It Was 30 Years Ago Today…

For some reason, 2022 is throwing up all sorts of milestone anniversaries.

I say “for some reason”, it’s not really that complicated: time passes, things that happened in the past happened on certain days, sometimes those days coincide, if not in days, then in years.

For example: we all recall the celebrity death cull that was 2016. Six years ago. OK, it’s not a nice round figure this year, like, for example something that happened thirty years ago, but all those deaths have an anniversary this year. And every year.

I try not to focus too much on the sad times, but when the anniversary of a special record comes around, then I’m more than interested.

And that’s where we are today, for it was thirty years ago today that this got released as a single:

Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness

To this day, I still think this is their finest moment (although often Motown Junk runs it pretty close), never equalled, never bettered.

And then I learn that this came out 30 years ago, and I suddenly feel very old indeed.

They’re still going, are the Manics, despite their pledge back in the day that they would make one album and then disappear. I can’t honestly say I’ve listened to, let alone bought, any of their records for quite some time now; they seemed to be treading water in a way that they probably wouldn’t be were Richie still around and contributing his amazing lyrics.

Back then, they weren’t the stadium rock outfit they are now: they were simply not like anything else on offer at the time. They dressed in pink feather boas and big plastic sunglasses, spray-painted slogans on white jeans and tee-shirts, and back in 1992, just as Madchester was dying a death, there was nobody else doing that, or going: “More guitars and songs about eating disorders is what’s needed!”. Plus, live Nicky Wire and Riche looked like they were having so much fun, strutting and swirling and preening whilst singer/lead guitarist James and drummer Sean held it all together, it’s no wonder the first time I saw them I thought they must be miming.

Anyway, as a special anniversary treat, here are the extra tracks that featured on a the CD single, one of which is a particularly punchy Alice Cooper cover, another a live version of track from their Generation Terrorists album:

Manic Street Preachers – Bored Out Of My Mind

Manic Street Preachers – Under My Wheels

Manic Street Preachers – Crucifix Kiss (Live 1992)

God, I feel old.

More soon.