One of the saddest music stories of the year has been Manic Street Preachers, who have just cracked the Australian Top 50
with the single A Design For Life.
The track is the first single from Everything Must Go, a remarkable album from a band rocked by tragedy.
On February 1 last year - on the eve of a 38-date U.S. tour — the band's guitarist Richey Edwards, 27, disappeared, and he hasn't been seen since.
The case has baffled fans and police. For months, the UK band did not know whether to continue. Then they decided to make Everything Must Go, their fourth album, as a three-piece.
Some of the band’s pain is reflected in a track called Australia. The lyrics were written by bass player Nicky Wire: "I want to fly and run 'till it hurts, sleep for a while and speak no words in Australia.”
Ironically. the band has never been here, but they told me In London recently that they hoped to come, perhaps for next
year's Big Day Out In January.
The words to three of the songs on Everything Must Go — which debuted at number three in the UK - were written by Richey Edwards. The royalties will be kept in a trust fund in the hope that he will reappear.