In 1968, the world experienced waves of street protests: civil rights marches in the US, student riots in Paris, anti-war demos in London and beyond. From these, music gained a new sound of fury. Not just introverted dismay, but outward rage and resistance. The world is still not perfect and the tradition has persisted for half a century. To celebrate, the Q writing staff elect the 50 greatest revolutionary songs of the last 50 years.'
Not since the Manics declared during 1991’ s Repeat (UK) “repeat after me – fuck queen and country” had they displayed their socialist tendencies as overtly as on this standalone single from 2000. It was a strange era for the trio, their records becoming muddled and over-thought, but The Masses Against The Classes benefited from not being attached to any parent album. Taking its title from a William Gladstone quote, it reignited the righteous punk fury of their youth with a lyric that touched on social conflict and class warfare, while also serving as a ratty retort to critics (and fans) who thought they’d gone soft. The first Number 1 single of the 21st century, and the last track by the three-piece to reach the top of the charts, it showed the Manics could still rage against the system even after becoming a mainstream success.