Manics take double-single gamble

The Manic Street Preachers have launched a double assault for the number one spot – by releasing two singles on the same day.

The Welsh trio released So Why So Sad and Found That Soul on Monday.

The two singles will compete with each other in the chart – representing a gamble by the group, originally from Blackwood.

The last band to release two separate singles simultaneously, London-based indie group Lush, were widely tipped to enjoy mainstream success when they released Hypocrite and Desire Lines the same day in 1994.

But instead the four-piece found themselves with a double flop on their hands, when the tracks stalled at numbers 52 and 60 respectively.

In Cardiff, music store HMV opened at midnight to cope with expected high demand for the Manics’ singles.

The songs are taken from the band’s forthcoming sixth album Know Your Enemy, released on 26 March.

The cassette and vinyl editions of the singles feature different B-side recordings.

The Manics are no strangers to unusual marketing ploys.

Last year their single The Masses Against The Classes was deleted after just one week on sale – making it an immediate collectors’ item.

Cool Cymru in Cuba

However American hard rockers Guns ‘N’ Roses released two albums on the same day to a better reception.

In 1991 their album Use Your Illusion I reached number one, while its twin Use Your Illusion II – released on the same day – got to number two in the chart.

Meanwhile, North Wales-born Mike Peters from The Alarm made the unusual decision of launching a Welsh and an English version of the same album.

Last week, the Manics became the first Western band to play in Cuba since 1979. After meeting Communist president Fidel Castro, they draped the Welsh flag next to the Cuban banner on stage.

A song from their new album, Baby Elian, was inspired by the plight of shipwrecked Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez.

The band will return to home soil when they play Cardiff’s Coal Exchange on 8 March.

Know Your Enemy marks a return to the public eye for the Manics after their last album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours a year ago.

That disc produced the band’s first chart-topper, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next.