On December 7th 2018, the Manic Street Preachers release a 20th Year Collector’s Edition of their fifth album, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. The title comes from a part of a speech by Aneurin Bevan, the Labour Party politician who founded the NHS. It was released in September 1998 and went Gold in the first week of release getting to No.1 on the charts. It stayed in the UK charts for over a year and sold over five million copies.
It will be released as a deluxe 3-cd box set, a double vinyl edition and a digital package. The album contains unheard demos, live rehearsal recordings, and remixes by Massive Attack, David Holmes and Mogwai. The artwork features many unseen photographs by long-term collaborator Mitch Ikeda including a different album cover from the original session on Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog in Wales.
Before the release and commercial success of Everything Must Go two years previously, there was speculation whether the Manics would continue following on from the disappearance of their bandmate and best friend, Richey Edwards. But continue they did and then some. For This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, guitarist Nicky Wire was the only lyricist and had a lot of expectations weighing on his shoulders. A lot of fans were divided by the Manics pre and post-Edwards. Had they lost their edge? It appeared not, as driven by the disappearance of Edwards, they created some of their most melodic, passionate and thought-provoking music yet to come. It might not have been as ferocious as some of their earlier work, but the Manics were still as challenging a band in their content.
If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next was released in August of 98 and gave the Manics their first number one single. A stirring song about the Spanish Civil War and the fight against the dictator Franco. The album continued to house further mesmerising songs such as You Stole The Sun From My Heart, Tsunami, with its hauntingly beautiful sitar known to be about The Silent Twins, two identical twin girls who grew up in Wales and The Everlasting.
CD1 sounds just as good if not better as it has been remastered, and former b-side Prologue To History has replaced Nobody Loved You, which has been relegated to a hidden track straight after S.Y.M.M. ends. CD2 displays demos and live rehearsals with some warming up and chit-chat for The Everlasting (good for fans), whilst Black Dog On My Shoulder has a lovely acoustic on it. CD3 has some interesting remixes of If You Tolerate This… including the Massive Attack remix and the David Holmes remix.
I would say this is more for diehard fans, but interesting to hear nonetheless. I particularly like the Stereolab remix of Tsunami. Overall it’s good to listen to the highlights of This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, which are relevant today as ever.