"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards"
- Kierkegaard

"Radio nostalgia is radio death...
Tranquilised icons for the sweet paralysed"
- Nostalgic Pushead, Manic Street Preachers

Forever Delayed is Manic Street Preachers greatest hits album. Released in October 2002, it charts a career that spans 6 albums, 31 singles and 1 suicide/disappearance. It's on one CD with 20 tracks, with a special edition bonus CD featuring a selection of remixes that have appeared on b-sides. It takes it's title from the 1992 single Roses In The Hospital.

A quick glance at the tracklisting shows that this isn't an attempt to provide a definitive aural history of the band. Nor is it the band's finest moments. It is simply based on chart position, so in that sense it truely is a "Greatest Hits". Sadly though, this means that it provides a portfolio of the Manics career which is focused on their most commercially succesful periods. The album-by-album breakup goes like this:

The saddest thing about this is the woeful underrepresentation of the Manics only true masterpiece, The Holy Bible. While it may not have gone triple platinum like Everything Must Go, it was a creative peak that few other bands managed to reach, and it deserves to be commemorated. Plus, it would be nice to see them give more than a grudging admission that there used to be a guy called Richey in the band.

At least his picture is on the cover. Not that he'd really want it. A concept as cheesy as a Greatest Hits would probably appeal to a man who begged his band mates to agree to supporting Bon Jovi, but it's unlikely he would have put his name to something this ordinary. Whoever came up with this tracklist seems to have been mortally terrified by the possibility that if they played anything that would scare the listener between A Design For Life and You Stole The Sun From My Heart, they'd put on Nickleback instead, and throw the CD from the window of their Mondeo.

And so, no Strip It Down, no Stay Beautiful, no Love's Sweet Exile, no Repeat, no From Despair To Where, no Roses In The Hospital, no PCP, no She Is Suffering, and not even a Found That Soul. Needless to say, our hopes were in vain that they would ignore the fact that Yes wasn't a single and include it on the grounds that it's the best song they've ever written.

All in all, this album misses a chance for the band to tell their story through their own songs. it ends up being a collection of the songs everyone expects, with some oldies to keep the people in weird makeup and leopard print happy. it's probably attempting to make everyone happy, and ends up making no-one happy.

4 fuck's sake.

Track list:
  1. A Design For Life
  2. Motorcycle Emptiness
  3. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
  4. La Tristesse Durera
  5. There By The Grace Of God
  6. You Love Us
  7. Australia
  8. You Stole The Sun From My Heart
  9. Kevin Carter
  10. Tsunami
  11. The Masses Against The Classes
  12. From Despair To Where
  13. Door To The River
  14. Everything Must Go
  15. Faster
  16. Little Baby Nothing
  17. Theme From M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless)
  18. So Why So Sad
  19. The Everlasting
  20. Motown Junk

Bonus CD Track list:
  1. La Tristessa Durera - Chemical Brothers
  2. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next -David Holmes
  3. Tsunami - Cornelius
  4. So Why So Sad - Avalanches
  5. Faster - Chemical Brothers
  6. If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next - Massive Attack
  7. Kevin Carter - Jon Carter
  8. You Stole The Sun From My Heart - David Holmes
  9. Tsunami - Stereolab
  10. Let Robeson Sing - Ian Brown
  11. The Everlasting - Stealth Sonic Orchestra
  12. You Stole The Sun From My Heart - Mogwai
  13. A Design For Life - Stealth Sonic Orchestra