Released on: There By the Grace of God (Single #30) Epic Records, 14 October 2002
Also on: Forever Delayed (Compilation) Epic Records, 28 October 2002
Peak UK Chart Position: #6
Band Ranking: #30
It seems possible that ‘Unstoppable Salvation’ was originally recorded during the Know Your Enemy sessions because its combination of acoustic and electric guitars with keyboards fit with the theme of that period. In any case, as eventually released the song is possibly the best of the B-sides provided with the There By the Grace of God single.
The lyrics are absolutely about that excellent phrase “unstoppable salvation” which is problematic because it’s anyone’s guess as to what that could mean. However, the verse structure is quite unusual (particularly for a B-side, where Manics songwriting can become overly simplistic) and this lends a lot of appeal to the song even if the chorus is a little unexciting.
What makes the song so engaging is the many little details throughout the instrumental track. The intro is surprisingly menacing, particularly because of Wire’s bass; in contrast, a lot of the guitars added later are almost comforting in their sound. The multi-tracking of Bradfield’s vocals during the chorus and a whole world of other clever details create a fairly airy and yet complex atmosphere which is really quite special.
Also, for Welsh pronunciation fans, check out Bradfield’s way of singing “heard” in the second verse. Marvellous.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“it is unstoppable / it echoes through the years”