Over the past wekend marked two decades since the disappearance of Richey Edwards, an event that redefined the Manic Street Preachers, reshaping their lyrics, their sound, and their output through to the present.
Last December saw the Manics tour a live performance of their seminal album The Holy Bible, and album which to some epitomises the band, though its influence fades across the years. To some, The Holy Bible is their peak, and all else since can only disappoint; NZ's own online music reviewer and Chuck Klosterman-wannabe Simon Sweetman certainly seems to think so, and bases his review of Manics' latest album Futurology on whether it lives up to an album twenty years in its past.
I came late to Manics, well late to The Holy Bible, and you could say that it was reading about Richey Edwards' disappearance in a Pavement magazine in Dunedin's Metro cafe that got me interested in the band, and their story, in the first place. I am therefore a post-Richey Manics fan, and that era of the group - while impressive in places, is only a part of the overall story. And it goes on. Sorry, Simon.
The weekend's passing reminds me that I have roughly three more posts to go before I'm spent on Manics and their output - the Best Ofs, the B-Sides, and Futurology. I daresay Mr Sweetman's Off The Tracks review (the actual content to which his bait-and-switch Blog On theTracks often links to) will come up.
The countdown begins this week, then. With some non-music, non-movie posts in for good measure.