Pretty Green

‘Yes’: McAlmont & Butler vs. Manic Street Preachers

Yes, both of these songs are great, but which one is your favorite?

McAlmont & Butler – Yes

After leaving Suede, guitar virtuoso Bernard Butler joined forces with David McAlmont to create a unique soul/rock hybrid that was unlike anything else in the popular British music scene. And it was most certainly a departure from the eviscerating tumult of his loftiest Suede compositions. The fact that Butler could make this soul-infused project as musically complex as his most convoluted work with Suede is a testament to the sheer genius of this man. Perhaps the best assertion of David McAlmont’s talent was made by Melody Maker journalist, Taylor Parkes, who said, ‘One day [McAlmont] will open his mouth and a cathedral will fall out.’ The duo formed in 1994, the same year that Butler left Suede after recording Dog Man Star with them (and the same year as the album’s release). ‘Yes,’ their first single, was released in 1995 and went to number 8 in the UK singles chart.

VS.

Manic Street Preachers – Yes

When James Dean Bradfield received the lyrics to the Richey Edwards-penned ‘Yes,’ he said that ‘some of the lyrics confused me…I remember getting the lyrics to ‘Yes’ and thinking, ‘You crazy fucker, how do I write music for this?’ Critic Simon Price noted that any potential for radio play was immediately undermined by its focus on prostitution and the recurrence of sexual swearing in the lyrics. The Holy Bible, on which ‘Yes’ appears, was the third studio album from the Manic Street Preachers, and it was reliably dark and a little bit twisted. The album reflected the deep influence that British post-punk bands like Wire and Magazine had on them. Richey Edwards disappeared about five months after The Holy Bible was released.

Britpopping since I first heard 'Animal Nitrate' in 1993

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