MP3: Manic Street Preachers Discography - Part Three: Suicide Is Painless
I'm off to deepest south London later today and for the rest of the week (for my girlfriend's brother's wedding), so i'm not going to have time to finish the forthcoming Gold Against The Soul post until next week. Luckily however the Manics did release something between their debut album and its followup.
In September 1992 the Manics were invited by the NME to contribute to a charity compilation released to aid the Spastic Society. The band chose to cover the theme tune to the classic tv series MASH, which with lyrics is known as Suicide Is Painless. It was released as a single, backed by a song from the now completely forgotten The Fatima Mansions, and also a track called Sleeping With The NME, which is an audio recording of the goings on in the NME offices the night after the notorious 4 Real incident. I would put that track up too (cos its really interesting), but can't seem to find a copy. If you've got it, email me!
It was the bands 10th single, and their first top 10 hit, coming in at number 7. Here's a bit of commentary on the song (as stolen from Wikipedia, naturally):
James Dean Bradfield: This is us being a caricature of ourselves. We were invited to do a song for an NME compilation for the Spastics Society. The only rule was you had to cover a No.1 song. Nick and Richey said straight away that the No.1 they wanted to do was 'Suicide Is Painless' because of the title and because it was a pretty miserable time when it was No.1. It was chosen to be the lead-off single from the album, and it became our first top ten hit, and I had never been so fucked off in my life. I couldn't believe that our first top ten hit we didn't write.
Nicky Wire: I don't think it's one of our finer moments but it was a one-off single, and it was us trying to sound like Metallica. It was either this or 'Bye Bye Baby' for the compilation. That was Richey's idea, and this was mine, which you wouldn't imagine! We sound really young, over-stretching to sound like a monolithic rock band. But brilliant lyrics - really dark, very Catch 22. It was originally No.1 during strikes and power cuts, which goes to show that either lyrics don't mean anything or it's the greatest subversion of all.
Personally I think it's a pretty great cover, and the video is one of the best the band have ever recorded. You can check it out here:
Suicide Is Painless video
Suicide Is Painless (live on Top of the Pops)
Suicide Is Painless (live and acoustic in Bangkok)
I'll try to get the Gold Against The Soul post done as soon as I get back from London, but until then, hope you like the song...
Discography: (click to buy @ amazon.co.uk)