Posts Tagged ‘Richey Edwards’

The Holy Bible’s 20th Anniversary


Holy Bible Cover

You’re obliged to pretend respect for people and institutions you think absurd. You live attached in a cowardly fashion to moral and social conventions you despise, condemn and know lack all foundation. It is that permanent contradiction between your ideas and desires and all the dead formalities and vain pretences of your civilization, which makes you sad, troubled and unbalanced. In that intolerable conflict you lose all joy of life and all feeling of personality, because at every moment they suppress and restrain and check the free play of your powers. That’s the poisoned and mortal wound of the civilized world.

– Octave Mirbeau, The Torture Garden

Twenty years ago today, a white-hot-scattershot-masterpiece of pure punk rage was released.

I only discovered it about 13 years ago at the height of my teenage angst at university and it offered the startling consolation of feeling personally understood.

But unlike many other bands and albums I have since loved and lost, it has outlived my hormonally-charged emotions and scarcely a month has gone by when I haven’t listened to it all the way through at least once.

And it only becomes fresher, more relevant, closer to home.

An album that deserves a place in the annals of great art alongside Beethoven and Warhol.

A piece of work that – to quote the sample of J G Ballard explaining the reasons for him writing his nihilistic masterpiece, Crash – that rubs the human face in its own vomit, and then forces it to look in the mirror.

Track 1: “Yes”

You can buy her, you can buy her. This one’s here, this one’s here, this one’s here and this one’s here. Everything’s for sale…

…Two dollars you can rub her tits. Three dollars you can rub her ass. Five dollars you can play with her pussy or you can lick her tits. The choice is yours.

Track 2:


Conservative say: there ain’t no black in the union jack.
Democrat say: there ain’t enough white in the stars and stripes.

Track 3: Of Walking Abortion

I knew that someday I was going to die. And I knew before I died, two things would happen to me. That number one, I would regret my entire life. And number two, I would want to live my life over again.

Track 4: “She Is Suffering”

Nature’s lukewarm pleasure.

Track 5: “Archives Of Pain”

I wonder who you think you are. You damn well think you’re God or something. God give life, God taketh it away, not you. I think you are the Devil itself.

Track 6: “Revol”

Yeltsin – failure is his own impotence.

Track 7: “4st 7lbs”

I eat too much to die. And not enough to stay alive. I’m sitting in the middle waiting.

Track 8: “Mausoleum”

Life can be as important as death.

Track 9: “Faster”

I hate purity. I hate goodness. I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt.

Track 10: “This Is Yesterday”

Do not listen to a word I say.
Just listen to what I can keep silent.
The only way to gain approval.
Is by exploiting the very thing that cheapens me.

Track 11: “Die In The Summertime”

The hole in my life even stains the soil.

Track 11: “The Intense Humming Of Evil”

Arbeit macht frei.


Teacher starve your child, P.C. approved.
As long as the right words are used.
Systemised atrocity ignored.
As long as bilingual signs on view.

Richey Edwards: The Final Television Interview


manicstreetpreacher has learned a great deal from this.

I’ve decided to take a respite from ranting against the parties of God and present the videos to the final interview that Richey Edwards, the Manic Street Preachers’ former lyricist and guitarist gave to a Swedish television station a few weeks before disappearing in February 1995 aged twenty-seven.

Part II / Part III / Part IV

Edwards, despite his best attempts at concealment by wearing a baggy top, clearly looks anorexic as he talks frankly about the Manics’ latest album, the white-hot, scattershot punk blast of rage, The Holy Bible, his lyric writing, and his recent mental breakdown which saw him visit The Priory for rehabilitation from drug and alcohol abuse.

Watch out for his opinions on pop-tarts Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston being “far more ruined in the mind” than he could ever be by virtue of their self-obsessed romantic pap.  Of course, those two pop divas have since had their fair share of Richey moments.

Towards the end, the interviewer asks whether Edwards would like to get married and have children.  Without listening to the end of the question, Edwards replies no, his dream is to write a perfect lyric that sums up how he feels about everything the in World yesterday, today and tomorrow.  If he is still alive out there somewhere, perhaps he will re-emerge when he has finally nailed it.

These comments are particularly relevant to me personally, since like Edwards, I have in recent years attempted to escape from my problems in The Real World by immersing myself in issues that I have little if any control over and worrying about them instead of my social life, love life and career.  I suppose there are worse outlets of the kind of anger and frustration that I expressed at the end of last year.  At least I didn’t turn to domestic violence, alcohol or drugs.  But my obsession with blogging has been destructive in other ways and I have let many things slide in my personal life, which came back to hit me in the face very recently.

I have now learned to value personal relationships over work, hobbies and interests.  I have taken control of my own destiny and will be moving jobs and locations back to my home town from which I have been so far away the past nine months.  I’ve even started telling my parents I love them for the first time in my life.  Never again will I elect to sit in the quiet carriage of a train reading a book rather than sitting next to a half-acquaintance to ask them how they are.

Edwards is man from whom we all can learn; even if not always for the right reasons.