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Manic Street Preachers- Gold against the Soul

Updated on January 27, 2013

Gold against the Soul was the much awaited second album by Welsh rock quartet The Manic Street Preachers. It was the follow up to the 1992 18 track debut album Generation Terrorists. Gold against the Soul moves on from the raw angst of previous Manics offerings. The 1993 release was a lot more polished piece of work. There was a definite 1970`s stadium rock feel coming from the band and Rock and Roll excess was definitely hinted at throughout the Album. Some fans critique this album for been too corporate and over produced, personally I like this album as it shows a lot of growth musically for the band. I think this album reflects were the band where after the debut album did not sell the 20,000,000 copies that they had originally stated.

Manic Street Preacher Circa 1993(l-r Moore,Edwards,Wire and Bradfield )
Manic Street Preacher Circa 1993(l-r Moore,Edwards,Wire and Bradfield )

Track Listing

Gold against the soul.

  1. Sleepflower
  2. From Despair to Where
  3. La Tristessa Durera
  4. Yourself
  5. Life Becoming a Landslide
  6. Drug Drug Druggy
  7. Roses in the Hospital
  8. Nostalgic Pushead
  9. Symphony of Tourette
  10. Gold Against the Soul

The album starts off with "Sleepflower" the guitar riff from James Dean Bradfield is infectious from the start and the music is matched perfectly to the lyric. I interpret this song as about Richey Edwards battle against Insomnia and the mental distress that Richey suffered due to the condition. The second track on the album is " From Despair to Where" and it is one of my favourite Manics tracks of all time. The guitar heavy song really conveys the desperation people generally feel at some stage of their life. This was released as a single from the album and I have nothing but good things to say about it. The third track is "La Tristesse durera" scream to a sigh which is again another song which builds itself up from the quiet. The song attacks the folly of fashion and is a damming attack on soldiers been left to rot after they are no longer useful they have to sell all they have just to survive. La Trisstesse Durea was released as a single from this album and has a great video which is quite sepia looking in places.

Manic Street Preachers 1990
Manic Street Preachers 1990

Band Line up

Vocals and Guitar - James Dean Bradfield

Rhythum Guitar - Richey Edwards

Bass Guitar - Nicky Wire

Drums - Sean Moore

Other Manic Street Preacher Albums

Track 4 " Yourself" explores the awkwardness of self loathing. Lyrically very dark but the music has an element of underdog hope to it. Contains the line "fresh clothes do your best, look in the mirror go on" The song sounds very American in its construction and would not have looked out of place on a Guns and Roses album. The next song " Life becoming a Landslide" has a Spanish guitar feel to it from the start, this is replaced by a powerful rhythm kicking in after the first verse. To me the song is emphasising with young mothers and Richey's own awkwardness with women. Stand out lyric from this song " My view of life comes from, a childhood glimpse of pornography". This was also released as a single from the Album. Track 6 "Drug Drug Druggy" is a song which is very US Alternative Rock sounding with heavy lead guitar work. The song is an attack on modern life, everything we feel is numbed by the course of life and the chemicals we take.

"Roses in the Hospital" was also released as a single and is quite different to a normal Manic Street Preachers track. The song opens with keyboard drums and kicks into a 1970`s glam rock meets despair. I definitely hear this song and think it sounds Bowiesque. The song has a real feeling of been trapped and unable to escape a situatioin. This song in my eyes is the most polished track on the album. Track 8 "Nostalgic Pushead" opens with percussion in the form of a frying pan and pool ball been hit together. The song is mainly an attack on the excessess of the rich west and its slave like devotion to consumerism. Musically their are a lot of guitar lines and James recorded all of them. It is a song i have yet to hear been played live as it is overdubbed with guitar lines. Lyrically it is as strong as anything on the album and it is a powerful track. Track 9 "Syphony of Tourette" is in part about dealing with tourettes and other behavioural problems. I believe Richey wrote the lyrics after watching a documentary. This is my least favourite track on the album. There is another bit of Guns and Roses guitar work in the track but in my opinion its not that good. The last track on the album is " Gold against the Soul" This song is total guitar heaven and would not look out of place on their debut album, If you listen to this track with headphones you will pick up two distinct guitar lines which compliment each other perfectly. The track is not all out Rock and Roll excess but the Lyrics make this song great " Needs Thai labour to clean his home". This song is about selling out, either their own selling out or people who aspire to be higher class and will do it by any means neccessary.

Hand on heart I am a big fan of this band and I do love this album, music is linked to your mood and the honesty and passion of these tracks really do speak volumes to me. The album is now 17 years old and it will never be classed by the majority of people as a modern classic. But I do recommend you give it a listen, you may discover a few songs which are little gems.


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