Manic Street Preachers: Everything Must Go 20 (Sony) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Manic Street Preachers

Everything Must Go 20


Jun 14, 2016 Manic Street Preachers Bookmark and Share

Where Manic Street Preachers’ 1994 album The Holy Bible was a creative peak and a tragic chapter in their tale, 1996’s follow-up, Everything Must Go, vaulted beyond expectations to provide them with a brilliant new start rather than merely a happy ending.

Following the disappearance in early 1995 of rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards, the remaining three members eventually decided not to disband and began working on the album that they knew could have been their last. Instead, the soaring “A Design for Life” was a U.K. number two single, the first of four to reach the Top 10. The reconfigured group soon found themselves reborn as arena heroes.

Unjustly overlooked in America, Everything Must Go nearly topped the U.K. album chart and kick-started interest in other countries. Singer/guitarist James Dean Bradfield and drummer Sean Moore crafted a solid collection of stirring, melodic rock tunes around thought-provoking lyrics by bassist Nicky Wire and Edwards, and the songs have aged well over the past 20 years.

Available as a box set, a double CD, and digitally, Everything Must Go 20 is a rewarding return to the band’s landmark release. The box includes two CDs containing the remastered album and a trove of B-sides37 tracks total. Along with a vinyl album and book, there’s also the Live at Nynex DVD, which includes a full 1997 Manchester show, and a second DVD with a new documentary and promo videos. The 2-CD version includes the album and the audio of the Nynex show.

With rousing tunes like the title track, “Enola/Alone,” and “Australia” balanced by the darker tone of “Removables” and “Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky,” Everything Must Go set a new standard for the band that found art and accessibility not to be mutually exclusive. B-sides such as “Mr. Carbohydrate,” “Dead Passive,” and “Dead Trees and Traffic Islands” add to the period picture, whether or not one argues that they might have served well on the album. And “A Design for Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Instrumental Version)” offers a vocal-free string arrangement for those who want to take a stab at singing along minus Bradfield’s tour de force. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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