They top the charts for the second time

Manic Street Preachers have knocked Westlife off the top of the UK charts with their new single ‘THE MASSES AGAINST THE CLASSES’.

The single, which was deleted the day of its release, marks a return to the Manics‘ punky roots and was released without a video or any promotional duties from the band – apart from the 60,000 capacity Millennium concert they played at Cardiff Arms Park.

As the race for the top spot hotted up last week, industry insiders said the record was selling at least 15,000 more than Westlife, who had been at number one since Christmas with their double a-side ‘I Have A Dream/Seasons In The Sun’.

It’s the Manics second number one – their first since August 1998’s ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’.

Last year, Manics bassist Nicky Wire revealed the band had been inspired to release the one-off single after watching the Clash documentary ‘Westway To The World’.

He said: “It just brought it home to you that they had complete control. “You know, ‘White Man In Hammersmith Palais’, ‘I Fought The Law’, ‘The Cost Of Living EP’, all those records were never on albums, but apart from ‘Suicide Is Painless’, we’ve never had that.

“It’s just something we always wanted to do but we just kind of forgot about it. It’s going to be a frivolous, in-the-bargain-bin-two-weeks-later single. We’re not worried if it goes Top Five or Number One or Top 20, it’s just something to get out of our system.”