Classic Rock

Manic Street Preachers

This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours (20th Anniversar­y Special Edition)


By the time This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, the Manic Street Preachers’ fifth album, came out, the band had already made three albums with Richey Edwards and one glorious victory-from-defeat classic. That quartet of records was immensely varied, as befitted the Manic’s wide-ranging influences from punk to post-punk to arena rock and heavy metal, but what they all had in common was that they were, in their own ways, defiant rock albums – even the grim The Holy Bible channelled Rush as much as it did Magazine.

This Is My Truth, however, was different. The entire album, from its hit singles If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next and You Stole The Sun From My Heart (‘I’ve got to stop smiling, it gives the wrong impression/I love you all the same’) to tracks like Born A Girl and Black Dog On My Shoulder, was the first to match the sound with the lyrical content. Previously the Manic Street Preachers had been negative punks and anthem-rocking depressive­s, but now the music and the words were both melancholy. This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours is, to quote the opening line of The Good Soldier, “the saddest story ever told”.

Not that this is a dull record. Far from it; it’s often an eerie record, with the strange, tranquilis­ed float of If You Tolerate This matched perfectly by its blank, unsettling video of faceless humans. It’s also the most adventurou­s Manics album sonically – the Valium trance of The Everlastin­g is a million miles from the razor punk of Motown Junk or the sinister wooziness of S.Y.M.M. All of this is multiplied on the extra discs here with the addition of remixes by Stereolab, Mogwai, Cornelius and Massive Attack (none of whom were entirely party banger friendly), as well as the usual collection of B-sides, and a fascinatin­g collection of demos and rehearsal takes which indicate that the songs were run through with the new Manics sound even before the band went into the studio to begin recording.

Sometimes criticised as a weaker sister to the imperial Everything Must Go, This Is My Truth was a new direction for the Manic Street Preachers. it has stood time’s ravages well, both as an indicator of the band’s capacity for change and as a great album in its own right.

A new direction and a great Manics record.

David Quantick

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