The Holy Bible 10th Anniversary Edition [2CD + DVD]
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List price: £15.99|
Our price: £6.96
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Average customer rating:
4.75 out of 5
Media: Audio CD|
ISBN/ASIN : B0006AZE0A
Manufacturer : Epic|
Release data : 06 December, 2004
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A selection of product reviews
The Holy Grail...
The Manics may have evolved into the Shania Twain fans' rock group in recent years but their lyrical content remains unsurpassed by any other British band. The greatness of The Holy Bible is so because they mix their best lyrics with their most focused, angry, snarling music - Generation Terrorists was lyrically a great album but it was let down by the metal-lite music whereas The Holy Bible is perfectly weaved together by ALL the band (remember it is and was James and Sean writing ALL the music). Richey's lyrics are brutal, transporting the listener into many realms of the human pysche we choose to ignore - prostitution, serial killers' victims, anorexia - their is no let up in the intensity other than the brooding This Is Yesterday, which is Nicky's lyric. Personally, my favourite tracks are Archives of Pain (complete with rock out solo), 4st 7lbs and PCP although their is no track I ever skip. The DVD is a treat, with live performances from festivals, TOTP and Butt Naked (remember that show!?) and the much maligned/talked about American mix of the album is listenable even to a Holy Bible veteran like me. Their definitive work + DVD + extra CD - bargain.
Give them the respect they deserve
I'm not normally one to indulge in overblown hype, but... This tenth anniversary edition of the Holy Bible is perhaps the most significant reissue since the King James edition of the book of the same name contributed to the spread of literacy among the masses in the seventeenth century... Heheh, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it makes a suitably grandiose introduction to an album that deserves to be recognised as a classic of British rock music. It gets the respect it deserves with this edition, which is beautifully packaged and includes many new features, none of which are superfluous, and all of which only help to enhance our appreciation of this challenging, frenetic masterpiece.
The album itself shows the Manic Street Preachers at the peak of their musical powers. The scratchily metallic guitars, frantic drums and random samples, which sound like snatches of conversations from some nightmare world, created for the first time a perfect backdrop to the manic intensity of the Richey-era lyrics, which had often sounded awkward set against the melodic soft metal of the band's earlier releases.
The lyrics are often frightening but are always brutally and unflinchingly honest, and despite their initially confusing nature they will soon make sense to the intelligent listener, who will probably find himself empathising with some parts but questioning others. Even those who question the ability of a mere rock band to try and express the horrors of the holocaust (as on The Intense Humming of Evil) and who disagree with their apparent support for capital punishment on Archives of Pain (although the song seems mainly to be concerned with the glamorisation of serial killers) will find this album compelling and hard to dismiss.
The themes of this album are still relevant ten years on because they are either massive and universal or intimately personal, with no half-measures. PCP is concerned with the rise of "political correctness" in the early 90s, but its condemnation of pointless censorship is still relevant in these paranoid times. Yes expresses the songwriter's horror and disillusionment with the effect the music business has had on his soul, but any worker in any job will relate to the words: 'dulling, get money, but... nothing turns out like you want it to'. This is Yesterday, the only mellow part of the whole album, is an aching lament for a sepia-tinted past, and Die in the Summertime, despite the despair evident in the title, has a sweetness at its heart with its nostalgic longing for a return to the childhood innocence of 'whole days throwing sticks into streams'.
This package is extremely generous, and the highlight is undoubtedly the famed US mix of the album. The mix brings clarity to the production, and brings the guitars and drums to the fore, in most cases giving them an added power. The mix doesn't work on all of the songs, and fans of the original album will probably differ as to which songs are improved and which songs are still better in the original mix. The extra demos and session tracks are also very welcome. The DVD is surprisingly well made, considering the price, and it contains a number of excellent live performances, which reveal the sheer urgency and sense of purpose the band exuded at the time. At a time when the Manic Street Preachers are being unfairly (and very lazily) pilloried for daring to make another album and having the audacity to grow older, this is a reminder of how important they were - and still are.
This album truly is a work of art
The holy bibles release brought with it the most mindblowing era of the Manics work, pure venom and vitriol. Only Richey James and Nicky Wire would be able to write an album of such quality. Oh and Jacko251 (or whoever it was that wrote the review above me)...check your MSP history you'll find that Richey changed his name from Edwards to James before the Holy Bible came out.