Welsh rock group Manic Street Preachers was formed in 1986 by students of one of Blackwood high schools, James Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Sean Moore, and Miles Woodward. Initially, the lead vocalist was Jenny Watkins but she soon left the band. Bradfield took on her responsibilities. The young musicians called the group Betty Blue. They played punk rock and copied The Clash and Joy Division.
At the beginning of 1988, Woodward left Betty Blue, and Wire had to start playing the bass guitar. The same year, the band changed its name to Manic Street Preachers and released its first single “Suicide Alley”. In 1989, a rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards joined the group.
In June 1990, the artists signed a contract with Damaged Goods Records and presented the debut EP, New Art Riot, which sold about 1,000 copies. Between July and December, the musicians worked on the debut LP, Generation Terrorists, which came out in February 1992. The album earned good reviews from the critics and topped the UK Rock Chart. It came in 13th on the UK Albums Chart, which was an impressive result for the beginners.
In June 1993, the band presented its second LP, Gold Against the Soul, which sounded somewhat different from the predecessor, earning mixed reviews from the critics. Nevertheless, it managed to climb to the 8th spot of the UK Albums Chart.
After releasing the second album, the musicians understood that they had to go back to their original music. In August 1994, they released a new LP, The Holy Bible, which earned high scores from the critics and the fans. The album came in 6th on the UK Albums Chart. At that time, many fans started trying to book Manic Street Preachers for private events.
In February 1995, while the group getting ready to tour the UK to support the latest LP, Edwards disappeared. His body was never found. However, the police discovered his car near a bridge, which led them to believe that the musician, who used to have psychological problems in the past, committed suicide. The band turned into a trio.
In May 1996, the musicians released a new LP, Everything Must Go, which featured five songs recorded by Edwards. The album reached the second spot on the British chart and became very popular in other countries. In 1997, at Brit Awards, the album was named the British Album Of The Year, the group itself got a prize for Best British Group.
In September 1998, Manic Street Preachers recorded their 5th LP, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours, which had a slightly softer sound than their previous work. The LP was named the most sold album of 1998 and topped numerous charts in Europe. In the first week after the release in the UK, more than 136,000 copies were sold.
In January 2000, the group recorded a political single “The Masses Against the Classes”, which topped the UK Singles Chart. In 2001, Manic Street Preachers became the first popular rock band to perform in Cuba and meet Fidel Castro.
In March 2001, the band presented Know Your Enemy, which featured many politically themed songs. It came in 2nd on the UK Albums Chart. In October 2002, the artists recorded Forever Delayed, which featured the best hits of the nineties and several new tracks. In July 2003, they presented Lipstick Traces (A Secret History of Manic Street Preachers), which came in 11th on the British chart.
In November 2004, the 7th LP, Lifeblood, came out. It wasn’t as commercially successful as its predecessors but came in 13th on the chart. In May 2007, Send Away the Tigers, was released. In the album, the musicians returned to a harsher sound. The album came in 2nd on the UK Albums Chart.
In May 2009, the musicians presented Journal for Plague Lovers, which featured songs written by Richey Edwards. It reached the 3rd spot of the chart. In 2010, Postcards from a Young Man, tuned out to be a popular LP in the UK and beyond. The next album, Rewind the Film (2013), came in 3rd on the UK Albums Chart.
In July 2014, the group presented its 12th album, Futurology. It reached the 2nd spot of the British chart.
In April 2018, Manic Street Preachers presented their 13th LP, Resistance Is Futile, which featured a mix of different styles. It became popular in the UK and Europe, reaching high spots on the charts.