Kevin Carter (song)

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"Kevin Carter"
Single by Manic Street Preachers
from the album Everything Must Go
Released 30 September 1996
Format CD, cassette
Genre Alternative rock, Britpop
Length 3:25 (Edit)
Label Epic
Manic Street Preachers singles chronology
"Everything Must Go"
"Kevin Carter"

"Kevin Carter" is a song by Manic Street Preachers, released as the third single from their album Everything Must Go in 1996. Its subject was the 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Kevin Carter. The CD included "Horses Under Starlight", "Sepia" and "First Republic", while the cassette included an acoustic version of "Everything Must Go".

The song reached number nine in the UK Singles Chart on 12 October 1996, giving them a third straight top-ten hit.[1] The single discography printed in back of the 1998 book "Everything - A book about Manic Street Preachers" incorrectly lists its UK chart position of number 7. The song's lyrics were written solely by missing member Richey Edwards.

The subject of the song, photojournalist Kevin Carter, was the first to capture a public execution by 'necklacing' in South Africa in the mid-1980s. He later went on to say "The question that still haunts me is 'would those people have been necklaced, if there was no media coverage?" Pulitzer Prize winner Carter was always troubled by his professional responsibilities vs. moral considerations. Carter committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in Johannesburg at the age of 33. His pickup truck was parked near a small river where he used to play as a child, a note left on the passenger seat read: "The pain of life overrides joy to the point that joy no longer exists."

The B-side, "Sepia", is a reference to the final scene of the film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where the two main characters are shown in freeze frame, which then is colourised to sepia tone. The lyrics of the track were written by Nicky Wire and seem to refer to the period when he and Richey Edwards were gaining notoriety in the music press for their confrontational views. The lyrics also appear to reflect some of Nicky Wire's raw emotion following the disappearance of his close friend and bandmate. The Butch Cassidy connection is also referenced in their song "Australia" (which is where the characters from the film say they will go next, directly before the 'Sepia' sequence), and the decision to record "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" for the War Child charity compilation The Help Album. This track was replaced by a single release of the track "Further Away" in Japan.

The trumpet instrumental, by Sean Moore, has been used as the theme music to the ITV Wales current affairs programme Wales This Week.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Kevin Carter"
  2. "Horses Under Starlight" [instrumental]
  3. "Sepia"
  4. "First Republic"
  1. "Kevin Carter" – 3:26
  2. "Kevin Carter" (Busts Loose) – 7:45
  3. "Kevin Carter" (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Remix) – 6:40
  4. "Kevin Carter" (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Soundtrack) – 6:37
  1. "Kevin Carter"
  2. "Everything Must Go" (acoustic version)


Chart (1996) Peak
UK Singles Chart[1] 9

UK Chart Performance[edit]

UK Top 40
Week 01 02 03