[B126] ‘Pedestal’

Released on: So Why So Sad (Single #27) Epic Records, 26 February 2001
Also on: Know Your Enemy (Album #6) Epic Records, 19 March 2001
Peak UK Chart Position: #8
Band Ranking: #37

Cruelly cast aside by many largely because of its repetitiveness and a vocal tic heard in the chorus, ‘Pedestal’ is another intriguing and accomplished B-side from the Know Your Enemy era. Due to its 4:50 length and low status with fans it never stood a chance of appearing on the Lipstick Traces compilation and consequently has, like so many other great B-sides, languished in relative obscurity since 2001.

While ‘Pedestal’ certainly isn’t as far out or eccentric as its accompanying A-side [A125] ‘So Why So Sad’, it is interesting right from the outset due to its very non-standard Manics subject matter. It is one of the few songs in the discography which flirts with the subject of relationships, but far from being the kind of boy-meets-girl fare the band are so opposed to, it deals with an unhealthy idolising/submissive relationship. That the song’s subject puts someone on a “pedestal” is evident from the many mentions of the word (listen to the song once and you’ll likely hear it more times than you will in casual conversation for the rest of your life) but lines like “willing to be put in my place” hint at the unhealthily submissive aspect as well.

All of this meshes very nicely with the song’s heavy, frantic atmosphere which builds up to a thrilling sense of drama. Moore’s clattering and cymbal-heavy drums are particularly strong here, but there are also some almost funky guitars, and Wire’s creepy repetitions of certain verse lines is actually one of his most effective contributions to a Manics recording to date. As a result, ‘Pedestal’ feels like a particularly coherent band effort for a B-side, which adds to its lasting appeal and the injustice of its years of neglect.

Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“you make me feel celestial”


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