This is the tenth anniversary edition of the first Manics album after the disappearance of their lyricist Richey James Edwards. After losing their friend, the band could have fallen apart, or attempted to carry on in the same vein as before. Instead, they came up with something new – uplifting, defiant, passionate and which introduced them to a much wider audience than they’d known before.
Some hardcore Manics fans prefer the previous album, The Holy Bible, but this was their major breakthrough. Prior to Everything…, I knew them from a few earlier tracks – Motown Junk and the sublime Motorcycle Emptiness in particular, but after it, I went back to the earlier albums. Anyway, although it doesn’t seem that long to me, ten years have passed, and we now have this rather nice special edition. So what’s included?
The original album, which includes the anthemic A Design for Life, which quite apart from having some of the best strings ever heard in a rock context, deserves its status as a classic if only for the opening lines
Libraries gave us power
Then work came and made us free
And much more, of course. In addition there are live versions of many of the songs, and a remix of Design….
A bit of a mixture, this one. Some B-sides, alternative versions and a load of demos, plus first rehearsals of A Design for Life and Kevin Carter. While the early versions are very rough, it’s an unusual insight into the development of some classic songs.
And as if two CDs packed with unreleased material wasn’t enough to justify buying the album again, the third part of the package is a DVD which includes a documentary, some live performances (including a couple from Later with Jools Holland) and four promo videos. Nice.
And as if that wasn’t enough, there are two well-illustrated booklets. A nice package, and if you shop around a bit, available at a quite reasonable price.