it is quite the universal truth, acknowledge both on this planet and on worlds yet to be discovered that lanky Manic Street Preachers bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire is a celebrated champion of making statements long before he has paused to think them through. he has a superb, if not outstanding, track record for saying things as an absolute matter only to, look you see, go against word with his action.
examples of this? far too many for here. of relevance, though, is his claim that "singles are dead" from a few years ago, and his declaration that the band would never, ever release another single.
what's that picture, possibly appearing upside down on your side of the screen, of? oh, nothing really, it's just the new single off of the Manic Street Preachers, released a discrete or if you like discreet few years after Mr Wire had declared there would be no more singles from the band.
in defence of Wire, though, i would imagine that he, like many others, would have thought that Wales would qualify for a major football tournament, or that the Manic Street Preachers would be invited to write the seemingly obligatory "official song" for the side. but, all of that happened, and so we have Together Stronger (C'mon Wales) as a new, unexpected and quite possibly actually last ever single of the band.
is it any good? objectively no, subjectively yes. a brief sample in camcorder mode before i clarify? sure, why not......
objectively it's not so much the worst song i've ever heard the Manics do (yep, worse than Autumnsong), it's the worst song i've ever heard. and i've heard an album by Europe which did not even have anything as good as The Final Countdown on it. musically it has all the nuance, charisma, style and charm of a most decidedly bad novelty Christmas record, whilst lyrically it swaps between cringes and the incoherent.
subjectively it's rather good. yeah, sure, Nicky Wire has rammed some history into the song, as is his way, but does not the celebrated Three Lions off of England do the same? there's also a beautiful and spot on pause to remember the great Gary Speed. and there's a smart bit where they do the refrain (or whatever you call it) off of Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You, a staple of their live set.
why, other than being Welsh, are the Manic Street Preachers doing a football song? i mean, few bands have ever been so proudly Welsh or worn their Welsh heart on their sleeve, yet weirdly they've not really ever been the flag waving brigade type. i imagine they did it partially as they were asked, slightly out of some form of contractual obligation, but mostly as Tom "bloody" Jones didn't do it.
Tom "bloody" Jones would, of course, not do a football song. right now, sadly, he is taking time out after a true tragedy has affected his life. if times were happier - and may happy times come for Tom soon - he still wouldn't do it. if you were to ask Tom "bloody" Jones to do a "sport song" for Wales, he would do it for the rugby, look you see. if you asked him to do one for football, he would deny that the Welsh played a game for "jessies and bloody great big girls", then rugby tackle you and punch you in the face, i would imagine.
for what reason is it i have bought this? the collector in me. the novelty factor of it being a Manic Street Preachers single that would "never, ever" exist again. actually i don't know, i just do this kind of purchase on autopilot and deal with it later.
yes, sure, as you can see, it's signed by the band, and Nicky Wire has allowed the band to use one of his smart shiny silver gel pens to sign it with. but, at the risk of sounding flippant, i've got a stack of signed singles off the band already. they are, and long may they be, really good with us humble fans.
when i heard the song after i had commissioned Sony to deduct coins of money off of me for the record i kind of hoped that the 2nd track, or if you like b-side, would at least be decent. it was given, after all, as a mix of Design For Life, so how bad could it be?
not a bad remix at all, really, just one which at first is completely devoid of all imagination and creativity, and then later stretches to have at least enough imagination to throw a sort of quasi-80s drum beat over it.
am i actually supporting Wales in Europa 2016, the tournament what they are in and what this song ostensibly celebrated? well, wow, wouldn't it be something if Wales won it? the European cup has a record for surprises - Denmark 92, Greece 04, Germany 96. but, at heart, no, i want England to win, thanks.
if you wish to make a purchase of the shiny signed copy, like as i have, you can click here and get it, as they still seem to have some copies penned in stock. if you just want a regular unsigned CD of it everywhere that still sells CDs seems to have it for £3.99, whereas the song along can be bought as a download off of iTunes and what have you.
i am left, then, to hope that this song does some good in inspiring the Wales on to greatness. it would also be true to say i am looking forward to the next thing that Nicky Wire says will never ever happen, if only so that i may count down the hours and days until it does.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!