Lifeblood: 20th Anniversary: Transparent Red Double Vinyl LP
Lifeblood: 20th Anniversary: Transparent Red Double Vinyl LP
Manic Street Preachers

Lifeblood: 20th Anniversary: Transparent Red Double Vinyl LP

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Label: Sony
Release Date: 12th April

This record came out 20 years ago (innit) back in 2004 when vinyl was scarcely pressed and so a couple of decades later this under-celebrated gem in the Manics catalogue now goes for £££. Well you can click right off discogs now cos this puppies back on comparatively reasonably priced vinyl.

Manic Street Preachers have confirmed the release of a 20th Anniversary Edition of their seventh studio album ‘Lifeblood’ on 12th April 2024 for Sony Records.  As with other Manics re-issues, the new releases feature many remastered tracks, b-sides, demos and outtakes, new liner notes by John Harris and unseen pictures by Mitch Ikeda.  Available on CD, 3 CD bookset, double vinyl, double coloured vinyl, limited artwork prints and digital – two brand new remixes of the lead track ‘1985’ by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and sometime collaborator Welsh artist Gwenno appear on the cd and digital versions.   As previously announced, the band will embark on a co-headlining tour with Suede in the summer (dates below).

Described by Nicky Wire as “our most estranged album of all” the record came at a time when the band were reflecting on what they had become and what they could be.  The band looked to the music they had liked when they were young for inspiration, New Order circa ‘Low Life’, Prefab Sprout ‘Steve McQueen’, Thomas Dolby ‘The Flat Earth’, early Simple Minds, and the kind of cerebral electronic pop that dominated the early-to-mid 1980s. Wire said at the time "The main lyrical themes are death and solitude and ghosts. Being haunted by history and being haunted by your own past.”  James Dean Bradfield commented “I loved making Lifeblood, because it was interesting. I loved chasing these other versions of what we were trying to do.”

They started work in Cardiff before heading to New York to work with legendary producer Tony Visconti.  Next stop was Ireland with Greg Haver, the producer who had worked on their previous two albums. Finishing touches were brought by Tom Elmhirst (Bowie/ Goldfrapp/Adele), the mix engineer who gave the songs a lustrous sheen and sparkle, which combined their backwards glances with a hint of futurism.  Mojo Magazine described it at the time as “An album that nails its subtle-but-tenacious hooks with dignity and maturity”.

First single ‘The Love of Richard Nixon’ entered the UK charts at No. 2 but the band were unsure about it being the first music from the album.  Nicky Wire explained “It sounds like nothing we’ve ever done. It doesn’t sound like us at all.” The next single ‘Empty Souls’ also debuted at No. 2 and the group finished the year with an arena tour. 

Manics are currently working on their 15th studio album, the follow up to ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ which entered the UK charts at No. 1 on its release in September 2021.  They last performed in the UK last summer when they made critically acclaimed performances at Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals.

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