Why So Sad’ were released as the record’s joint lead singles on the same day, February 26th 2001. Whether intentionally or not, the two singles each reflected on side of Know Your Enemy‘s musical personality – ‘Found That Soul’, which was fractionally less successful (reaching #9 on the UK singles chart) represents the hard-edged, gritty and back-to-basics side of the new Manics sound.

The song also provided Know Your Enemy with an opener, and in so doing became probably the most aggressive first track on a Manics LP to date; following on from [A119] ‘The Masses Against the Classes’, ‘Soul’ restates the band’s return to crunching rock even as it experiments slightly with some electronic effects and insistent piano. It is certainly made clear here that the band had lost none of their power during their few years of making more mature and sophisticated music; the guitars and drums are blistering on the track, and the solo is particularly savage (and true to Know Your Enemy, isn’t even the most frantic one on the album).

The fairly brief lyrics appear to be about a theme that runs through a lot of the discography, if only implicitly – that of finding victory in defeat. Bradfield complains of living in a “self-made vacuum” and being “stranded here / with all the scum” but at the same time, he has “found that soul”, as he cries in the chorus. What “finding that soul” means is anyone’s guess, but it creates an interesting parallel with the much later song [T242] ‘I Think I Found It’. While that effort is one of the happiest ever Manics recordings, this one is raging, bitter, even vengeful in its thrust. Interesting.

The song’s video is an unusual and slightly creepy one which features close up shots of the band members, nocturnal animals, and young women reading books on music, politics, philosophy and classic literature – all shot in night-vision. The video was directed by Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams.

Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“I’m still stranded here / with all the scum”

‘Found That Soul’ Promo Video (Directed by Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams)


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