Group Formation in Wales:
The Manic Street Preachers story dates back to 1986. School friends James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore, Nicky Wire, and Flicker came together at Oakwood Comprehensive School in Blackwood, Wales to form a band called Betty Blue. In a disagreement with the other band members and believing the new group was moving away from its punk roots, Flicker left in 1988. The remaining trio then changed their name to Manic Street Preachers.
Manic Street Preachers Band Members:
- James Dean Bradfield - Lead Guitar
- Sean Moore - Drums
- Nicky Wire - Bass
Richey James Edwards Joins the Group:
Richey James Edwards, photographer and designer of the sleeve for the band's first single, "Suicide Alley," was asked to join the group in 1989. He did not seem to provide a great deal to the band musically, but his sense of the band's aesthetic left a lasting mark. He helped contribute an anti-media, pro-socialist, glam aura about the band that offended the press but endeared them to a growing horde of fans.
Initial Success and Notoriety:
Riding a wave of notoriety from their attacks on the press and fellow bands, Manic Street Preachers released their first full-length album Generation Terrorists in 1992. The band intended that their first album would outsell Guns 'n Roses Appetite for Destruction and the band would then burn out. The sales fell short and the band soldiered on. Their second album Gold Against the Soul received mixed reviews but it became the band's first to hit the top 10.
The Holy Bible and Disappearance of Richey James Edwards:
The 3rd Manic Street Preachers album The Holy Bible was released in 1994. It restored the group's critical acclaim but had disappointing sales. Highly influenced by goth and post-punk, the album is revered today as among the group's finest moments. Richey James Edwards contributed a maelstrom of disturbing lyrics to the project. On February 1, 1995, he disappeared after checking out of a London hotel and has never been seen again.
Manic Street Preachers Regroup:
The band put their work on hold for 6 months but then decided to carry on as a trio. Their next album Everything Must Go received some of the best reviews of the band's career, and it was followed by This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours in 1998, their first album to top the chart. Manic Street Preachers continued the group's commitment to leftist politics and, in 2001, became the first Western rock band to play in Castro's Cuba.
Top Hit Singles:
- If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next - #1 1998
- The Masses Against the Classes - #1 2000
- A Design for Life - #2 1996
- The Love of Richard Nixon - #2 2004
- Empty Souls - #2 2005
- Your Love Alone Is Not Enough - #2 2007
- Everything Must Go - #5 1996
Senior British Rock Heros:
The album Lifeblood, released in 2004, was a commercial disappointment, but the band were welcomed with open arms by fans on the follow up tour. Almost 20 years into their existence, Manic Street Preachers were hailed as rock legends. The Holy Bible came out on top in a BBC Newsnight poll on the top rock albums of all time. They edged out Radiohead's OK Computer.
Solo Projects and the Return of Manic Street Preachers:
In late 2005 and 2006, Manic Street Preachers took a break while Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield pursued solo projects. In early 2007 the band announced that their 8th studio album Send Away the Tigers would be released May 7, 2007. Manic Street Preachers would also embark on a tour to support the album as well as making appearances at a number of music festivals.