It really shouldn't have been a hit at all. An anti-fascist protest song inspired by 1984 author George Orwell...well, it's not exactly the Spice Girls is it?
But there, at the top of the charts and on the radio every time you switch it on, is the Manic Street Preachers' first, impressive single in two years, If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next.
For the group, it is further vindication of their decision to carry on after the disappearance of founder member, songwriter and guitarist Richey Edwards in 1995. It's also proof that pop can still address serious issues.
The song, written by bassist Nicky Wire, is about the International Brigade, a group of ordinary people who volunteered to fight against fascism during the Spanish Civil War.
Wire picked up on the subject after reading George Orwell's 1938 essay, Homage To Catalonia, which described how he was wounded during a trip to Spain.
It was also inspired by Spanish Bombs, a 70s rock single by The Clash, and took a staggering 12 months to write.
Wire explains: "The song is about standing up to any evil, and how people today don't know how lucky they are. They seem to have no understanding about how millions of people laid their lives down for us, just so we can be here now.
"It is meant to be a warning - a need for awareness in the modern world and to remember the courage of people such as members of the International Brigade."
The band admit they had fears that the song, produced by Dave Eringa, would be savaged by the critics if they couldn't match their previous songs.
Bassist Wire also had other problems to deal with while recording.
He developed an obsessive compulsive disorder, keeping the studio spotlessly clean and switching the lights on and off as many as 50 times.
Manics singer James Dean Bradfield admits the band's time in the studios in France, England and Wales, was intense.
Fans will be able to hear the result when their fifth album, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, is released on September 14.
Bradfield said: "That's about the most tense we've been in the studio. We were a bit burned out by the end."
In the past seven years, the band have recorded a staggering 150 tracks.
The chart success of remaining members Wire, Bradfield and drummer Sean Hughes has defied critics who believed that they would fade into obscurity after guitarist Edwards disappeared on the eve of the band's American tour in February, 1995.
Some cynics even pointed out that the missing member's influence was as strong as ever after the release of the 1996 album Everything Must Go, which still contained some of his material.
It was because of those reviews that the band were so nervous about the release of their forthcoming album. It will be the first one without Edwards' contribution.
If the success of the album's first single is anything to go by, the release will be a huge hit. If You Tolerate This has already been hailed by many as the single of the year.
It's quite an achievement for a band who admit that they almost split before the release of their last album.
Luckily, they did stay together to see Everything Must Go bring them four top 10 hits, including a prestigious Ivorn Novello songwriting award for A Design For Life. It also earned the band two Brit and three Brat awards.
Wire admits: "With Everything Must Go, we were just pleased to carry on as a band and as three friends.
"It was more a case of `put the record out and see how it'll do'. Now we have a totally different attitude. I think my lyrics are still more provocative than anybody else's around.
"We talk about things that nobody else in the music industry bothers about. No other group writes the words we do.
"But I don't want to become the bard of the working classes.
"The biggest pressure with this album was knowing that it was just the three of us with no help from Richey.
"We knew that any goodwill we might have had because of the situation we were in, because of Richey's disappearance, would be gone. We're aware that the album could be hyper-criticised. But that could be a good thing."
The Manics' single has been helped to the top of the charts by one of the most original videos of the year.
Surreally, it shows a generation of people with no eyes and appears to be making a point about the dangers of allowing genetically- engineered food onto supermarket shelves without proper safeguards for consumers.
"Basically, we're showing in the video that the human race is an experiment gone wrong," Hughes said.
"I suppose, in a way, the band is, too. We were only going to do one album and then split up.
"But, as time's gone on, we've become this five-album, thirtysomething kind of group.
"Personally, we feel like we've spoiled it - that we've forgotten about our original plans. You think, `It didn't go quite right, did it?'"
This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours is almost certain to follow the single's success by shooting straight to number one.
Tracks include Ready For Drowning, inspired by the life and times of Howard Hughes and the screenplays of Howard Hughes and Jimmy McGovern.
One of Wire's favourites is the opening track, The Everlasting. He said: " James wanted this to sound like an old hymn.
"The song is an elegy. It deals with an eternal search for something we can never find. The feel is romantic and strangely uplifting."
Another song, S.Y.M.M., mentions the Hillsborough disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans died on the terraces of the Sheffield Wednesday football ground in 1989.
Wire said: "The dilemma of writing a song which might upset people can have an effect on you."
Wire took the album title from a famous phrase, often used by Welsh politician Aneurin Bevan, who founded the National Health Service. He explained: "It was just something he used to say. It means: 'Here's what I believe in, but I want to know what you do as well'."
Ross McFadyen, Head Of Music at Clyde 1 FM, believes the band are even better now than they were when Richey Edwards was a member. He said: "Maybe the disappearance of Richey did them a big favour."
BBC Radio Scotland's senior producer Stuart Cruickshank, added: "The three remaining members of the Manics seemed like losers when Richey disappeared.
"But they are a band with a sense of vision who have gritted their teeth and got on with it. They deserve their success."
On September 23, the BBC will broadcast a 50-minute documentary on the band as part of the Close Up series.
But before that the band will play for Scottish fans at a sell-out gig at Dundee's Caird Hall, on September 18.
The Manics will next be back in Scotland for a show at Glasgow's SECC on December 12, supported by Catatonia. Tickets go on sale today.