James Dean Bradfield might be the frontman, but Manic Street Preachers' bassist Nicky Wire has always been the band's outspoken mouthpiece. Opinionated, political, self-deprecating and often hilarious, the Welsh wonder has provided us with a career's worth of genius soundbites: here are 50 of his best.

50On the Manics' arrogance...

"We thought we were a million times better than every band." (TV documentary, 1998).

49On fan clubs...

"They're shit." (Q, October 2008)

48On grizzled music veterans...

"If Dr John was playing across the road from me I would not go and see him. If I wanted to hear the blues, I'd listen to Liam Gallagher singing." (NME, August 1998).

47On milk...

"Full cream milk, I'm addicted to that. Skimmed milk is the lowest of the low." (Vox, October 1996).

46On the music press

"The journalists want to create their own little working class playthings to build up and destroy. They don't understand that working class people can have sensitivity." (The Guardian, February 1992).

45On ‘Futurology’...

“It’s ludicrous in its ambition. We’re trying to talk about abstract art movements in a fucking three-minute pop song.”

44On Welsh history...

“The Irish all went of to North America and became folk heroes. The Welsh went to Patagonia, this bleak, barren place - and half of them died in the first year.” (Q, October 2008).

43On saying the wrong thing...

"I used to look forward to interviews, use them as an opportunity to make a point, but now they're an opportunity to fuck up.” (NME, August 1998).

42On chaotic gigs...

"Last night onstage I really thought that we could have made something happen, started a riot. But it was like looking into the abyss and being really scared of what to do about it.” (NME, April 1994).

41On Robbie Williams...

"Covering George Michael's 'Freedom'? That makes me sick. He said, 'Right, that's it, new attitude. I'm back' - and does a fucking cover version to show he can't write a song and never could in the fucking first place.” (Vox, October 1996).

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