Nicky Wire tells us about the Manics’ ‘Gold Against The Soul’ reissue: “It’s a strange and curious record”
Manic Street Preachers have revealed details of the reissue of their 1993 album ‘Gold Against The Soul’. Check out the tracklist below along with part one of our interview with bassist Nicky Wire.
‘Gold Against The Soul’ was the band’s follow-up to their 1992 debut album ‘Generation Terrorists’ and contained the hit singles ‘From Despair To Where’, ‘Roses In The Hospital’, ‘La Tristesse Durera’ and ‘Life Becoming A Landslide’.
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In an archive A&E blog feature, NME wrote that the group’s second record “sticks out for lovers and haters alike as a point of contention” but “as an adrenalin-pumping rock album” it’s “neither weak, confused nor a black sheep.”
Having teased a re-release of their divisive 1993 album before announcing that the ‘Done & Dusted’ limited edition 12″ of singles from the LP would be coming for Record Store Day, the Welsh rock veterans have now shared full details of the deluxe ‘Gold Against The Soul’ reissue – due to drop on June 12.
“I’ve been tidying my house, going through our archives and moving studios and found a load of stuff that I thought was lost forever,” bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire told NME.
“There’s an amazing batch of demos that are quite revealing – some of them are really confused versions of what ended up on the album. I also found masses of Mitch Ikeda’s photos which have been never been seen as well, which was brilliant.”
Speaking about the legacy of the album, Wire continued: “It’s a strange and curious record. It’s not our greatest record, but it’s worth further investigation. It’s kind of misunderstood and unloved by us. James [Dean Bradfield, frontman], Sean [Moore, drummer] and I aren’t the greatest fans of it, but our fans have a peculiar attachment to it.
“There are some of James’ best guitar solos on there, that’s for sure. The singles are great and it felt like a really classic second album. We went into the studio in this amazing fucking manor for eight weeks. God knows how much it cost. This has really brought back a lot of memories of the four of us being in the studio and playing snooker endlessly.
“James’ room was haunted in the manor and thought that there was something coming in and turning his lights and TV on every night. We didn’t believe him, so we just absolutely took the piss out of him every day.”
The album has often divided opinion among fans and critics due to its decadent glam-rock sound and approach.
“We didn’t know what direction we were going,” Wire told NME. “It felt like we were gorging on a lot of American rock in particular, whereas [seminal 1994 album] ‘The Holy Bible’ was all our British influences and new wave. ‘Gold Against The Soul’ was all Alice In Chains and Red Hot Chili Peppers. I was going through a phase of wanting to be Flea.
“James was a slave to melody at the time. He was going through a Queen phase. I remember our manager at the time Philip Hall saying that he could imagine Freddie Mercury singing ‘La Tristesse Durera’. His voice is so powerful.”
For the deluxe reissue coming in June, Wire promised that fans would enjoy a deep-dive into the treasure trove of B-sides and never-heard-before demos.
“The B-side ‘Comfort Comes’ is definitely the bridge to ‘The Holy Bible’, but interestingly the demo of the title track of ‘Gold Against The Soul’ is very ‘The Holy Bible’,” said Wire. “It’s got some Simple Minds-sampling guitar. When I found that demo and played it to James, he was shocked as well at how it fitted in with our later post-punk ideas.”
He continued: “We also had some amazing mixes by The Chemical Brothers when they were still called The Dust Brothers. Their mix of ‘La Tristessa’ actually became a club hit. How mad does that sound? That all came from James regularly going to The Social where they would DJ. There were a lot of happy accidents at this point.”
Sadly, Wire also told NME that there wouldn’t be an extensive tour to hear the album played in full as they did with past anniversaries for ‘The Holy Bible’, ‘Everything Must Go’ and ‘This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours’ — but the band do have some treats in store for fans this summer.
“We’ve been learning the songs over the last few weeks and we might play some of them at festivals,” Wire told NME. “There won’t be a full ‘Gold Against The Soul’ tour. To be honest, James has got a solo record coming out so it’ll just be some summer shows for us and we’ll try to get a Manics record out for sometime next summer.”
Check back at NME soon for much, much more of our chat with Manic Street Preachers’ Nicky Wire
The ‘Gold Against The Soul’ reissue will be available as a 120-page A4 book featuring unseen images from the bands’ long time photographic collaborator Mitch Ikeda, many personally annotated by Nicky Wire and original typed and handwritten lyrics from the band’s own archive.
It will contain two CD’s featuring the remastered album, previously unreleased demos, b-sides from the era and remixes. There will also be a 180g vinyl version.
The tracklist for the ‘Gold Against The Soul’ reissue is:
1. Sleepflower (Remastered)
2. From Despair To Where (Remastered)
3. La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh) [Remastered]
4. Yourself (Remastered)
5. Life Becoming a Landslide (Remastered)
6. Drug Drug Druggy (Remastered)
7. Roses In The Hospital (Remastered)
8. Nostalgic Pushead (Remastered)
9. Symphony of Tourette (Remastered)
10. Gold Against The Soul (Remastered)
11. Donkeys (Remastered)
12. Comfort Comes (Remastered)
13. Are Mothers Saints (Remastered)
14. Patrick Bateman (Remastered)
15. Hibernation (Remastered)
16. Us Against You (Remastered)
17. Charles Windsor (Remastered)
18. Wrote For Luck (Remastered)
19. What’s My Name (Live) [Remastered]
1. Sleepflower (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
2. From Despair To Where (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
3. La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh) (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
5. Life Becoming a Landslide (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
6. Drug Drug Druggy (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
7. Drug Drug Druggy (Impact Demo) [Remastered]
8. Roses In The Hospital (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
9. Roses In The Hospital (Impact Demo) [Remastered]
10. Nostalgic Pushead (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
11. Symphony of Tourette (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
12. Gold Against The Soul (House in the Woods Demo) [Remastered]
13. Roses In The Hospital (OG Psychovocal Remix) [Remastered]
14. Roses In The Hospital (51 Funk Salute) [Remastered]
15. La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh) (Chemical Brothers Vocal Remix)
16. Roses In The Hospital (Filet O Gang Remix) [Remastered]
17. Roses In The Hospital (ECG Remix) [Remastered]
As well as gearing up for a summer of stadium shows supporting The Killers and Green Day throughout the UK and Europe, the Manics are currently at work on the follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed ‘Resistance Is Futile‘.