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Manic Street Preachers (also known as the Manics) are an alternative rock band from Blackwood, Wales, formed in 1986. They are James Dean Bradfield (vocals, guitars), Nicky Wire (bass, occasional vocals) and Sean Moore (drums, backing vocals, occasional trumpet). The band is part of the Cardiff music scene, most prominently during the 1990s.

The band were originally a quartet: lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards mysteriously vanished on 1 February 1995.[2] In November 2008, 13 years after his disappearance, he was officially declared presumed deceased.[3]

The Manics released their debut album Generation Terrorists in 1992.[4] Their combination of androgynous glam punk imagery, outspoken invective and songs about "culture, alienation, boredom and despair" soon gained them a loyal following and cult status.[5][6][7] The band's later albums retained a leftist politicization and intellectual lyrical style, while adopting a broader alternative rock sound.[8] Enigmatic lyricist Richey Edwards gained early notoriety by carving the words "4 REAL" into his arm with a razor blade (narrowly missing an artery and requiring seventeen stitches) in response to the suggestion that the band were less than authentic.[9] The dark nature of 1994's The Holy Bible reflected the culmination of Edwards' instability.[10]

Following Edwards' disappearance, Bradfield, Moore, and Wire persisted with the Manic Street Preachers and went on to gain critical and commercial success, becoming one of Britain's premier rock bands.[11] They have had eight top ten albums and fifteen top ten singles. They have reached number one three times, with their 1998 album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours[12] and the singles "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" (1998)[13] and "The Masses Against The Classes" (2000).[14] They have also won the Best British Album and Best British Group accolades at the BRIT Awards in 1997 and 1999, and were lauded by the NME for their lifetime achievements in 2008.[15] Their ninth studio album, Journal For Plague Lovers, was released on 18 May 2009 and features lyrics Edwards had left behind to the band weeks before his disappearance.[16]

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