So Why So Sad

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"So Why So Sad"
Single by Manic Street Preachers
from the album Know Your Enemy
Released 26 February 2001
Format CD, cassette
Recorded 2000
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:02
Label Epic
Writer(s) James Dean Bradfield
Sean Moore
Nicky Wire
Producer(s) Dave Eringa
Manic Street Preachers singles chronology
"Found That Soul"
"So Why So Sad"
"Ocean Spray"

"So Why So Sad" was released by Manic Street Preachers in 2001 and was jointly the first single to be released from the Know Your Enemy album. All three members of the band - James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and Nicky Wire - share the writing credits. The song reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart.[1]


The song includes the line "a burnt down expressway to your skull" [2] - a reference to the final track on Sonic Youth's EVOL album, or maybe to a Buddy Miles song.

For all its instrumental eccentricities, "So Why So Sad" is quite simple both structurally and lyrically even if its full meaning is obscured. It has been suggested that a reference to the Dead Sea scrolls and the line “dependent on above” imply that there is a religious connection, but there’s no further support for this outside the chorus.[3]

The song is the only song from "Know Your Enemy" to be featured in the 2002 compilation Forever Delayed, it was track number 18.[4]


Surprisingly launched on the same day as "Found That Soul" this was the first sign of the Manics since the surprise number 1 hit "The Masses Against the Classes" thirteen months earlier.[4]

It reached the UK chart position of number 8 on 10 March 2001, spending 16 weeks in the chart, it is the second longest run in terms of singles in the UK chart by the band. "So Why So Sad" is only beaten by If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next which spent 17 weeks in the chart.[5] In Ireland it peaked on number 16.

The song did better in Finland than in the UK, spending less weeks, only 3, the single reached number 4 in the Finnish Charts.[6] In Sweden it reached number 26, spending 5 weeks,[7] in the Netherlands it reached position number 88,[8] and in Germany it peaked on number 94.[9]

The CD also included versions of "Pedestal" and a remix of "So Why So Sad" by Australian outfit The Avalanches whereas the 7" included a live version of "You Stole the Sun from My Heart".[10]

Less than 200 copies separated So Why So Sad from Found That Soul placing it 1 place higher at number 8.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Nick Jones, James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore.

  1. "So Why So Sad" – 3:55
  2. "So Why So Sad" (Sean Penn Mix - Avalanches) – 4:58
  3. "Pedestal" – 4:50
  1. "So Why So Sad" – 3:55
  2. "So Why So Sad" (Sean Penn Mix - Avalanches) – 4:58
  3. "Pedestal" – 4:50
  4. "You Stole The Sun From My Heart" (live at Millennium Stadium, 31 December 1999) – 4:25
  1. "So Why So Sad" – 4:02
  2. "You Stole The Sun From My Heart" (live at Millennium Stadium, 31 December 1999) – 4:25


Chart (2001) Peak
UK Singles Chart 8
Irish Singles Chart 16
The Official Finnish Charts 4
Dutch Singles Chart[11] 88
Sverigetopplistan 26
Media Control Charts 94

UK Chart Performance[edit]

UK Top 40
Week 01 02 03


  1. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company". The Official Charts Company. 5 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2009. 
  3. ^ "So Why So Sad". 
  4. ^ a b Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 
  5. ^ "Manic Street Preachers - Official Single Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "So Why So Sad". 
  7. ^ "So Why So Sad". 
  8. ^ "So Why So Sad". 
  9. ^ "So Why So Sad". 
  10. ^ "Manic Street Preachers". 
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 9 December 2008. 

External links[edit]