[T169] ‘Glasnost’

Released on: Lifeblood (Album #7), Sony Records, 1 November 2004
Track: 8

Given the preoccupation on Lifeblood with personal over political subjects, it is appropriate that the album should contain one of the very few songs in which the Manics have contemplated romantic relationships. However, it is clear not least from its title that ‘Glasnost’ still couches its positive, romantic message in the language of politics.

Glasnost – typically translated as “publicity” or “openness” – was, together with perestroika (or “restructuring”) one of the key doctrines of reform espoused with Mikhail Gorbachev during the final years of the Soviet Union. The concept had a number of clear appeals to the band which are reflected in the lyrics – for one thing Gorbachev’s ideas were, it would later prove, doomed and consequently would appeal to the Manics’ sense of glorious failure.

The band could also be regarded as undergoing their own form of glasnost during the Lifeblood period – as seen in the album’s renewed emphasis on personal lyrics and particularly on the exorcising of old ghosts. Musically, the song soars on a beautiful guitar riff backed up by “galloping” drums from Moore – a fine solo contains within it the same slight uncertainty as the line in the chorus “if we can still fall in love”.

Resonant and redemptive, ‘Glasnost’ is one of the strongest and most immediate songs on Lifeblood which would have worked superbly as a single.

Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“humiliation’s not easily understood”

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