It’s funny how your perception changes as you get older. I used to love this album when I first heard it – strangely after I had been introduced to Indie and Britpop (as it would have made more sense to have been into this when I was a fully-fledged rocker). I used to think this was a very edgy, attitude-driven album – but it sounds a bit tame these days.
When I first got into music and all I was interested in was rock, I used to read the likes of Kerrang! and Metal Hammer and I would see mention of the Manics all the time, but I hadn’t heard anything by them. I did have a rock compilation and Motorcycle Emptiness was on it, and it’s such a slick song that it’s no wonder that I wasn’t drawn in by it.
I remember I used to be able to get free tickets to gigs at The Academy and the three Manchester University venues, through a friend of the family. Once I was given tickets to see a band – I think it was The Almighty – and for some reason the ticket I was told to use was a Manic Street Preachers ticket to a gig at the same venue that had been cancelled. The ticket had a big black mark drawn on it. It got me into the gig fine, but I later worked out that it must have been originally for a gig cancelled when Richey Edwards disappeared in 1995. Using that cancelled ticket for a gig by a different band was probably the first time that the Manics came onto my radar.
I can’t remember what turned me onto them big time – it definitely wasn’t the ‘comeback’ album, Everything Must Go, that came out a year later. I didn’t appreciate that album at the time (too Indie / Britpop for me at the time). Whatever – or whoever – it was that turned me onto them did something major. I became obsessed with the band – well, with their first three albums anyway. I did eventually start to appreciate Everything Must Go, and I was probably besotted with the band the most when This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours was released.
I used to listen to this album – their debut – repeatedly while walking into University in my third year. It made a bit of sense walking through the red light district of Huddersfield (where the Yorkshire Ripper had picked up some of his victims), listening to some of the lyrics of this album. Although I like the out-and-out rock of this album and its follow-up, Gold Against The Soul, it’s really their third album, The Holy Bible that got to me. I’d put that album into my top-5 albums back then, and it’d still be in my top-5 now.
Generation Terrorists has one major drawback – and that is its length. It’s a double album – the band initially said they’d release this, their masterpiece, headline Wembley Stadium for one night, and then split up. The album would make a killer single disc (and a heap of decent b-sides), but there’s really too many average songs towards the end.
Hit: Motorcycle Emptiness
Hidden Gem: Nat West – Barclays – Midlands – Lloyds