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Top Of The 'Classes' - Melody Maker, 19th January 2000

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Title: Top Of The 'Classes'
Publication: Melody Maker
Date: Wednesday 19th January 2000
Writer: Carol Clerk


Manic Street Preachers stormed to the top of the singles chart on Sunday with their one-off single, "The Masses Against The Classes" - their second-ever Number One.

Contrary to earlier reports, the single was not limited to 10,000 copies. But the non-album track was deleted on the day of release, meaning that as soon as the stores' current stocks run out, the single will no longer be available. Nicky Wire blamed the "10,000 copies" rumour on sloppy reporting in the music press — although The Maker escaped his wrath.

"The Masses Against The Classes" became the first new Number One of 2000, blasting Westlife from the prime position. The Manics last scored a top-spot single with "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" in 1998.

Sales across the country were strong, with 35,000 copies flying out of the shops on the first day. Demand was particularly high In Cardiff. Total sales for the week across the country look like hitting 75,000.

An HMV spokesman commented: "It's been selling fantastically well everywhere, with sales obviously a bit higher in Wales. It's been out selling Westlife by two to one and there will only be a few copies left in the shops this week."

As The Maker went to press, a Manics "Top Of The Pops" performance of the single was still under discussion.


THE Manics have decided to let "The Masses Against The Classes" stand alone, without a video or the usual round of promotional duties. But Nicky did call up Radio 1 to talk about the single.

Speaking to Jo Whiley on her Radio 1 show on the single's day of release, Nicky explained: "It's deleted after today. However many records are in the shops today, that's it. But I know for a fact it's more than 10,000, I think we've got more fans than 10,000. We wanted them to be able to get it. There's not exactly many out there after today, that's it, there's no more printed that's why it's a limited edition."

Nicky added: "There's been lots of people coming up to me and saying: 'Here's three quid, can I have that record off you? I could have made a fortune, actually."

Asked if the single would appear on an album, Nicky commented: "No. It's only released in the UK, we haven't done a video, we haven't done any TV.

"We had a ball making It. It was like a riot in the studio. We did it really quick - all three tracks we just bashed out. It's just our idea of having fun, I think. If you look back to the past, Blur did 'Popscene' and Oasis did 'Whatever'. There's a lot of good one-off singles that never appeared on albums. The Beatles did it. All the best bands did it, so we wanted to do It."

He also described the millennium gig In Cardiff as one of their best ever.

"It was amazing, you know. We sold 60,000 tickets on our own without announcing the bill and through everything we kind of said we would do 10 years ago, when everybody laughed at us, and then going on to this and seeing this mass...it was just amazing, really I still haven't got over it. Since we did it, we've cancelled virtually everything, I just feel a bit deflated after it, so I don't know what we're going to do next."

"James was up until 10 the next morning. I stayed up until five, which as you know is very late for me. And that was just through nervous excitement, I think. I've just been getting over it, really."

He also said that he still isn't a party person, which probably rules out a champagne celebration for the Number One.

Nicky laughed: "Someone did say on the Internet this week that Nicky Wire's stopped going to the Met Bar, which I found absolutely incredible. I won't even have a party at my house, let alone go to the Met Bar!"

Better than the December 31 gig, though, was a mention on "The Royle Family" - and he denied he's putting his feet up for the rest of the year.

"The best moment last year was being mentioned on 'The Royle Family'. They said: 'It's a cross between the Manics and Oasis!' That was like a cultural highlight for me."

"People think we're having the year off but it's just not the case. We'll be recording and writing all day long. The thing is, when you sell records in Finland. Sweden and Japan, you've got to go through the whole process of setting things up. It's not like when we started - we could just put a record out and hope for the best. That's why we wanted to do 'Masses', really, It just felt like a relief not to have to worry about anything."