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National Treasures: The Complete Singles Double CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Oct. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Double CD
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B005ES3Q9K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,512 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Manic Street Preachers release a brand new track to coincide with the release of this, their complete singles collection album. "This is the Day" is a cover of the 1983 The The track taken from the synth-noir classic album Soul Mining. The band have been fans of the group and their version echoes the original whilst bringing a new dynamic production and their own distinctive sound to the song.
National Treasures features the band’s 37 previous single releases from the last 21 years and 10 studio albums. It’s also the first time since 1992’s "Suicide Is Painless" (Theme from M*A*S*H) that the Manics have released a cover version as a single despite recording and playing live many versions of their favourite tracks over the years.

BBC Review

And so the Manic Street Preachers bid farewell to music-making, "for at least two years" so they claim. But then, anyone who knows how soundbite-savvy bassist/pop provocateur Nicky Wire can be, knows not to believe a word that comes out of his mouth. The band's early mission statement to make one great album and split is now as distant a memory as their wonderfully camp explosion into indie rock; a refreshing alternative to baggy and grunge, all inflammatory slogans, spouting literature and politics in skin-tight jeans, eyeliner and Coke-sculpted hair (they couldn't afford hairspray). As the Welsh act celebrates 25 years together, they find themselves a decidedly un-Manics proposition. They're still going for a start, and seething apocalyptic punk rock and sneering diatribes now sit rather awkwardly alongside mainstream acceptance, stadium sing-alongs and sedate attire.

But then these conflicting elements are what make Manic Street Preachers one of the most gloriously infuriating and subsequently utterly compelling bands around. And it's reflected in their music, their paradox-ridden contrariness captured and collected here chronologically for the first time. So the career-defining vitriol of Faster, You Love Us, Stay Beautiful and Motown Junk and the epic melancholy of Motorcycle Emptiness, Little Baby Nothing, From Despair to Where and La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh) - all must-hears - arrive before the act's most successful anthem-penning period as a trio (A Design for Life, Everything Must Go, Australia, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next), and then lead into the decidedly dodgy-in-places most recent offerings. The Masses Against the Classes, Your Love Alone Is Not Enough, Autumnsong, (It's Not War) Just the End of Love and Postcards From a Young Man provide sonic relief from a clanger-heavy second disc containing such meandering low points as The Everlasting, Empty Souls and the frankly bizarre So Why So Sad.

But such ups and downs are exactly what makes Manic Street Preachers tick. As the ultimate rock'n'roll survivors, they have battled through more than most - the majority of their peers having either given up long ago or are currently to be found embarking on cringe-worthy comebacks. National Treasures is imperfect in places but it's an honest, true and ultimately triumphant musical document of where the Manics have been and what they've achieved; where they've stumbled and where they've soared. In short: an indispensable guide to an iconic band.

--Camilla Pia

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
'So, what do you get on MSPs NATIONAL TREASURES?' I hear you cry.
Well, the standard edition contains 2 CDs, CD 1 (77:27) covers the years up to 1996 from MOTOWN JUNK but excludes the original YOU LOVE US in favour of the re-recorded version, CD 2 (75:24) brings you bang up to date with THIS IS THE DAY as the last track.
The DELUXE VERSION also contains a region 0 DVD that runs a whopping 2 hours and 40 minutes and includes all 38 videos plus the original YOU LOVE US, an alternate AUTUMNSONG with the 2 girls dressed as an angel and devil and a promo for JACKIE COLLINS... which has the current MSP intercut with snippets of Richey mainly from the Astoria '92 show that was used in the SLASH'N'BURN video. The packaging for the DELUXE VERSION is the paperback sized format that the most 2 recent MSP CDs have been available in and contains some beautiful photographs of MSP with and without Richey, the only issue with this packaging is that it tends to mark the CDs, my tip is to take them out and either stick them in a jewel case or burn your own copy.
The songs run in chronological order and for this reason the CD is superior to FOREVER DELAYED which felt pretty slapdash to my ears and if my memory serves me right it contained the radio edit version of MOTORCYCLE EMPTINESS but NATIONAL TREASURES contains the full glorious 6 minute version.
To review the music contained on these CDs seems arbitrary, I mean, if you've got this far in the review and have never heard FASTER or A DESIGN FOR LIFE then I doubt I can convince you that they were better than anything the likes of Oasis or Blur recorded with mere words but if you've got this far in the review and are contemplating buying this, all I can say is buy it as it really is astoundingly good.
Is it the worth the extra fiver for the DVD? I'd say so.
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By Paul Price TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Aug. 2012
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
The songs - every one of them is a worthy 5 stars. Trouble is the sound quality on the MP3 version is DIRE. Each riff, bridge, drum beat and vocal is set at the same flat level. No amount of graphic equalising, amp balancing or headphone swapping fixes it. Have even tried all the music playing apps available and still no difference. So gonna have to get the original CDs which must make a vast difference right? It has to be a problem with certain record companies as I have a vast MP3 collection and the sound quality can differ greatly from being completely blown away by the sound quality - First Aid Kits 2 albums come to mind, to being absolutely disgusted towards Sony in this instance.
Back to the Manics - this has to be the most perfect introduction to a band that has ever been compiled. I mean if your not investigating their entire back catalogue with a fine tooth comb after listening to these tracks then your passion for music is somewhat tepid at best. Intellectual without pretension. Radio friendly without selling out. Yet lacking the success - especially stateside that they so richly deserve. But then its not something they have ever craved. Quite happy with their 205,000 Facebook fans as opposed to Guns n Roses 17 million. "We don't want your fking love".
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By Andy Sweeney TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Dec. 2011
Format: Audio CD
These two CDs contain the complete singles from the Manic Street Preachers' twenty-five year musical career and it appears that most people tend to either love, hate or not know the band. Quite honestly, in my opinion there aren't many artists who have produced finer music over the same period and, although not everything they have released has been uniformly excellent, their high points - and there are many - are enough to raise hairs on necks, send shivers down spines and make fists joyously punch the air. From tender ballads to anthems of alienation or political/social rage, the writing of Bradfield, Edwards and Wire is head and shoulders above the general homogenous blandness which passes as popular music these days. As musicians, they're an incredibly tight group, and Bradfield is an incredible individual talent, with a powerful and yet beautiful voice and a superb musical ability, both in songwriting and performing - he is perhaps the most underrated guitarist around.

I was a little late in discovering the Manics, compared to some fans. My first album of theirs was 1994's The Holy Bible (represented here by "Faster", "She Is Suffering" and "Revol") which is an absolutely stunning piece of work and still remains their finest collection of songs, in my opinion. Dark, intelligent, powerful and magnificent, it was therefore a little bit of a shock to the system when Richie Edwards went missing and the band released "Everything Must Go" with the utterly brilliant lead single "A Design For Life", followed by equally strong singles, "Everything Must Go", "Kevin Carter" and "Australia". It could be said that the best tracks on that album weren't even singles.
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Format: Audio CD
I already own all the music on these discs but bought it because the Generation Terrorists songs have needed remastering for years. They sound amazing here - you can hear Nicky's bass at the start of Stay Beautiful for the first time ever!

All the tracks sound fresh presumably because they've been remastered with i pod use in mind which Forever Delayed presumably wasn't.

Brilliantly all the tracks are also the full length album versions - this benefits The Everlasting and Motorcycle Emptiness in particular.

I'm of the opinion that the last three Manics albums are as good as the first three and both discs here are perfect in my eyes/ears.
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