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