My Writings: My Reviews Of Books About Manic Street Preachers

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For Real Manic Street Preachers

Karen Gray
1992 - 56 pages

For Real Manic Street Preachers

A fundamental account - up to 1992

(3 of 5 stars) This little booklet, referred to as a "fanzine" at one point by the author, is the first attempt to write the history of Manic Street Preachers, I think. It was written sometime between July and late-August 1992, and takes the band's story up to then. The author is an otherwise unknown person, but seems to be a fan who had access to a local publisher.

The author goes slightly beyond the cut-and-paste writing of some band biographies, by including her own opinions and interpretations of songs and events. However, the rest of the book's material obviously comes from the British music press. Still, she's rather meticulous in mentioning details of every recording, tour and media appearance of the band. She also mentions the then-upcoming material the band were to soon release, (but whatever happened to a song called, "Alien Orders/Invisible Armies"?)

The book contains some pictures and songs lyrics, which actually, make up quite a lot of the book. This book also has a short, but interesting, question-and-answer with Richey Edwards, (poor Richey didn't know what a "love spoon" was!), and a UK discography with the then-current (1992) mint value of the recordings. It's interesting to see how little the original records and CDs were valued at, before the band got big - for example, £80 for 1989's "Suicide Alley", which I've seen going for as much as £1000 a decade later!

In the introduction, the author writes that her book is "... a fundamental account which documents their rock 'n' roll fairy tale metamorphosis from undiscovered bedroom band to international stars." She was incorrect about the "international stars" part, as the band is still virtually unknown in America more than a decade later, and even by 1992, they weren't really important in the British music scene. That importance took Manic Street Preachers another four years to achieve. But, I'll agree with the rest of her description of her work.

(Review written: 14 November 2003)

Copyright © 2003 Vivian Campbell. All rights reserved.