Know Your Enemy (Manic Street Preachers album)

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Know Your Enemy
Studio album by Manic Street Preachers
Released 19 March 2001
Recorded 2000 at Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, Wales
Genre Alternative rock
Length 75:34
Label Epic
Producer Dave Eringa, David Holmes, Greg Haver, Mike Hedges
Manic Street Preachers chronology
This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
(1998)
Know Your Enemy
(2001)
Forever Delayed
(2002)
Singles from Know Your Enemy
  1. "Found That Soul"
    Released: 26 February 2001
  2. "So Why So Sad"
    Released: 26 February 2001
  3. "Ocean Spray"
    Released: 4 June 2001
  4. "Let Robeson Sing"
    Released: 10 September 2001

Know Your Enemy is the sixth studio album by Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers. It was released on 19 March 2001 by record label Virgin. It was supported by four singles; two of them, "Found That Soul" and "So Why So Sad", were released on the same day as a publicity stunt.

Know Your Enemy was a commercial success, albeit not as successful as its predecessor This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours. Critics were somewhat divided in their opinions, but its reception has been mostly positive.

Background[edit]

The album features Nicky Wire's debut as a lead vocalist, on the track "Wattsville Blues", and James Dean Bradfield's debut as a lyricist, on "Ocean Spray". Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine plays guitar on the album's final track.

The left-wing political convictions of the Manic Street Preachers are apparent in many of the album's songs, such as "Baby Elián" as they comment on the strained relations between the United States and Cuba as seen in the Elián González affair, a hot topic around the album's release. The band also pays tribute to singer and Civil Rights activist Paul Robeson in the song "Let Robeson Sing".[citation needed]

It is the longest album released by the Manic Street Preachers, as it is slightly longer than their debut Generation Terrorists.

Release[edit]

Know Your Enemy was released on 19 March 2001. It reached number 2 in the UK Albums Chart.[1] The album also reached the top twenty in Finland,[2] Sweden,[3] Australia,[4] Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Germany and Denmark.[5] The album has sold around 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom and it has been certified Gold.[citation needed] The album has reached the top ten in six countries, more than any other Manic Street Preachers album. Know Your Enemy has sold more than one million copies worldwide since it was released in March 2001.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 57/100[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[7]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[8]
Mojo 3.5/5 stars[6]
NME 7/10[9]
Pitchfork 7.5/10[10]
PopMatters unfavourable[11]
Q 3/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone very unfavourable[12]

Critical response to Know Your Enemy has been generally mixed, and it currently holds an approval rating of 57/100 on review aggregator website Metacritic.[6]

Robert Christgau gave the album a two-star honorable mention, calling it "punk propaganda poppified" and citing "Ocean Spray" and "Let Robeson Sing" as highlights.[8] Brandon Reid of Pitchfork wrote "Know Your Enemy finds the Manics attempting to write a protest song in just about every genre", ultimately calling the album "provocative, well-done, but not quite focused enough to take the listener anywhere in particular."[10] Mojo called the album "such a sprawling, unwieldy beast that the instrumental hooks take time to emerge."[6]

A negative review came from Aidin Vaziri of Rolling Stone, who wrote "nowhere amidst all the confusion is there even a worthwhile tune to be salvaged", calling the album "hideously dull".[12]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Nicky Wire, except "Ocean Spray", by James Dean Bradfield, all music composed by Bradfield and Sean Moore, except "We Are All Bourgeois Now", written by Tim Gane, Malcolm Eden, John Williamson and Gary Baker.

No. Title Length
1. "Found That Soul"   3:05
2. "Ocean Spray"   4:11
3. "Intravenous Agnostic"   4:02
4. "So Why So Sad"   4:02
5. "Let Robeson Sing"   3:46
6. "The Year of Purification"   3:39
7. "Wattsville Blues"   4:29
8. "Miss Europa Disco Dancer"   3:52
9. "Dead Martyrs"   3:23
10. "His Last Painting"   3:16
11. "My Guernica"   4:56
12. "The Convalescent"   5:54
13. "Royal Correspondent"   3:31
14. "Epicentre"   6:26
15. "Baby Elián"   3:37
16. "Freedom of Speech Won't Feed My Children" (contains a cover of the McCarthy song "We Are All Bourgeois Now" as a hidden track) 13:12

Personnel[edit]

Manic Street Preachers
  • James Dean Bradfield – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards on "Freedom of Speech Won't Feed My Children"
  • Sean Moore – drums, drum programming, trumpet
  • Nicky Wire – bass, lead vocals on "Wattsville Blues", acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Additional personnel
  • Nick Nasmyth – keyboards, backing vocals
  • Kevin Shields – guitar on "Freedom of Speech Won't Feed My Children"
  • The Avalanchesremixing on "So Why So Sad (Sean Penn Mix – Avalanches)"
Technical personnel
  • Dave Eringa – engineering on tracks 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 and 11–14, mixing on tracks 1–4, 6–9 and 11–16, production
  • Lee Butler – engineering on tracks 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 and 11–14
  • David Holmes – additional production on tracks 9, 12 and 16
  • Guy Massey – engineering on "The Year of Putrification" and "Baby Elián"
  • Gerr McDonnel – engineering and mixing on "Let Robeson Sing"
  • Mike Hedges – mixing and production on "Let Robeson Sing"
  • Tom Lord-Alge – mixing on "His Last Painting"
  • Greg Haver – production and engineering on "Royal Correspondent" and "Freedom of Speech Won't Feed My Children"
  • Bobby Dazzler – production on "So Why So Sad (Sean Penn Mix – Avalanches)"

Charts[edit]

Chart (2001) Peak
position
UK Albums (OCC)[13] 2
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[14] 3
Irish Albums (IRMA)[15] 5
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[16] 6
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 7
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[18] 8
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 13
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[20] 19
Australian Albums (ARIA)[21] 20
New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[22] 21
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[23] 26
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[24] 33
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[25] 39
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[26] 40
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[27] 42
French Albums (SNEP)[28] 147

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Manic Street Preachers | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "finnishcharts.com – Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "swedishcharts.com – Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "australian-charts.com – Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "danishcharts.com – Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". danishcharts.com. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Critic Reviews for Know Your Enemy – Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Know Your Enemy – Manic Street Preachers | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Manic Street Preachers". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Segal, Victoria (19 March 2001). "NME Reviews – Manic Street Preachers : Know Your Enemy – nme.com". NME. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Reid, Brandon (19 March 2001). "Manic Street Preachers: Know Your Enemy | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Neate, Wilson (24 April 2001). "Manic Street Preachers: Know Your Enemy | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Vaziri, Aidin (24 April 2001). "[Know Your Enemy review]". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "Manic Street Preachers | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Manic Street Preachers: Know Your Enemy" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  15. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week {{{week}}}, {{{year}}}". Chart-Track.co.uk. IRMA. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Danishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  23. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Albums: {{{date}}}" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  24. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  25. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  26. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  27. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  28. ^ "Manic Street Preachers – Know Your Enemy". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2013.

External links[edit]