This week we are bringing our exploration of the Manic Street Preachers’ seminal 1998 album ‘This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours’ to a close. Not because we’ve run out of things to say, but because this Friday sees the release of the long-awaited, much-anticipated new album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, titled Bauhaus Staircase.
So, there’s every chance we’ll be crowing on about that next week if the album is as good as the teaser singles released so far.
After that, we’re currently thinking of going back two years in the Manic Street Preachers discography, to the 1996 album Everything Must Go.
The final track on This Is My Truth, titled S.Y.M.M, stands for South Yorkshire Mass Murderer. It simply asks those in South Yorkshire Police at the time of the Hillsborough disaster. ‘how can you sleep at night?’.
It’s a murky, crunchy track and while not the most standout on the album, it brings the musical journey of an album to a tonal close.
S.Y.M.M. was written by Nicky Wire after watching the 1996 Jimmy McGovern written TV movie about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. It starred Christopher Eccleston, later of the Doctor Who parish, as Trevor Hicks, one of those who suffered loss during the tragic scenes and played an invaluable part in the long quest for the truth.
Obviously, what we know now about the events wasn’t how it was portrayed in the aftermath, and while the public inquiry helped with bringing a sense of justice to those who campaigned for it, in 1998, to write a song effectively accusing South Yorkshire Police of murder could be considered controversial in itself.
The theme of Liverpool would later resurface in 2018, on a track called Liverpool Revisited, on the album Resistance is Futile. This particular track details Wire’s emotions thinking about the battle for truth regarding the Hillsborough disaster while walking around the city. As he notes: “As I wake to a sunset, the light dances on the Mersey. And I think of the 96 as the tears fall down on me. There is courage, there is pride, you can see it in your eyes. Fight for justice, fight for life, there are angels in these skies.”
As we bring this particular musical journey to an end, and obviously, we encourage you to enjoy the album in its entirety, here are five of our favourite tracks if you’re seeking a sample to tempt you into its world. Our recommendations are: If you tolerate this, then your children will be next, Be natural, the everlasting, ready for drowning, tsunami.
Don’t forget – you can hear a variety of great radio programmes on NCB Radio, with live shows often broadcast on evenings and weekends, with a non-stop mix of music around those shows. Visit www.ncbradio.co.uk to find something you like or drop in by asking your smart speaker to play NCB Radio.