Manic Street Preachers

The Holy Bible [20th Anniversary Edition]

(CD - Columbia / Epic / Sony Music #88875036002)

Review by

It's difficult not to look at The Holy Bible as Richey James' last will and testament, yet that only makes the record all the more powerful. A remarkable step forward from the Manic Street Preachers' first two records, The Holy Bible is a tense, harrowing collection of tortured, cryptic declarations of depression -- the diary of anorexia "4st 7lb" is one of the most chilling songs in rock & roll. James' lyrics, which are punctuated by Nicky Wire's political tirades, are unflinching in their bleakness. Every song has a passage frightening in its imagery. Although the music itself isn't as scarily intense, its tight, terse hard rock and glam hooks accentuate the paranoia behind the songs, making the lyrics cut deeper. [For the second celebratory anniversary edition of Manic Street Preachers' bleak 1994 masterpiece The Holy Bible, the group expanded the 10th Anniversary edition—the one that saw the first-ever release of the scrapped US mix of the album—by adding a full disc of B-sides (along with a previously unreleased version of "Evol," plus recent live acoustic versions from Radio 1) and a live disc containing BBC performances along with their final performance with Richey Edwards at the Astoria. Additionally, there are a ton of high-end extras: a 180-gram heavy vinyl pressing of the album, a hardcover book, all housed in a 12 X 12 box. Nothing here is especially rare for the hardcore, so the question for the devoted is whether the handsome extras warrant another bite at the apple.]

Track Listing - Disc 4

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:55
2 3:02
3 3:37
4 4:29
5 3:07
6 3:29
7 4:48
8 3:06
9 3:44
10 3:19
11 3:39
12 6:06
13 5:51
14 6:43
15 5:48
16 3:13

Track Listing - Disc 5

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:49
2 3:23
3
4:38
4 3:37
5 4:22
6 3:57
7 3:33
8 5:50
9 3:01
10 3:55
11 2:47
12 4:54
13 2:50
14 1:52
15 3:40
16 4:10
17 4:12
blue highlight denotes track pick