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4.7 out of 5 stars46
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 7 July 1999
A great book in itself from a pure history point of view, i have been a fan of the maincs since the holy bible era and have always been keen to pick up info about their early life as a band. Price gives a good account of the early days and betrays - to me at least - a love of those days as opposed to what the band have subsequently become. He appears to gloss over the more recent events of the band which to my mind suggests that he is not as keen on the three piece manics as he was on the full set. This possibly related to his severe crush on richey, who he feels is an extremely beautiful person. This detracts from the book to a certain degree but not so great that it effects it's enjoyment, as long as you take it as the views of someone who was there rather than an objective narrative of the band. the chapters follow well and the insights into the individual memebers of the band are extremely interesting - to me at least more so than the history chapters, as to a certain degree most people are aware of these anyway. Price gives the impression that he is very close to the manics, it would be interesting to see how close to them they thought he was? The irony of the book is that the content suggests that the author could never be as close as he implies because they are a very closed group, however if he was not as close to them as implied how could there be so much insight unless it was invented hmmmm
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on 13 February 2003
My dear friend Fiona from Newcastle turned me on to the Manics in 1992 and their first San Francisco show that year (in the wake of the L.A. riots) remains one of the most powerful I've seen. How fitting, then, that Fiona should send me this book in my Christmas package. Simon Price makes a compelling story even more so with his riveting writing style, lust for detail, insightful analysis, and insider's view. He whisks the reader from Blackwood bedrooms to the world stage and misses nothing along the way, thank God. Who better to even attempt to take on such a task than Price, a gifted writer whose love for the band imbues the story but who can also provide objectivity and constructive criticism?
Buy this book if you're mad on the Manics and just try to put it down. Buy this book if you're a casual fan or have never heard of them and see what you've been missing.
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on 27 December 2003
I love this book,if you wanna know anything about the manics this book more or less tell's you,from where they hung around as kid's 'peny fan pond' to the dissapearence of one of the worlds best unknown poets mr 'richard edwards'
It mad me cry,it made me laugh,and got me thinking alot,The manics have to have one of the best told stories in rock music,Its just so intresting to know what these 4 inteligent lad's done as boys here in blackwood,and how the managed to survive here,and grow up to become one of the most meaningful bands to grace this earth.
Some good interview's in this book also,and many fact's about the band that i didnt know,It's also good how the writer 'SIMON PRICE' has actually seen the band many times,and remembers his experience's with the band and seeing them live.
A must buy for manics fans! and people who wanna know more about them,i'd say this is deffinatly the book to buy first!
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on 3 June 1999
i'm a huge manics fan, and have been for about 10 years. i was really eager to read this book as Price is fairly close to the band. it had lots of interesting (funny) little anecdotes in it, as well as a detailed version of the band's somewhat rocky history. there were a few factual mistakes in the book, which were even pointed out (although not specifically) by Nicky Wire, but as he said "this is your (price's) truth and that's cool", which just about sums it up. the thing about the manics is that no one can have cast iron views of them, they are complex and contradictory, and therefore you can never be entirely accurate of them. it's good to read a book about them which is just the author's personal views - the way he sees them and their history, rather than just a barrage of facts. i really enjoyed reading it, although if you're not a fan, it may be a bit much!
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on 3 June 1999
I thought I'd left rock biogs behind me with my teens, so it is a testament to the impact the Manics have made on my life that I could barely wait to read this. Price has achieved a fine balance between the avid zeal of a long-time fan and the fastidious reportage of a committed biographer, using his personal conversations/interviews and nostalgic throw-backs to excellent, and often humourous, effect.
Price is fairly even-handed with his handling of the four Manics, quite a task considering the near-mythological status of Richey Edwards (his complex persona, on/over-the-edge lyrics, and tragic disappearance). I think he could have balanced the insight into the Wire/Edwards lyrics with more about the evolution of Moore/Bradfield's music (they have worked through most of the rock genre, after all). Also, although I felt that Price was conscious not to go over-board with his idolisation of Richey (and he clearly does idloise him - he recounts how he was virtually a nervous wreck when interviewing him in 1994), he can't help knocking Nicky's inclination to "domestic terrorism" and less aggressive lyrical style (in the years since Richey's disappearance). Nicky's confronting his demons (My Little Empire, Born A Girl) is not so very far away from Richey's (Yes, 4st 7lb), it's just that the subject matter is less harrowing. He still often deals with controversial subjects, and if he isn't always explicit enough for some people in his outrage - Price utterly slates the closing track of This Is My Truth..., S.Y.M.M. (about the Hillsborough tragedy) - I would argue that sometimes less is more. (Simon, remember: "Do not listen to what I say/Just listen to what I can keep silent".) At the end of the day, we are all older (and wiser ?) and it's unfair to pillory Nicky for being honest about his relationship with his Dysons and Sky Sports - he still has so much to say, and more people than ever want to hear it. Price's nostalgia for the early days of 1991/2 does at times seems to colour the way he views their more recent development - does he really expect the Manics to as glamourous, venomous and explosive as they were back then? Their music continues to evolve, and they continue to surprise us, but you can't turn back the clock.
So there are some mistakes and imbalances (it would be interesting to hear what the Manics themselves think of it), but they are few and far between. I've only given it 4 stars because I can't give it 4½! This a thoroughly researched, intelligent, sensitive portrait of this most inspiring of bands, and a gripping read. Definitive.
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on 13 January 2000
Having bought this book for myself when I didn't have a lot of time to read it may have been a mistake. I found it absolutely impossible to put down. The story of the Manic Street Preachers is certainly a very interesting one, and I feel that anyone who has even a passing interest in the band should take a look at this book. A book written by a very talented author who has personal experiences with the band to draw on, which is written in such a way as to keep you thinking "I'll just read one more page". If only every book I'd read had been as good as this one.
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on 14 February 2002
'Everything' is an excellently worded journey through the complete history of the manics.Almost everything you could dream to know is written here in this book and practically every gig and date is explored in immense detail.However much of this information is widely know by the average fan but keeps your attention by giving you just an extra bit of knowledge on the subject.The book is definitely reccomended and has that spark that just urges you to keep reading.To conclude,brilliant read!
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on 1 October 2004
With all the manics books avaliable to buy, this one has to be the most honestly written and acurate of them all, its the kind of book that once you pick up to read, your hooked and cant put it down! Nicky Wire once said this book is so close to the truth, he finds it hard to read it all without getting too emotional. Not only just a good read but has pictures of the band home and away.
A must have for all die hard manics fans!
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on 11 March 2007
If you have to own just one book on MSP, this is the one.

An updated version will be appreciated, but MSP after The Holy Bible are something else, so ...

It is a book with a point of view, but it is a well written and well searched book. Not always a happy one, that's life.

Listen the records, read the book, make up your mind.
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on 26 December 1999
From someone who clearly loves them, especially Richey, a great account of their interesting lives. Some biographies can become dull after a few pages, but Price is witty and bitchy and has obviously done his homework on the band! A must for anyone who loves MSP as much as this guy (as well as myself) does.
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