Stay Beautiful (Manic Street Preachers song)

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"Stay Beautiful"
Stay Beautiful.jpg
Single by Manic Street Preachers
from the album Generation Terrorists
Released 29 July 1991 (1991-07-29)
Format CD, 7" and 12" vinyl
Recorded Mid 1991
Genre Punk rock, hard rock
Label Columbia
Writer(s) James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, Sean Moore, Richey Edwards
Manic Street Preachers singles chronology
"You Love Us"
"Stay Beautiful"
"Love's Sweet Exile"/"Repeat

"Stay Beautiful" is a song by Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers, released on 29 July 1991 by record label Columbia as the first single from the band's debut album, Generation Terrorists.[1]


The title track was previously entitled "Generation Terrorists" and originally featured the lyrics "Why don't you just fuck off" in the chorus, which was cut to just "Why don't you just... [gap]" in this version with a guitar fill in the aforementioned gap. It has since become the fans' base custom to shout the original lyric out loud when the band still occasionally perform the song live.[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song contains Richey Edwards' right eye being splashed with paint, and a somewhat amusing space octopus at the end; references to themes and events in Alan Moore's Watchmen.


"Stay Beautiful" was released as a single on 29 July 1991 by record label Columbia. The single only just crept into the UK Singles Chart, reaching number 40 on 10 August 1991.[3][4] It was re-issued six years later but failed again to make the top 40, reaching number 52 on 13 September 1997.[5]

The B-sides for all formats included "R.P. McMurphy", with the CD and 12" versions adding "Soul Contamination". The title of "R.P. McMurphy" is based on the protagonist of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (which was subsequently made into a film).[6]


The title of "Stay Beautiful" was used by Renault in a television advertisement for a car in reference to the song. There is also a bar/club in London named Stay Beautiful in reference to the song. During his solo tour, bassist Nicky Wire performed there.[7]

Track listing[edit]

CD version
CD version
No. Title Length
1. "Stay Beautiful"  
2. "R.P. McMurphy"  
3. "Soul Contamination"  
12" version
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Stay Beautiful"  
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "R.P. McMurphy"  
2. "Soul Contamination"  
7" version
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Stay Beautiful"  
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "R.P. McMurphy"  


Chart (1991) Peak
UK Singles Chart 40[5]
UK chart performance
UK Top 40
Week 01


  1. ^ Taylor, Steve (27 September 2006). The A to X of Alternative Music. A&C Black. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-8264-8217-4. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Power, Martin (1 June 2012). Nailed to History: The Story of the Manic Street Preachers. Music Sales Group. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-85712-776-1. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Buckley, Peter, ed. (2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 642. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0. Retrieved 16 February 2015. After signing to the Sony label, "Stay Beautiful" became the Manics' first Top 40 single in July 1991 
  4. ^ Jovanovic, Rob (3 December 2010). A Version of Reason: The Search for Richey Edwards. Orion. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-4091-1129-0. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Manic Street Preachers | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Reynolds, Simon (24 May 2011). Bring the Noise: 20 Years of Writing About Hip Rock and Hip Hop. Soft Skull Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-59376-460-9. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. 

External links[edit]