REVIEW: This time u without Fidel. Manics again know your soulmate

Pelom tiscilet caught the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers at the top. They ushered in the new year in a sold-out stadium in Cardiff and with the surprising single The Masses Against the Classes at the top of the British singles charts.

After two well-promoted and acclaimed albums, it was expected at the time that he would confirm his star status with the forthcoming new album Know Your Enemy. The album came out in March 2001, and even when it didn’t sell well, the record didn’t catch on due to the massive rush.

As the band later recognized, the release of the collection corresponded to a compromise they had to make with their label. The Manics originally planned to release two albums on the same day: the epic and ballad Door to the River, which would follow on from the previous album, and the uncut solid Solidarity (yes, the name refers to Lech Wales), which, on the other hand, would assure old fans that the band did not forget the punk rock roots. Velan therefore made a name for themselves in another unusual way – they released two singles (So Why So Sad and Found That Soul) in one day, which symbolized both positions of a diverse album and both of which immediately reached the top singles chart.

However, the single disc Know Your Enemy became an inhomogeneous compilation of both perspectives with a 75-minute track of uneven material. After twenty-one years, James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean More agreed with producer Dave Eringa to repartee. The remastered Know Your Enemy is therefore carried by two discs named after the original full album Door to the River and Solidarity. Nicky Wire sang this great song and added more period material.

If we leave aside the remixes, demo versions and other interesting things with which Manics revises their old albums, buy two regular records soon. And just as the band’s style is different, the listening experience is also different.

Manic Street Preachers - Know Your Enemy (2001)
Manic Street Preachers - Know Your Enemy (Deluxe Edition 2022)

On the left is the Know Your Enemy edition from 2001, on the right is the deluxe version from 2022

The Door to the River disc contains, in addition to slower songs from Know Your Enemy, a solid new song Rosebud and the fifth title dog. The song Door to the River itself has so far only been released as a hit in 2002. The current version is different – it is recorded here completely cut down by a string. The sensitive remaster allows Bradfield’s voice and feeling for an unusual melody to stand out and fully deserves to be among the highlights of the first disc. Even the forgotten song Just a Kid, which definitely wouldn’t have been lost even on the original twenty-one-year-old album.

On the other hand, the hit So Why So Sad was introduced in an unremarkable remix by The Avalanches. Overall, this song, the first disc of the remastered album, is similar to the old Know Your Enemy itself, the songs don’t connect to each other, and here, too, it would be more for me.

And on the contrary, it holds together surprisingly firmly a kind of Solidarity disc composed of energetic material. Literally pluck the strings from shitty songs, peaking with the rousing songs The Convalescent and My Guernica. Sweat was also thrown into the waters of the changing hit The Masses Against Classes, which he actually started in January 2000 around the album Know Your Enemy.

The 2022 version is not so surprising and it is difficult to understand why this challenge became such a hit back then. Wire and Dave Eringa allowed themselves to hide a few details in the songs of the second disc, which will be appreciated by five experts – the different endings of the songs Dead Martyrs and Wattsville Blues do not take away from the original sound of the song.

However, the current brightness of the remastered sound is a bit on the code here: the original garov version of the material sounded better. So, as a result, which version of Know Your Enemy is actually better. A stand-alone Solidarity newspaper would certainly have done a lot of damage to the news at that time, even at the cost of less accessibility to my listeners.

Concert in Havana

We can’t help but stop at one location of the Know Your Enemy album. Manic Street Preachers have always observed the roots and roots of the great mining town of Blackpool. First Know Your Enemy offers the most obvious songs with a clear anti-consumer, then anti-American note. The music of Baby Elin’s dog (also remastered) reminds us of the case surrounding the young Cuban Elin Gonzalez, who certainly made Fidel Castro sweat when he personally had to go to the band’s concert in Cuba.

Know Your Enemy (Deluxe edition)

Rated: 75 %

The first concert in Havana, where the band promoted their album in 2001, fell to the stains of this artistic equivalent. And the Manics defended this step by the fact that they became the first concert-going band in Havana after twenty years, they served here at the time an obvious pedev for the idiots. Can’t you guess who apparently got the tickets then – the prominent members of Castro’s communist regime, or the general audience? The Manics also sprinkled ashes on their own heads when they fiddled with the lyrics of the song The Next Jet to Leave Moscow for a controversial performance in 2014.

The songs Freedom of Speech Wont Feed My Children, Let Robeson Sing and Baby Elin can therefore be considered as contemporary concoctions of the salon leftists from Great Britain. In today’s context, we can only laugh at their problems at that time. The other record came out half a year before the 11th World War and fifty-two years before the second wolf in Ireland, that is, the times when she actually sang for ninety years. It looked at things differently, and the criticism (and, on the contrary, the adoration) of America was actually quite against the current. That is, the direction that Manic Street Preachers always preferred to go.

The first disc includes the first Rosebud dog:

The kind of disc then the new Studies in Paralysis:

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