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Know Your Enemy

Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Image of album by Manic Street Preachers


Image of Manic Street Preachers


“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

Visit Amazon's Manic Street Preachers Store
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Know Your Enemy + Lifeblood + Send Away The Tigers
Price For All Three: £14.32

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Dec. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music CMG
  • ASIN: B00005ALJL
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  Mini-Disc  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,637 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Found That Soul (Album Version) 3:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Ocean Spray (Album Version (Explicit)) [Explicit] 4:11£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Intravenous Agnostic (Album Version) 4:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. So Why So Sad (Album Version) 4:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Let Robeson Sing (Album Version) 3:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Year Of Purification (Album Version) 3:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Wattsville Blues (Album Version) 4:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Miss Europa Disco Dancer 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Dead Martyrs (Album Version) 3:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. His Last Painting (Album Version) 3:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. My Guernica (Album Version) 4:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. The Convalescent (Album Version) 5:54£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Royal Correspondent (Album Version) 3:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Epicentre (Album Version) 6:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Baby Elian (Album Version) 3:38£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Freedom Of Speech Won't Feed My Children (Album Version) 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. We Are All Bourgeois Now 4:33£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

MANIC ST PREACHERS Know Your Enemy (Original 2001 UK 16-track CD album featuring the singles So Why So Sad Found That Soul and Ocean Spray complete with the original lyric booklet picture sleeve)


So many people seemed upset when the Manic Street Preachers finally softened and went sugary and stadium-rock, you'd think it was some sort of surprise. But--ironically, for a Manics album--Know Your Enemy should keep everyone happy. It's as big and lush as their recent records, catchy and stirring, but more musically imaginative than anything since the mangled metal of The Holy Bible. Nicky Wire's lyrical pretensions can niggle (he even takes a slurring, atonal lead vocal on the predictably antagonistic "Wattsville Blues", which sounds like the prepubescent Jesus & Mary Chain till James Dean Bradfield's guitar and harmonies bring a shaft of light), but complaining about being irritated by Nicky Wire is like moaning that your cat won't fetch a stick. For the most part, against this fresh, textured pop, his words--alternately nihilistic and impassioned, self-pitying and perverse--come alive again. The real joy is not just that the Manics now want to spice their chromium rock with raspberry-blowing synths, lush and sunny orchestration, and (on "Miss Europa Disco Dancer") Bee Gees rhythms and electro-funk. It's that they're finally confident and accomplished enough to do it well, and with more verve than they've mustered for half a decade. --Taylor Parkes

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Waller on 25 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
It was always going to be difficult to follow up a pair of Brit Award winners and with hindsight, this album was never really destined for commercial success. I wouldn't want to be a Manic Street Preacher though, it seems no matter what direction they choose people will complain - aggressively, about which way they go. I remember on the run up to the album's release and all the talk of a "return to our roots" which would please just about any Manics fan. I don't consider it a return to their roots. There's no Motown Junk or Stay Beautiful on here, the band have matured.

Know Your Enemy has a more political feel than many of the band's other albums. This is documented by songs like Baby Elian, Let Robeson Sing and Freedom Of Speech Won't Feed My Children.

Opener, Found That Soul acts as a fantastic, energetic, rocking start to the album with it's one note keyboard in the background creating a bit of tension in the song.

As an album, we have an eclectic mix of punk rock in Found That Soul, Dead Martyrs and Intravenous Agnostic - we have calm, solemn reflective songs Ocean Spray and Baby Elian and we still have space for a Beach Boys-esque song of miserable lyrics and upbeat music, and a disco song.

This album is a grower and certainly not one that could ever give an accurate representation of who the Manics are, yet it's fresh, it's fun in places and introspective in others. It'll never be a Manics fan's favourite album but it deserves top marks nevertheless.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By kingpin63@hotmail.com on 21 Nov. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Well, I have to say I have been exceptionally dissapointed with the cold reaction to this album. I am not one of these 'The Manics can do no wrong' fans blinded by dellusion. I loved the Manics early albums, they were the perfect mix of angst, intelligence, and darkness, with no small measure of musical ability either. They were without doubt the most exciting British band of the early nineties.
However, after Richey's dissapearance, I feel the Manics lost their way a bit with 'Everything Must Go' and 'This is my Truth', although they still produced a healthy number of quality singles from these albums. The problem was, the albums just didn't really suit the Manics.
However, this album marks a return to form, albeit in a different way from their early days. This can only be expected, there is nothing worse than a band trying to contrive and relive past glories. The Manics appear to have sat down and said 'Sod it, lets do what WE want'. Hence in this album, variety is the spice of life.
The album begins with the 'Motown Junk'esq 'Found that Soul', then moves onto the beautiful 'Ocean Spray' and the power of 'Intravenous Agnostic'. What really hits the listener is the variety of influences pulled in on this album and thta can really only be a good thing. You name it, from the jangly Beach Boys sound on 'So why so sad' to the 70s disco on 'Miss Europa Disco Dancer' to the raw Ramones/Clash vibe on 'Dead Martyrs'. This album also contains the fantastic 'Let Robeson Sing'; a ballad that really does touch the conciousness of the listener.
In summary, this album is for anybody. For fans of the early days like myself, to people who want to buy their first Manic Street Preachers album. Buy it. You will not be dissapointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By artistsarefish@aol.com on 19 Mar. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Well maybe this is the definitive Manics album, I mean the whole of the Manics here...this album seems to be Wire and co panning back over their rollercoaster development and combining elements from all their previous albums along with outside influences to make one of the most intrigueing, at times mesmerising/ at times infuriating records of recent times. Highlights; Well JDB's 1st recorded lyrics on Ocean Spray out-shine a-lot of Wire and even Richies lyrics through their sheer directness, the song is a plea to his mother who died of cancer and the way poignancy is found in such small pleasures as drinking Ocean Spray is truly brilliant. Found That Soul, My Guernica and Intravenous Agnostic bring to mind the disjointed guitar of Six by Seven and show a return to the early Manics live sound. Let Robeson Sing is another great song and though the recorded sample walks along the line between poignancy and kitsch it just stays on the right side! Then theres the disco one! This track, to me, embodies the Manics in their latter years... not afraid to compromise their punk attitudes by writing a glorious pop song, an ABBA-esque disco work-out with a great Huggy Bear funk bassline, with tragic lyrics... then completely shatter it by Wires chanting of "Braindead MotherF~#?ers", this is why we love the Manics...they show us their glitzy pop side then swear all over it, shooting themselves in the foot!! But the highlight to me is the track I hated when i first heard it, the single So Why So Sad... no its not like anything they've ever done before but it is undeniably brilliant, the echo is just right, the repetitive "ba badda ba badda" is mesmerising and yes it is like the Beach Boys!! If your just a casual Manics fan then maybe it wont mean so much to you, but if your a hardcore Richey obsessive I suggest you loosen up a bit and enjoy the re-invigorated, foot-shooting, disco-dancing, Castro-worshiping new, post-millenial Manics!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Gershwin on 10 Feb. 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album was critically panned, which obviously means it's very good. It was hated by the critics because they implied that Nicky Wire was trying too hard with his lyrics. If the critics can't understand his lyrics, that's their fault for not being well-read enough.

This, in my humble opinion, is better than the two albums which preceded it, their best since 'The Holy Bible'.

'Found That Soul' is just over three minutes of aggressive, riff-filled rock, leading nicely into the subtle beauty of 'Ocean Spray', which musically, is split into three very different sections. It was inspired by the death Of James Dean Bradfield's mother, but avoids veering into tribute song territory, instead opting to be a subtly moving, underrated little song.

'Intravenous Agnostic' is probably the exact point in the album where the critics started to grimace. However, they are wrong. Wordy though some of the lyrics are, it is a slab of frenetic, intelligent punk which the Manics had not explored since 'The Holy Bible'. It sounds aggressive and dangerous - like all good music should. It also has an underproduced feel which was more in line with what the Manics were supposed to be, and had abandoned on their previous two, (rather highly-produced) albums.

Anyone who says 'So Why So Sad' is a bad song is lying. Actually, it's one of the Manics most beautiful, featuring an incredibly affecting vocal from James Dean Bradfield. He still has 'it', even on this album. 'Let Robeson Sing', another touching song, is about the singer/actor Paul Robeson, also containing a soundbite - their first since 'The Holy Bible'. The manics were always particularly adept at the use of soundbites - a nod to their love of Public Enemy.
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