Little Baby Nothing

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

The band may have been seen as cross-dressing, eye-liner and lipstick wearing freaks in their early days, spouting political sleaze and dirty little punk songs, but it wasn’t until Little Baby Nothing that many of the reasons behind the sleaze and the look became clear. This was a feminist band, almost in militant fashion, not a band who simply dressed that way because they were hot enough to pull it off, not simply espousing and waxing lyrical on the struggles of women due to some designed outsider chic. This was a band who thoroughly despised male dominated culture and called it out for the systematic destruction and whoring of species that it was. Musically and lyrically one of the finest, and most pure in terms of its targeting from any Manics album, it’s clearly a high mark.

The band’s first duet, bringing on board ex Porn Star Traci Lords (after they couldn’t get Kylie Minogue) to perform vocal duties, the lyrics are poignant and potent and merge perfectly with the glossy 80s sheen of the sound. Bradfield tugs at all the strings with his performance, the melodies are gold throughout, and I adore the shift from the verse and chorus to the final section. It certainly comes across as cheesy in its sound now, but it doesn’t take long to look past that to find the honesty of the intent and the power of the music. For my money, it’s also (easily) the best video the band has ever made.

Misheard Lyrics (it feels somehow wrong doing this to what is one of the most gorgeous lyrics of all time, but there you go):

  1. Not allowed to connect you
  2. To steal frequent love
  3. Need to do long (?)
  4. Orderly behind his money
  5. Asking for condolerijusive (??) flowers
  6. Loveless labour
  7. Dress your life in loving
  8. Breaking your mind with Bobby Dom fertility (?)
  9. Mouths broken up, quenched to the last

Actual Lyrics:

  1. No-one likes looking at you
  2. To steal vacant love
  3. Need to belong
  4. All they leave behind is money
  5. Eyes, skin, bone, contour, language as a flower
  6. Loveless slavery
  7. Dress your life in loathing
  8. Breaking your mind with Barbie Doll futility
  9. Moths broken up, quenched at last

Little Baby Nothing: 4/Great (Album version)

Some Kind Of Bliss

Generic Ratings: 1. Crap. 2: Ok. 3: Good. 4: Great

Many of you will know the story – the band wanted to work with Kylie Minogue on their debut, but things happened and the duet never transpired. Fast forward a few years and the band finally got to work with the Oz songstress, the result being a peppy, poppy mixture of Brit pop and classy string based production. It really is rather good, warm verses and a big bright chorus. We even get a good Bradfield solo, Minogue sings the song effectively and avoids her usual nasal approach, and although Bradfield doesn’t get any lines to make it a true duet it still feels like a Manics song with the swelling strings and the defined stadium chorus. The song came out in 1997 – at the peak of the band’s stadium filling powers – replace the vocals with Bradfield and this wouldn’t feel too out of place on Everything Must Go.

Misheard Lyric: As it ain’t big James singing on this one there aren’t too many opportunities for mishearing the lyrics. How about ‘Stubbed in my reflection and let the cupboard fall’ instead of ‘Study my reflection and let the colours fall’?

Some Kind Of Bliss: 3/Good

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