Facing Page: Top Left

Album: Journal For Plague Lovers (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • In the summer of 1994 the Manics lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards was admitted to a couple of psychiatric hospitals for treatment for various issues he was battling. In February of the following year, he disappeared, leaving a folder containing artwork and hand-written lyrics including the words for this song. Vocalist James Dean Bradfield Wire attempted to explain this acoustic track with piano and harp to the NME May 16, 2009: "There was sometimes, when we'd visit Richey in certain places, some women having treatment, you know, alongside him, that would be impeccably turned out sometimes, in the place, there would be a garish use of lipstick and very made up et cetera. And that did strike me that maybe there was something about that in that lyric. But I still think it's part of the little community of 'Journal For Plague Lovers', 'Facing Page: Top Left', 'Virginia State Epileptic Colony'. It is just about how you become homogenised under the gaze of certain doctors and analysts and how you kind of lose yourself in treatment."
    Bassist Nicky Wire added: "The institutionalisation of beauty, and trying to be all those things that you're never gonna get to. This seems to say, 'I've given up on all that b—locks.' 'I've long since moved to a higher plane'- I think that line came from '4st 7lb' really counts on here. On this album he really does reach the plateau of…the disgust has perhaps turned to ultimate realisation. Kind of got over the disgust and (quietly) just reached a new level."
  • Bradfield told the NME May 16, 2009 that this is, "physically the hardest song to sing, definitely... 'dipping neophobia'." He added that he thought the line in question "This beauty here dipping neophobia," "was about routine. Once you get couched in the useless supposed cure, then you get caught in a routine. Which outside of that, can often be comforting to you."

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