I Am An Architect: Manic Street Preachers’ The Holy Bible Revisited

8 thoughts on “I Am An Architect: Manic Street Preachers’ The Holy Bible Revisited”

  1. I found what I mentioned that I’d written (@maffrj). This was something I posted on an internal noticeboard in work a couple of years back…


    From: Matt Jones
    Posted: 22/07/2010 16:59
    Subject: FREE
    While I was in Rhyl library on my lunch break today I was browsing through their stuff for sale and I bought the Manic Street Preachers’ album “The Holy Bible” on CD for the princely sum of 50p.

    To be honest I don’t know what came over me – I think I thought to myself “that’s supposed to be their best album, maybe I’ll give it a try – it’s only 50p after all” – but then all the way back from town I was thinking “what have I done?! I KNOW that I don’t like the Manics and I consistently berate my friends that do like them about how bad they really are. I feel a fool!”

    The final straw came when I got back to my desk, opened the CD booklet and glanced at the first page of lyrics…

    I know this isn’t really selling it to you if you’re a prospective Manics fan, but I thought it best to be brutally honest.

    So, if you want it it’s yours. Let me know. Otherwise I’ll donate it back to Rhyl library.

    I’m just putting it down to an off day in my musical judgement.


    That was Thursday afternoon. Come Friday morning…


    From: Matt Jones
    Date: 23/07/2010 09:12
    Subject: re: FREE

    To all those who expressed an interest:

    Unexpectedly (by me at least) it’s already spoken for. It must be my unconventional sales technique…

    Who’d have thought miserable sub-teenage poetry shouted over loud guitars would prove so popular?!

    Sorry folks – just think how much more fun your weekend will be now!


    I had more people email me to tell me I’d brightened up their day than I did asking for the CD, although a few die-hard MSP fans came at me with the whole Richey/tragic/greatest band ever argument. Even had someone tell me I should like them out of patriotism to my fellow Welshmen.

    So there you go. I REALLY don’t like this band.

  2. The funny thing is I want to agree with you… in fact do agree with the vast majority of what you say. The fetishistic devotion certain fans express for the Manics is quite frankly embarrassing – particularly during the Richey years, with all that laughable glam terrorism going on. Something exclusively suited to High School angst – we’re all quite beyond that now.

    Where our opinions may divulge pinion on the sheer, naked intensity on display with the lyrics. It’s something very few acts get away with, let alone a band signed to a major label – and for that reason alone sticks in the memory.

    50p? Seems like a decent transaction.

  3. “Filched from Orwell” ?
    I always thought of MSP as being totally contrived and have never liked them… But, to be completely frank, I’ve never listened to anything by them since the ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ single -which pre-dates the Neolithic age of the band and a good couple of years before Richey went AWOL. So, not only have I never read The Holy Bible, I’ve never listened to it either. Can’t be arsed to listen to it now so I probably never will. On the other hand I can tell you that when the distribution company where I working in the 90s went belly-up, there were literally hundreds of MSP vinyls (various releases from Motown Junk on) left on the shelves that nobody wanted. Not even at the fire-sale organized to pay off the creditors. Eventually a guy, dealing in wholsale vinyl, bought the whole lot (along with a load of Factory stuff) for a song. That song wasn’t The Holy Bible.

    1. Orwell indeed. The intro to ‘Faster’ is sampled dialogue from the cinematic version of 1984 – the “I hate purity, hate goodness” spiel Winston feeds Julia shortly before the rules of the Junior Anti-Sex League are broken. Obviously, I wear my red sash with pride.

      (Very underrated movie, by the way; carries an edge of coldness that’s really effective).

      As for MSP; good to hear that my words have encouraged a listen to the album! You’re correct of course – totally contrived. Except for this album. It’s the sheer, naked lyrical density that leaves claw marks across the cheeks (once, that is, you’ve deciphered Bradfield’s unintelligible vocal).

      Also: I need to get me to more record distribution bankruptcy sales.

    1. Works fine this end…embedded and all that. Press play, and then a song. Might be the browser you’re wired into (WordPress still struggles on certain platforms). Or just those usual vague waves of connectivity…

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