Great rock bands need to know one special skill to really break through to the main stream. Good songs are fine for your fans, for your albums and for your shows. If you want to ‘cross over’ you have to understand ‘Great Singles’ have a mercurial ingredient. Not every great song makes a ‘Great Single’. Some bands understand this. But few understand it as well as Manic Street Preachers.
Great Singles aren’t just about being catchy or palatable. Great Singles make you want to listen to them on their own, on your own aaaaannnd they make you jump up when you hear them out ‘in the wild’. Great singles can be recognised by any one of their parts.
The Manics have loads of great singles (they have even more great songs) and Roses in the Hospital was the moment I realised we weren’t just hearing the best songs on the album. They were doing it on purpose. Writing songs with drums that pull you in, little melodies within melodies that make ‘ear worms’ and snakey bass lines that sound great at the indie disco or on your headphones.
Manic Street Preachers are a marvel of the modern world. We should cherish them while we have them. They’ve got Gold against their Souls.