Album: The Holy Bible (1994)
Charted: 16

Songfacts®:

  • 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.
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