Formed in Blackwood, South Wales in 1986, Manic Street Preachers remain one of the most important bands in British rock history. Although they are often known for their most commercially successful period in the mid to late 1990s, the band began to build a cult following even before their first album, Generation Terrorists, was released in February 1992. During their long career – having continued despite the disappearance of their lyricist Richey Edwards in 1995 – the band have released ten studio albums and have earned two #1 UK singles.
‘Manic Street Preachers: A Critical Discography’ is a project which aims to cover each of the band’s 259 official studio recordings in release order. The main text of each essay offers a subjective critique of the song in question which aims to set it into the context of the band’s history. In addition, further sections highlight the many cultural, historical, political and other references and contained within Manics lyrics and offer links to audio and video content around the web. In order to keep track of the band’s complex discography, a cataloguing system is used; this assigns a unique code to each track to reflect its place in the release sequence.
This project draws inspiration from three main sources. Firstly, the site “Manics.nl: The Annotated MSP“, which contains full lyrics and a wealth of information on the band’s many lyrical references for the period 1988-2007; secondly, the “Manic Street Preachers: Song-by-Song” blog, which offers a view on every Manics song released officially, plus early demos; and finally, Ian MacDonald’s incredible book Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties which is the basis for this project’s cataloguing system.