4st 7lb

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"4st 7lb"
Song by Manic Street Preachers
from the album The Holy Bible
Released 29 August 1994 (1994-08-29)
Recorded Sound Space Studios, Cardiff, Wales
Genre Alternative rock, hard rock, post-punk
Length 5:05
Label Epic
Songwriter(s) Richey Edwards
Producer(s) Manic Street Preachers
The Holy Bible track listing
"4st 7lb"

"4st 7lb" is a song by Welsh alternative rock band, Manic Street Preachers, from the band's third album, The Holy Bible.[1]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Musically, the song features the extensive addition of guitar reverb.[2] The verse riff in the first half of the song revolves around an arpeggiated diminished seventh chord. Then, the song slows down and becomes a more atmospheric, minimalist base.[3][4][5][6]

Lyrically, the song describes advanced-stage anorexia;[7][8][9][10] it is about a teenage girl who wants "to be so skinny, that she rots from view".[11][12][13][14] It has been widely interpreted as a reflection of the band's guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards' own personal struggle with the disease,[15][16][17][17][18][19] which was confirmed by the band's bass guitarist and co-lyricist Nicky Wire.[20]

The song was named after 4 stones 7 pounds , or 63 pounds (29 kg), the weight below which death is said to be medically unavoidable for an anorexic sufferer.[3][21]


The song received highly positive reviews from the critics. Nick Butler of Sputnikmusic praised the song, referring it as "quite simply, genius". He also commented that the song "contains one of the best lyrics even written by anyone, replete with the awesome chorus", while describing the song's musical structure in detail.[3] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote: "the diary of anorexia '4st 7lb' is one of the most chilling songs in rock & roll".[7] Tim O'Neil of PopMatters described the song as "the most specifically evocative track on the album".[12] Mark Edwards of Stylus Magazine stated that the song, along with two other tracks, "Mausoleum" and "Faster", "takes your breath away", while commenting that the song is deeply disturbing. He also inferred that "it comes as close to glamourising anorexia as you can get".[11]


Manic Street Preachers


  1. ^ Dave Franklin (4 April 2005). Manic Streets of Perth: An Australian Comedy. Baby Ice Dog Press. pp. 44–. GGKEY:3YSBTPEZ47H. 
  2. ^ Tangari, Joe (17 January 2005). "Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Butler, Nick (21 January 2005). "Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Rob Jovanovic (3 December 2010). A Version of Reason: The Search for Richey Edwards. Orion. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-1-4091-1129-0. 
  5. ^ "Razors pain you: what Dorothy Parker teaches us about our addiction to female suffering". Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Eric Segalstad (2008). The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll. Samadhi Creations, LLC. pp. 20–. ISBN 978-0-615-18964-2. 
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Martin, Dan (13 December 2004). "Manic Street Preachers : The Holy Bible (Tenth Anniversary Edition)". NME. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Sweeting, Adam (4 February 2005). "Manic Street Preachers, The Holy Bible 10th Anniversary Edition". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Dorian Lynskey. "Manic Street Preachers review – fire and brimstone revisited". the Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Edwards, Mark (14 December 2004). "Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  12. ^ a b O'Neil, Tim (20 May 2005). "Manic Street Preachers: The Holy Bible -- 10th Anniversary Edition". PopMatters. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Peter Buckley (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. pp. 643–. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0. 
  14. ^ Aurelio Pasini (29 June 2011). Brit Rock (in Italian). Giunti Editore. pp. 75–. ISBN 978-88-09-76922-9. 
  15. ^ Fricke, David (21 April 2005). "Manic Street Preachers: The Holy Bible: 10th Anniversary Edition". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Pattison, Louis (20 November 2008). "Manic Street Preachers - Holy Bible". BBC. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Various Mojo Magazine (1 November 2007). The Mojo Collection: 4th Edition. Canongate Books. pp. 609–. ISBN 978-1-84767-643-6. 
  18. ^ Sheila Whiteley (18 October 2013). Too Much Too Young: Popular Music Age and Gender. Routledge. pp. 150–. ISBN 978-1-136-50229-3. 
  19. ^ Colin Larkin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music: Kollington - Morphine. MUZE. pp. 475–. ISBN 978-0-19-531373-4. 
  20. ^ "Manics New Testament". Melody Maker. IPC Media: 4. 27 August 1994. 
  21. ^ Clarke 1997, p. 106.
  • Clarke, Martin (1997). Manic Street Preachers: Sweet Venom. London: Plexus. ISBN 0-85965-259-9. 

External links[edit]