Manic Street Preachers are a Welsh rock band formed in Blackwood in 1986. The band consists of cousins James Dean Bradfield, and Sean Moore, plus Nicky Wire. They are often colloquially known as "the Manics". Following the release of their debut single "Suicide Alley", the band was joined by Richey Edwards as co-lyricist and rhythm guitarist. The band's early albums were in a punk vein, eventually broadening to a greater alternative rock sound, whilst retaining a leftist political outlook. Their early combination of androgynous glam imagery and lyrics about "culture, alienation, boredom and despair" has gained them a loyal following and cult status.
With their debut album, Generation Terrorists, the Manic Street Preachers proclaimed it would be the "greatest rock album ever", as well as hoping to sell "sixteen million copies" around the world, after which they would split up. Despite the album's failure to meet this level of success, the band carried on with their career. The group became a trio after Richey Edwards disappeared in February 1995. The band went on to gain critical and commercial success in spite of his absence. Edwards was legally "presumed dead" in 2008.
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