I have often wondered where we would be without the seventh letter of the alphabet. It wouldn’t be a good state of affairs. It might well be an ood state of affairs though.
Who can say?
But now it’s time to find out which album from the noughties made the cut for ‘G’.
G is for The Great Western
Manic Street Preachers were one of my favourite bands in the 90s. They were consistently one of my favourite bands throughout the last decade too. But during the noughties they fell off my radar for a bit. They released four albums during that period, but the first two, Know Your Enemy and Lifeblood are largely seen as the weakest of their back catalogue. The latter two, Send Away the Tigers and Journal for Plague Lovers were a definite return to form, but neither have made the cut for this year’s A-Z on the basis that there are albums with a stronger nostalgic pull for their respective letters of the alphabet. Which means that there is no place for one my all time favourite bands in this edition of the A-Z challenge.
Fortunately, alongside the aforementioned releases by the group, bassist Nicky Wire and singer James Dean Bradfield both released solo albums. I’m not overly familiar with former, but the latter is a more than credible effort.
Written predominantly on the train journey between Cardiff and London, a journey I completed myself numerous times during that decade, The Great Western holds up well in comparison to the group at their best. Bradfield has such a distinctive voice that it’s easy to mistake this for a Manics’ album, though the lyrics are somewhat less political without Wire’s input. The opening two tracks were the singles, and I’d find it hard to pick a favourite of the two. The one that fared better in the charts was That’s No way To Tell A Lie, so we’ll go with that one to play us out.