This weeks anniversary album is the Manic Street Preachers “Everything Must Go” which turns 20 next month.
Released in 1996, “Everything Must Go” was the Welsh rockers fourth record, and first since the disappearance of the band’s song-writer and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards. To this day Edwards has never been found and is presumed dead.
Musically speaking, this record represented quite a change for the band, who up until that point had played quite dark punk-inspired rock. This album goes down a more anthemic stadium rock route, with big rock ballads and more of a commercial feel.
This change of direction might have had something to do with the band trying to fit in with the very popular Britpop movement of the time.
Although in terms of guitar music, this record was quite different from Britpop, taking more of an influence from both hard rock and glam rock.
“Everything Must Go” also marked a shift for the band lyrically speaking, mainly due in part to Edwards disappearance. Gone were the introspective and autobiographical tracks of their previous work, and in came more historical and political themes of which they would go on to become well known for.
Nicky Wire in an interview put this down to the band feeling timid and nervous in the wake of Edwards departure.
The album also features five tracks with lyrics by Edwards.
“Everything Must Go” was a critical and commercial success upon it release, It reached number two in the UK and also marked the moment the band went from a cult band to a commercially successful mainstream group.
The band won two awards at the 1997 BRIT awards in the wake of the albums success. Best UK album and best British group.
In terms of its legacy and place in British music, “Everything Must Go” is considered the groups best record alongside “The Holy Bible”, and a classic mid-90s record.
Q Magazine voted it the 16th best album in the magazines lifetime, while Kerrang! Ranked it 24 in their list of the 100 best British rock albums.
“Everything Must Go” helped establish the Manic’s position as one of the best bands to come out of Wales, as well as one of the best guitar bands to come out of the UK during the 90’s.