Album: The Holy Bible (1994)
Charted: 16
Play Video


  • Rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards and bass guitarist Nicky Wire wrote the lyrics for this song. Interviewed around the time of the single's release, Wire said that he was "completely confused" by "Faster," although Edwards had told him that it was about self-abuse.
  • Speaking to NME October 8, 2011, Wire said: "It's my title. I think the outro 'man kills everything' is mine. 'If you stand up like a snail…' is a Chinese proverb. So it's a perfect synthesis of everything really."
    He added: "I think 'I know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing.' is the great catchphrase of the '90s. And for him (Edwards) to actually write 'I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer', it shows an almost heroic self-indulgence, really."
  • We hear the actor John Hurt say at the start of the song: "I hate purity. Hate goodness. I don't want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone corrupt." The sound clip comes from the 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell's novel, 1984.
  • The Manics famously performed the song on Top Of The Pops in paramilitary combat gear and balaclavas. Many viewers interpreted this as a show of support for the IRA and the BBC received 25,000 complaints - a record for the program.

Comments: 1

  • Dewayne from EnglandFor me its about how society stigmatizes people and their lifestyles and forces them to submit to collective morality in order to even be viewed as functioning citizens. The lines "I am purity, they call me perverted" obviously references Richey's self harm but can also be applied to any other behavior that society considers abnormal or unacceptable, often on a groundless basis of prejudice and longstanding traditions. The "lizards" that he mentions are hypocrites who claim the moral high ground while constantly changing what their morals are based on what society and the media's flavor of the day is. The 1984 quote at the beginning is expressing a desire to break free of what society considers 'pure' or 'good' because those terms are meaningless constructions. We by nature want to seek our own freedom, pleasure and fulfillment, but society, in its attempt to be more civilized, has curbed these liberties. This has left society paranoid, stuck in tradition, against freedom emotionally distant, politically unstable, sexually closed and alienating for many people, including Richey and myself.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

90s Metal

90s MetalFact or Fiction

Test your metal - Priest, Maiden, and Beavis and Butt-head show up in this one.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Dr. John

Dr. JohnSongwriter Interviews

The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.


U2Fact or Fiction

How did The Edge get his name? Did they name a song after a Tolkien book? And who is "Angel of Harlem" about?