Manic Street Preachers Send Away the Tigers
10th Anniversary Edition
Throw away your yesterdays / I did it all for you
Send Away the Tigers, 2007.
I wont lie. I distinctly remember post-Lifeblood really not
being massively into the Manics. Which seems absurd now because when
I listen to Lifeblood over a decade later, I hear nothing but brilliance.
But anyway, all my fears had become true. The one thing that Id
been clinging onto was a lie, those Manic Street Preachers were actually
a bit like what all these people had been telling me for ages. Namely,
not all that great. Which from my viewpoint as a broken anxiety ridden
fuck-up was devastating. Naturally, I cried buckets for months.
So, it was a great relief when they released their Second Great Comeback
album, Send Away the Tigers, in 2007. Here they were full of what
made the Manics great, namely balls out euphoric rock. It even returned
them to the almost-top of the UK album and singles chart at number
2 (seemingly their glass ceiling position) with Your Love Alone Is
Not Enough. Everything was right with the world again. This is the
album which, perhaps even more than Everything Must Go, likely stands
as a real testament to the longevity and persistence of a band who
a year before were seemingly on the verge of irrelevance. If this
album had failed, I dont think we would have ever got Journal
for Plague Lovers which would be a travesty.
Re-appraising Send Away the Tigers ten years after the
initial release demonstrates a few important things. Looking back
now, there is no way really that this album couldnt have succeeded.
The confidence in its sound and production is incredible. On this
album, it is clear that the Manics know exactly who they are, something
that was sorely lacking throughout the Know Your Enemy Lifeblood
era. They seemed determined to try and be someone else during that
time. But on Send Away the Tigers, it appears they just looked back
and thought shit, what have we been doing? Were fucking
awesome at this stuff, so lets just do what were good
at. And it worked. For the first time since This Is My Truth,
they were even putting out cracking B-sides (Love Letter to The Future,
Welcome to The Dead Zone, and Boxes and Lists in particular).
The re-release re-jigs the track list slightly from the original release.
Gone is the (admittedly shoddy) Underdogs from the main track list
instead replaced with Welcome to The Dead Zone. Also, their cover
of John Lennons Working Class Hero is now listed as the closing
track on the main album proper whilst previously appearing as an uncredited
hidden track at the end. In terms of the singles from the album, Your
Love Alone featuring Nina Persson was an obvious hit. God, it was
great to hear them on the radio again. Autumnsong is a song which
I know gets a lot of stick from Manics fans but as a single, it is
a perfect choice. Remember, Nicky Wire is obsessed with singles.
Mad for them. Indian Summer probably shouldnt have been a single
but was chosen, perhaps mainly since it almost self-plagiarises the
riff from A Design for Life. Other than the singles, Rendition, Imperial
Bodybags and the great lost-single-that-never-was, I Am Just a Patsy
all hold up to the record's high standard.
This album seemed to exude a confidence in the band visually too.
The package looks beautiful itself. Without even listening to the
record, you can tell it is going to be an uplifting, commercial record.
It even saw a return to the all-important backwards R
preferred text formatting of Manics fans from the Holy Bible era.
These things seemed very important to me at the time. Because Im
So, do you need to buy this re-release? Well, not really if you have
the original album. But if you are into B-sides and demo versions
and that kind of thing, then the deluxe edition is a must. It contains
all the associated B sides and extra songs from the era (including
the brilliantly awful Christmas single, The Ghost of Christmas, and
their really rather great cover of Rihannas Umbrella).
More than anything though, it made me realise what a cracking little
gem this album is. Its not one I would usually think of if people
ask me to recommend Manics albums, but on closer inspection, perhaps
thats more a symptom of where I was at the time. It was nice
to rediscover parts of it to be honest. Definitely one to be proud
Words: Richard Bull