The Greatest Number 1s…Ever! Part 1: The Masses Against The Classes

 

The first number one of the 2000s, and one of the Welsh trio’s very best. Sandwiched betwixt two utter slabs of utter drivel (Westlife’s ‘Seasons In The Sun‘ and Britney Spears’ ‘I Was Born To Make You Happy‘), it is one of the very, very few songs in the modern era to hit the top without the help of a video, hence the live performance up top. This release also marked the start of some interesting chart tactics from the Manics, following this in 2001 they released both ‘Found That Soul‘ and ‘So Why So Sad‘ on the same day, with both tracks charting in the Top 10 in the UK. ‘The Masses Against The Classes‘ was deleted on the day of release, giving it a short 7 week span on the charts.

The track itself is a definite change of style from the album that preceded it, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, and a marker for the kind of track prevalent on the album that followed it, Know Your Enemy. Starting with a quote from Chomsky, ending with one from Camus, featuring a stylised Cuban flag on the cover, and with a title borrowed from Gladstone, everything about this release screams the band’s socialist agenda. Thankfully unlike later efforts like ‘…Richard Nixon‘ it works when hooked up to some of the rawest music they have produced since becoming a trio.

The Manic Street Preachers
The Masses Against The Classes
Number 1: January 22 2000
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Monkey Swallows The Universe – Science

Sarah Nixey – The Black Hit Of Space

Classy cover from one of my favourite vocalists, lifted from her brilliant debut solo LP, Sing, Memory. The track itself is from vintage-era Human League, their second LP, Travelogue to be precise. Track both albums down if you have a chance, Nixey’s effort is particularly satisfying.

Sons & Daughters – Darling

Stomping single-of-the-week this week is Sons & Daughters, with the second release from upcoming LP This Gift, ‘Darling‘. This is far from the Glaswegian quartet’s best, indeed in my review of their December gig I went so far to call it “a misjudged stab at the mainstream”. However, considering the sheer amount of dross littering record shop shelves at the moment, their output as a whole merits all the promotion we in blogland can give them. The track is garnering good reviews pretty much across the board, the world’s greatest record shop, Norman’s, proclaimed it single-of-the-week, and the ever dependable (!) Drownedinsound give it an 8. Let’s hope this cross-board bigging-up helps them off the ground, there is much better to come on the LP. This track has a nice Northern Soul-y beat, a shimmering breakdown, and frankly a pretty naff video.

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Pay Close Attention

 

Was just listening to this on t’stereo and thought that everyone [no-one!] should see the quite fantastic and most amusing video that accompanies this wonderful tune!

British Sea Power – Waving Flags

 

Breathe in that refreshing air: British Sea Power are back! Their third LP, the irritatingly titled Do You Like Rock Music? is released next week and has been preceded by this single. Comparisons to Arcade Fire abound, but the sound is certainly a small extension to the kind of music on show towards the end of Open Season, retaining the open air, almost polar mood present on tracks like ‘True Adventures‘ and ‘Oh Larsen B‘, and for that they are truly unique. A full review of Do You Like Rock Music will follow next week, but suffice to say that so far betwixt this and Sons & Daughters’ This Gift 2008 can claim at least 2 superb LPs before January is out. A great start to the year.

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Kylie Minogue – Confide In Me

Probably no longer La Minogue’s finest pop moment, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head‘ steals the show on that front, but still a mighty fine tune. After having jumped the Stock, Aitken, Waterman ship this was her first release for the dance label Deconstruction, preceding her 5th album, Kylie Minogue.’Confide in Me‘ marked a watershed in Kylie’s career, leaving behind the safe territory of squeaky clean soap-pop and launching herself towards collaborations with Nick Cave and the Manic Street Preachers. This stab at indie-critic darling-dom saw sales [comparitively] plummet, but ultimately produced some of her finest and most memorable tunes. The collaboration with Nick Cave, ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow‘, ‘Breathe‘ and ‘Did It Again‘ are all great mid-90s commercial dance tracks, with ‘Confide in Me‘ being the pick of the bunch. Enjoy.

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