They're a No.1 trio, a bit like Atomic Kitten. Only with more make-up. Ladies and gentlemen, the Manic Street Preachers...
In The Beginning...
The Welsh wonders shocked the world with their jump-up-and-downy, punk-esque choons and odd behaviour. "We'll make one album then split up in a blaze of glory" they screamed to anyone who'd listen when they first formed (they didn't). Then they hit the headlines when member Richey made a mess in an interview by carving '4REAL' into his arm with a razor blade. Ouch!
After gigging around the country playing songs like You Love Us, and Slash 'N' Burn the Manics finally got themselves a record deal and set about storming into the charts.
You Love Us
But rock 'n' roll life turned out to be full of ups and downs - they had bad reviews supporting the mighty Bon Jovi at the Milton Keynes Superbowl in 1993, but then they were flavour of the festival at their first Glastonbury in 1994. All was not well in their personal lives though - Richey was becoming more and more troubled and spent a week receiving treatment in a psychiatric hospital.
Things were looking rosy again in Manic-land with the release of their 1994 album The Holy Bible, but a year later, tragedy struck. The band were about to set off on a promotional tour when, on February 1, 1995, Richey walked out of his hotel room and was never seen again. Police later found his car, abandoned next to the Severn Bridge and there were rumoured sightings in India - none of which have ever been confirmed.
James, Nicky and Sean made the difficult decision to carry on as a three-piece and went on to record Everything Must Go and supported Oasis at their huge Maine Road and Knebworth gigs in 1996. They also found time to write Some Kind Of Bliss with Kylie Minogue.
After massive success with Everything Must Go, topping the charts with their album This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours and winning best band and Best album at the BRITS, the Manics were on a roll. Unfortunately though, that came to end when their planned triumphant return to Glastonbury came unstuck after a backstage cubicle incident. It appeared that the Manics had 'reserved' their own swanky toilets and a huge controversy, 'Crappergate', raged amongst toilet-using indie types.
The Manics rose above the fuss to play their biggest gig ever, Manic Millennium, on New Year's Eve, and they began the year 2000 with a no1 hit, The Masses Against The Classes.
As if competition from other bands wasn't enough, the Manics competed against themselves by releasing two singles - So Why So Sad and Found That Soul - on the same day! And they jetted off to Cuba to launch their new album Know Your Enemy, with a cheapo concert - tickets that cost just 25¢ for local people. That's around seven of your English pence!
Who Are They?
James Dean Bradfield (vocals, guitar)
Nicky Wire (bass)
Sean Moore (drums)
Richey Edwards (guitar, missing since 1995)
Cheer Up, Love!
They're not really that grumpy Here are five things that make the Manics smile...
Hoovering: "I find it quite therapeutic" says the housework-loving eye-liner 'n' bass legend Nicky.
Crisps: They once shipped 200 packets of Golden Wonder to their recording studio in Spain. me: but they just said 200 BOXES on mtv?!
Kylie: They wrote songs for the pop diva and admit to having taken a bit of a 'fancy' to her.
Rugby: They support Wales. Nicky also likes watching darts on the telly.
Snogging Liam Gallagher: Yes, it really happened. Once.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS CHART FACTS
First Single: You Love Us, May 91, No.62
Weeks On Chart: 121
Top ten hits: 7
No.1s: One - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, Sept '98.