Sunday, 7 June 2015

The Unofficial Fans' Manics Top 50 2015

The chart below was compiled from 68 different top 50s submitted by Manic Street Preachers fans between February and May 2015.  Points were awarded based on 50 for number one, 49 for number 2 etc, down to 1 point for number 50, and the final tally for each song is shown after the name of each one.  The numbers in brackets show the position in the last chart from 2013.  Where songs tied on points in the overall chart, the number of entries in the charts were used first to determine placing, followed by highest placing in an individual chart.  Any that still tied are shown with an "=" sign.  Thank you to all people who took part in, followed or promoted these charts, it has been great fun again!!!

See also the full chart and sub-charts tabs with all manner of Manics-related lists that came out of these selections!!

Manics Fans' Final Top 50
1. (2) Motorcycle Emptiness 2628
2. (1) Faster 2592
3. (3) A Design for Life 2366
4. (4) Yes 1900
5. (13) If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next 1685
6. (10) You Love Us 1627
7. (6) Motown Junk 1620
8. (5) La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) 1611
9. (8) Stay Beautiful 1576
10. (7) Little Baby Nothing 1531
11. (11) PCP 1434
12. (9) From Despair to Where 1412
13. (15) Your Love Alone is Not Enough 1313
14. (18) Sleepflower 1239
15. (17) This is Yesterday 1185
16. (14) No Surface All Feeling 1122
17. (58) 1985 1113
18. (12) Roses in the Hospital 1110
19. (23) Revol 1059
20. (16) The Masses Against the Classes 1054
21. (34) Peeled Apples 1041
22. (22) Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky 999
23. (39) Prologue to History 985
24. (19) 4st 7lb 943
25. (55) Tsunami 819
26. (41) Solitude Sometimes Is 817
27. (28) The Everlasting 806
28. (29) ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayitsworldwouldfallapart 776
29. (37) Archives of Pain 769
30. (43) Die in the Summertime 762
31. (30) Autumnsong 757
32. (20) Life Becoming a Landslide 754
33. (31) Found That Soul 733
34. (44) Of Walking Abortion 728
35. (59) Mausoleum 694
36. (24) Everything Must Go 681
37. (33) Suicide is Painless (Theme from MASH) 675
38. (25) Jackie Collins Existential Question Time 658
39. (45) This Joke Sport Severed 651
40. (NE) 30-Year War 651
41. (71) Rewind the Film 646
42. (NE) Europa Geht Durch Mich 645
43. (NE) Walk Me to the Bridge 644
44. (57) Postcards From a Young Man 642
45. (65) Donkeys 625
46. (152) Show Me the Wonder 623
47. (47) Ready for Drowning 616
48. (40) Enola/Alone 609
49. (27) Some Kind of Nothingness 598
50. (46) Ocean Spray 585

By Era
Generation Terrorists 6
Gold Against the Soul 6
The Holy Bible 11
Everything Must Go 5
This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours 5
Know Your Enemy 2
Lifeblood 2
Send Away the Tigers 2
Journal for Plague Lovers 3
Postcards From a Young Man 2
Rewind the Film 3
Futurology 2
Others 1
By Era By Score
(as in the scores as individual top 50s were scored)
Generation Terrorists 236
Gold Against the Soul 177
The Holy Bible 330
Everything Must Go 130
This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours 128
Know Your Enemy 19
Lifeblood 59
Send Away the Tigers 58
Journal for Plague Lovers 55
Postcards From a Young Man 9
Rewind the Film 26
Futurology 17
Others 31


As an old school fan since 91, I'm always intrigued to hear about other people's take on the Manics story, in particular those that didn't have much choice about whether they were around in those early days.  As one of our younger contributors Gabriel Rutherford offered to write his thoughts about the final top 50.  This was originally written just after the top 50 was announced and through my own negligence has remained unpublished until now......time for that to change then eh?

Top 50 Reaction - Gabriel Rutherford 

1st of March, 2015. I submitted my top 50 chart and waited. And waited. And waited. C’mon guys, who takes 3 months to decide a top 50? Yet, when the chart came out, I was intrigued. So, in this piece I’ll compare the (un)official chart to my personal chart. It will be structured like so:

*Official top 50 place* - Song Name* (*Placing on my chart*)

50 - Ocean Spray (33)
Scraping into the Top 50 is Ocean Spray, a melancholy second track on Know Your Enemy. Elegantly sad, a track I feel has been overlooked by much of the Manics community

49 - Some Kind of Nothingness (Not Featured)
Rather deservedly, in my opinion, the first Manics single not to enter the charts above 40 since the Sony deal. If you know me on Twitter, you’ll know that I very much dislike Postcards.. in its entirety, this song being no exception. Very overrated.

48 - Enola/Alone (22)
A rather magnificent EMG song, shockingly overlooked by the band as a single. A bit low perhaps, but no complaints with this song.

47 - Ready For Drowning (NF)
This track is boring. Typical, bland stuff from This is My Truth Tell Me Yours. Why is it here guys?

46 - Show Me The Wonder (NF)
In February I did not think this was top 50 material. But now I am totally converted to the powers of nostalgia, working men's clubs, and (of course) trumpets in rock music.

45 - Donkeys (Honourable Mention)
I feel this song is just outside my personal top 50, but I did give it an honourable mention. Unlike some songs mentioned before, it does have its place here.

44 - Postcards From A Young Man (NF)
I hate it. Next!

43 - Walk Me to The Bridge (50)
A more recent  Manics classic, but nonetheless wonderful and spiky.

42 - Europa Geht Durch Mich (21)
Europe did indeed pass through the Manics on Futurology, as this krautrock stomp featuring Nina Hoss shows. A bold, whirring song, in its Top 50 position.  But maybe a bit low..
41 - Rewind the Film (NF)
A surprise entry in my opinion. I didn’t think many people enjoyed Richard Hawley clashing with ..Hawaiian guitar?

40 - 30 Year War (NF) 
Clich√©d, yet enjoyable rant about Tory government.  Particularly relevant in recent months… 

39 - This Joke Sport Severed (NF) 
People tell me this song is beautiful. I just don’t hear it. Sorry, thumbs down from me. 

38 - Jackie Collins Existential Question Time (NF) 
What a great title. What a good song. What the hell is it doing here though?  

37 - Suicide is Painless (Theme From MASH) (43) 
A fantastic song that avoids falling into the trap of either sounding exactly like the original or nothing like it at all. 

36 - Everything Must Go (25) 
A wonderfully expansive, sweeping declaration that the Manics are carrying on, just not as we knew them before. 

35 - Mausoleum (11) 
Criminally underrated Holy Bible track. Beginning with a shimmer that soon warps into a thrash; an examination of the Holocaust. 

34 - Of Walking Abortion (19) 
Another Holy Bible track. Admittedly one of the weaker songs on that album, yet it should be higher.  

33 - Found That Soul (HM) 
Another honourable mention. The heavy opener to Know Your Enemy, perhaps overrated due to the weakness of that album as a whole.  

32 - Life Becoming a Landslide (NF) 
A genuine surprise. I can offer no explanation for its presence other than lots of people liking it better than I do.  

31 - Autumnsong (26) 
Pure rock. Wonderful guitar work in particular. One small complaint I have is that it lacks force. 

30 - Die in The Summertime (23)
Morbid lyrics seep from this Holy Bible track. One of the songs the BBC (perhaps wisely for their sakes) cut from their coverage of the Cardiff Castle concert.

29 - Archives of Pain (6)
#ToolowJimBob. The second best song on the Holy Bible is shockingly lobbed into mere 29th.

28 - ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthoronedayitsworldwouldfallapart (42)
Brilliant riffs. Fucking annoyance of a title to type out though..

27 - The Everlasting (NF)
A glaring omission from my chart. I apologise for my clear stupidity.

26 - Solitude Sometimes Is (NF)
My response to this is the same phrase missing in the chorus to Stay Beautiful.

25 - Tsunami (17)
A wonderful song. The performance of this song at the Corn Exchange in 2014 sends shivers down my spine when I remember it.

24 - 4st 7lb (9)
Jesus guys, come on! This is at least top 20 quality!

23 - Prologue to History (NF)
It’s reached the stage where if I defame the songs too much I will face a barrage of abuse on Twitter. So, this song is decent. It’s harmless.

22 - Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky (32)
A beautiful, tragic song. A song that can claim the honour of being the only song to reduce me to tears, ever.

21 - Peeled Apples (NF)
Bizarrely, this song finds itself closer than Archives of Pain and 4st 7lb to the top 20. Harmless.

20 - The Masses Against the Classes (NF) 
I can’t excuse this. In no way, shape or form should this be in any top 20 (or top 10!) 

19 - Revol (13)  
Fans favourite. Post-punk, caustic riffage. How the hell was this considered a commercially viable single? An amazing song. 

18 - Roses in the Hospital (HM) 
The album version, of course. A good enough song, but not one I would personally have in my top 20, or even my top 50. Honourable mention! 

17 - 1985 (NF) 

16 - No Surface All Feeling (12) 
Perhaps a send-off to Richey. A wonderful, soaring riff introduces a wonderful, soaring song. 

15 - This Is Yesterday (NF) 
Shockingly, I left this out of my top 50. I have no idea why, upon reflection. 

14 - Sleepflower (15) 
Just about perfect placement in my opinion. Very, very rarely played live. A fantastic song that‘s loved by many fans evidently.  

13 - Your Love Alone is Not Enough (NF) 
It’s okay, I guess. I never got the massive hullabaloo surrounding it. 

12 - From Despair to Where (8) 
An amazing howl of melancholy set in screeching guitars. A-grade Manics. 

11 - PCP (14) 
Snarling condemnation of political correctness. A fantastic closer to a masterpiece of an album. 

10 - Little Baby Nothing (NF)
It’s strange to see something so high up that I didn’t even give a mention to. Ah, well. James duets with ex-pornstar Traci Lords about female exploitation. An enchanting, rather poppy song.

9 - Stay Beautiful  (20)
A manifesto, a declaration of being from the early years of the Manics.  Driven by James’s guitar more than anything else. Bears small resemblance to You Love Us.

8 - La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) (7)
“The last great baggy song”, ironically. A tale of war veterans being ignored and taken for granted until the 11th November. Then forgotten again on the 12th.

7 - Motown Jumk (10)
A punk call-to arms. The song that started the great media circus around the young Preachers, which still continues today, to an extent. Debut songs don’t get much better than this.

6 - You Love Us (5)
A provocative sneer at journalists and ordinary people who decried or mocked the Manics. The fans seem to be split over whether the Sony version, which went on Generation Terrorists, or the Heavenly version, which featured an Iggy Pop-sampling outro.

5 - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (4)
The Manics first number one.  A fantastic song inspired perhaps partly by the Manics own Leftist beliefs, partly by their heroes The Clash’s Spanish Bombs. A wonderful, song even better live.

4 - Yes (16)
The explosive introduction to the hatred of the Holy Bible tells of deprivation and lowlife. Perhaps a little high (switch it with Archives of Pain in my opinion).

3 - A Design For Life (2)
A song ubiquitous to the Manics that introduced their great return after the trauma of Richey’s disappearance. A proud espousing of working-class values, heritage and culture. It is second only to one song, in my opinion.

2 - Faster (3)
The declaration of greatness from Richey before his inevitable collapse is magnificent. A military-style, disciplined riff, self-appreciating lyrics, powerhouse drumming and the largest number of complaints to the BBC have helped immortalize this song as a firm favourite of Manics fans. Which leaves only one song to count..

1 - Motorcyle Emptiness (1)
What can be said? A masterpiece. The deserved, absolute number one Manics song. This passionate anti-capitalist track has earned its place in the heart of almost every Manics fan across the globe. To have this song on a debut album is astounding.  The video is amazing, shot while the band and director were constantly on the run from the police in Tokyo, having neglected to obtain permission to film. An epic, soaring riff takes the song skyward, soaring into the top spot.

So, that was my reaction to the Manics top 50. Big thanks to Pyf for letting me do this piece and for organizing the Unofficial Manics Top 50.  If you wish to shout at me for any opinions voiced in this article, go to my twitter. 

Thank you for reading!

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