Released on: The Love of Richard Nixon (Single #31), Sony Records, 18 October 2004
‘Quarantine’ is something of an oddity – not because of the song itself, which is reasonably typical mid-tempo Manics fare – but because the circumstances of its release. The song has only ever been made available on the DVD version of the The Love of Richard Nixon single, on which it serves as the soundtrack to a video directed by Patrick Jones which documents the making of the Lifeblood album. However, the song is still generally regarded as a B-side of a kind.
It seems almost certain that, misleadingly enough, the song was not a product of the Lifeblood sessions. Instead, with its stripped-back guitar/bass/drums approach and absence of electronic elements, it feels something like the work the Manics were producing for the Know Your Enemy album. However, that record was released three years earlier in 2001 – it seems doubtful that the band would release something that had languished in the vaults for so long, even in this inconspicuous form.
An alternative possibility is that the song was recorded at the same time of the God Save the Manics EP, which would see release in 2005; ‘Quarantine’ shares the back-to-basics, rockier feel of those songs. It is unfortunate that the obvious stylistic disparity at hand kept this song from being a “real” B-side on the single – it’s far superior to the previous two B-sides, and a minor, hidden gem in its own right.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“like a star, alone and dying”