|Song by Manic Street Preachers|
|from the album The Holy Bible|
|Released||29 August 1994|
|Recorded||Sound Space Studios, Cardiff, Wales|
|Genre||Alternative rock, hard rock, post-punk|
|Producer(s)||Manic Street Preachers|
|The Holy Bible track listing|
Music and lyrics
Musically, the song features the extensive addition of guitar reverb. 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.
Lyrically, the song describes advanced-stage anorexia; it is about a teenage girl who wants "to be so skinny, that she rots from view". It has been widely interpreted as a reflection of the band's guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards' own personal struggle with the disease, which was confirmed by the band's bass guitarist and co-lyricist Nicky Wire.
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. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote: "the diary of anorexia '4st 7lb' is one of the most chilling songs in rock & roll". Tim O'Neil of PopMatters described the song as "the most specifically evocative track on the album". 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".
- Manic Street Preachers
- James Dean Bradfield – lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, production
- Richey Edwards – lyrics, production
- Nicky Wire – bass guitar, production
- Sean Moore – drums, production
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