Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22

Here's a mystery for you: what happened to Richey Edwards? The Manic Street Preachers emerged in the 90's, with the requisite mix of smarts and swagger that Britpop bands were supposed to have (think Oasis, not Coldplay); their public announced gameplan was to make an album that was bigger than Appetite For Destruction, then break-up. Edwards played second guitar, but his primary contribution was lyrics, the kind of politicized, pre-emo lyrics that Lit majors (and record critics) eat up.
In 1995, he went for a drive; his car was found abandoned, two weeks later. Although there have been a few sightings reported since then, authorities reported him 'presumed dead' in 2008. Their 2009 album, Journal for Plague Lovers, consisted of unfinished Richey Edwards writings.
Critics have noted that, like Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, Richey Edwards' absence galvanized and refocused the Manic Street Preachers, resulting in their most critically acclaimed and commerically successful work. Their first album after Edwards' disappearance, Everything Must Go, began their run as global rock stars (although US success has still eluded them,) to the point that they're getting lifetime achievement awards in the British press. Meanwhile, they continue to pay tribute to Edwards on tour and on record.
Here's a fanvid for the title track of this year's "Journal For Plague Lovers". The editor used clips from the Joel Schumacher film "The Number 23", which is more appropriate, the more I think about it...

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