Released: December 1996

The pinnacle of the Manics' blockbuster phase, 'Australia' sounded grandiose and full of confidence - no wonder it got hammered on the radio for months - but lyrically it was the opposite: full of paranoia and self-doubt. Nicky Wire wrote it about the aftermath of Richey Edwards' disappearance, wanting to escape, get as far away from home as possible. It's a biting evocation of personal collapse ("My cheeks are too yellow, think I'll take another pill"), powered by a toweringly anthemic chorus. A very Manics combination. (LL).


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