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Journal for Plague Lovers [Special Edition]

Manic Street Preachers Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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James Dean Bradfield on Postcards from a Young Man


“The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is—it must be something you cannot possibly do.” (Henry Moore)

Most bands don’t get to their tenth album. Mercifully. By then, the youthful brio, the wit, the desire, ... Read more in Amazon's Manic Street Preachers Store

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Journal for Plague Lovers + Postcards from a Young Man + Know Your Enemy
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 May 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Special Edition
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B0020HRI8S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,335 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Peeled Apples
2. Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
3. Me And Stephen Hawking
4. This Joke Sport Severed
5. Journal For Plague Lovers
6. She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach
7. Facing Page: Top Left
8. Marlon J.D.
9. Doors Closing Slowly
10. All Is Vanity
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Peeled Apples (original demo)
2. Jackie Collins Existential Question Time (original demo)
3. Me And Stephen Hawking (original demo)
4. This Joke Sport Severed (original demo)
5. Journal For Plague Lovers (original demo)
6. She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach (original demo)
7. Facing Page: Top Left (original demo)
8. Marlon J.D. (original demo)
9. Doors Closing Slowly (original demo)
10. All Is Vanity (original demo)
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Never shy of talking history, Manic Street Preachers have tackled everything from fellow Welshman Dylan Thomas to World War Two concentration camps in their two-decade history. Journal For Plague Lovers, however, sees the Manics tackling a past even closer to home: their own. With a sleeve painted by artist Jenny Saville and words culled from the notebooks of Richey Edwards, the band’s former lyricist and guitarist who apparently disappeared into the fog back in 1995, Journal For Plague Lovers consciously harks back to the group’s excellently caustic 1994 album The Holy Bible. Journal For Plague Lovers is a softer album than that, one that perhaps imagines The Holy Bible’s razor edges through a sepia filter. But a recording job by Steve Albini leaves songs like "Peeled Apples" and "She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach" feeling satisfyingly raw and there remains something undeniably thrilling about the pairing of James Dean Bradfield’s vocal--gruff, passionate--and the strange, cryptic imagery conjured up by Edwards’ lyrics: "This beauty a dipping neophobia", he choruses, soulfully on "Facing Page: Top Left", and you remember what a strange, special band the Manics can be when they put their minds to it. ––Louis Pattison

Product Description

MANIC STREET PREACHERS Journal For Plague Lovers (2009 UK limited edition 2-CD album set featuring brilliant and intelligent lyrics written by Richey before his disappearance with a stunning use of language and topics including The Grande Odalisque by Ingres Marlon Brando Giant Haystacks celebrity consumerism and dysmorphia which all reiterate the genius and intellect of Richard James Edwards. Complete with a Bonus CD containing the original demos for the entire album.Presented in a hardback digibook-style package featuring sleeve artwork by Jenny Saville plus 36-page booklet featuring Richeys original lyrics and artwork)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It seems so long ago, 19 years ago, half my life ago, I held a copy of "Motown Junk" in my hand. In the days when vinyl held rackspace and CD's were new and shiny wonders, no internet, and four
television channels. A lifetime ago, and yet, still clearly in my mind. I had no idea what the Manics were singing then, but it felt true : the inarticulate rage of the heart and the literate fury of the soul in three minutes, raging against the placebo of dumb love songs to keep a population unquestioningly servile. The sound of a literate, questioning yoof in the wreckage of Fatcha's Britain.

Fourteen years after the Manics Year Zero - the disappearance of their guitarist and barometer Richey Edwards - their latest album "Journal For Plague Lovers" is an odd, strange beast. Taking the final batch of prose penned by Edwards in the final moments of his public life, the Manics have created a sort-of sequel to their epochal "Holy Bible". Where this differs from that is simple : "The Holy Bible" was a record of furious discipline in the face of imminent collapse, a project seemingly created to focus the mind away from the cliff edge. "Journal For Plague Lovers" is altogether less compelling, more the sound of a psyche unravelling in dense words that are some kind of jigsaw, a puzzle, an enigma that oeprates on so many levels it's more a mass musical literary achievement than anything as simple as an album.

All this relies on the music being stunning. And it is... and it isn't. There's nothing here that grabs the listener by the scruff of the neck and demands attention NOW. Not in the way that "Faster" or even "A Design For Life" commanded the listener to stop whatever they were doing and experience the roar of the sound.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best The Manics Ever Made 30 April 2009
Format:Audio CD
I never thought I'd see the day when the Manics made a better opening track than 'Sleepflower'. Straight away 'Peeled Apples' sucks me in - I wanted to know what the next note and word was going to be. Now having heard the song several times the track still has the same effect on me.

When the first track manages to incapsulate you I suppose you have to wonder;- how the next will compare... 'Jackie Collins Existential Question Time' is in many ways a classic Manic Street Preachers song. It's as if 'Autumn Song' gave birth. The two songs sound so similar (particularly the intro's). It's also as beautiful as 'Autumn Song'. The (what I beleive will be) infamous line "Oh mommy what's a Sex Pistol" seems to cling to my memory (as others who have found me singing the line many times will confirm). Every Album from the Manics have had an element of pop and 'Journal For Plague Lovers' is no different in that respect.

'Me And Stephen Hawking' is a song with some very strange lyrics (there is no getting away from that), but musically it's rather different. Somehow the track is very epic but also pretty slow and calm (the chorus will prove this). 'This Joke Sport Severed'. A beautiful song played acoustic with beautiful strings. Although if you prefer songs with more volume I'm sure the second half will be more to your liking.

With most people expecting a dark album reminiscent of 'The Holy Bible', this record so far makes it difficult for me to see where people's expectations came from... Until I read and hear 'She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach'. Initially it seems as if you're in for a medium paced song but before you know it the chords speed up and they launch into the chorus, then James Dean Bradfield does what he's know best for... Magnificent singing.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I am a fan of the manics both old and new - but quite frankly, this is their best album since The Holy Bible and is set a world apart from the commercialistic 'Send Away The Tigers' and ranks in their top three albums of all time, and that is not easy to do.

It is easy to see where Richey Edward's influence comes in and the whole album is mesmerising from start to finish - a welcome return to the old Manics !
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking 2 Jun 2009
Format:Audio CD
i've been a manics fan for a long time! i've loved their old stuff (the rawness, the pain and anger) and i've enjoyed the new (the beauty and the calm). like so many people, i found my voice with the manics, i found something to believe, something that opened doors of thinking to me.
with this album, i find a wonderful balance between the two stages of the band. they really do richy justice with this album, the music fits his lyrics perfectly. what's more, this is a true album, from start to finish, each track as important as the last (i don't know how many times i've listened to it over and over again). the type of album so sorely missed nowadays with individual downloadable tracks.

this is a great album for the fans old and new and a fantastic introduction for the novice. buy this album, cancel your plans, read the sleeve notes and listen to it over and over again...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Journal For Plague Lovers 8 May 2009
By Steve
Format:Audio CD
After the success of Send Away The Tigers, the Manics have seen fit to finally put some of missing lyricist Richey Edwards words to song once more, and the album Journal for Plague Lovers is the result. Richey was well known for "art directing" the bands musical direction, and with suggestions from Nicky that this could be a Holy Bible 2 type record, anticipation has been fierce. This could be especially true for those who believed the Manics were a spent force as soon as Richey left the stage at the Astoria in 1994.

Musically the record could sit very snugly in 1995. While it does not ever really hold the ferocity and screaming anguish of the Holy Bible, it never becomes anthemic like Everything Must Go. In respect of this, it could very well be considered the follow up the Holy Bible and offers a tantalising glimpse of how the band might have gone if Richey had stayed with them.

At times, such as the rollicking ending to Jackie Collins Existential Question Time, and the whole of Bag Lady (hidden track - more on this later) you could be forgiven for imagining it was 1994 all over again - James' rasp sounding like it was recorded in a tiny cupboard, molten guitars and driving rhythm sections are all present and correct. Peeled Apples is everything an opening song should be from the band who generally succeed in the art. The thunderous bass and massive drum sound only heighten expectations, and this time we get everything a Manics album should be.

The poppier moments which recall Send Away the Tigers and Everything Must Go, such as Marlon J.D. don't seem out of place either. There's not just rock on offer either, songs such as Facing Page: Top Left, a haunting, beautiful acoustic track complete with harp part.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost
The often overlooked Manic Street Preachers album due to its lack of single releases but it is an absolute melancholic beauty.
Published 16 months ago by Paul Ashby
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent return to Form
The simplicity of less is more has enhanced this album from a musical point of view. The similarities with the Holy Bible are obvious to any fan... Read more
Published on 1 July 2009 by Daniel Mccarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it
Superb, many calling it a return to form, but is just another excellent album from the Manics, and the last track does make the hairs stand on end.
Published on 1 July 2009 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars This is my truth.......
Journal for Plague Lovers

I brought this album of the back of MSP documentary and through they may have gone back to their roots and picked up where Richy left off,... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2009 by Mr B
5.0 out of 5 stars Manic Street Preachers-Journal for Plague Lovers
Another great album by the Manics showing that despite the years they still have more integrity and passion for making music than most bands today.
Published on 18 Jun 2009 by Graham Nevill
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull
It's boring, it's unpolished, and it ends with a song sung so badly that Ringo Star will feel vindicated. Avoid.
Published on 14 Jun 2009 by Kris
5.0 out of 5 stars All I had hoped for and more...
The Manics have been my favourite band for 15 years, but I will admit I was disappointed with 'Know Your Enemy' and 'Lifeblood', but was reassured with 'Send Away The Tigers'. Read more
Published on 21 May 2009 by Carla Blalock
5.0 out of 5 stars Not their best, but their best in a decade ...
Well, what a surprise this was!

I'd steadily got used to the Manics becoming steadily less interesting with age (as I guess we all do) but this was a revelation. Read more
Published on 20 May 2009 by A. D. R. MARKS
2.0 out of 5 stars Are we listening to the same album?!
Oh dear, I've been telling everyone how terrible this is! I knew it wouldn't be 'Pantera meets NIN meets Screamadelica' like Richey wanted (shame! Read more
Published on 20 May 2009 by M. Hewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
Easily the best thing they have done since Everyting must go, and also look at what could have been if there were still 4 of them. Read more
Published on 19 May 2009 by A. Macdonald
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