Thursday, September 21, 2006

James Dean Bradfield

I came to the party with the Manic Street Preachers a bit late. Like many bands I got into while in high school, I discovered them on MTV's dearly departed 120 Minutes around 1996, just after the release of Everything Must Go. Unlike their following in the UK, very few people were aware of the Manics in the States, so I never knew about their string of hit singles nor did I know about the disappearance of Richey Edwards. It took me a few years, but I was able to amass all of the band's music and familiarize myself with the story of Richey.

This July saw the first solo release from the Manics' de facto leader, James Dean Bradfield, and it features the same classic rock/punk riffs and soaring vocals you've come to expect. Bandmate Nicky Wire co-wrote one of the album's tracks ["Bad Boys And Painkillers"] as well as the Jacques Brel hit "To See A Friend In Tears." It's always been hard to put a finger on James as he is very much a team player when it comes to the Manics, but The Great Western is a personal album, letting you understand the artist even more.

Buy: The Great Western
James Dean Bradfield
Audio: "An English Gentleman"
Audio: "On Saturday Morning We Will Rule The World"


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