A series of images against you and me
Opening vocal sample (from The Machinist, spoken by Christian Bale who happens to be a Manics fan), a deep and rugged bass riff working as an intro and then off to some darkly-tuned rocking. Yep, you might think for a while that Journal for Plague Lovers is indeed going to be a The Holy Bible #2. Then the chorus appears and its Big Rock Refrain already sounds far different to anything on THB. In fact it sounds more like… Quarantine (In My Place Of)? That’s… actually really really cool.
Peeled Apples was the very first taster the world got from Journal for Plague Lovers, albeit the version played in the radio lacked the soundclip and had the chorus replayed after the song’s actual end – leading all the fans believe it was just a case of false ending. It actually sounded pretty cool, you have to admit in retrospect.
Oh, oh yeah, what’s my take on the song? Big, crunchy rock song that’s one hell of a way to start an album. Richey’s lyrics make it a bit silly which lessens the impact but hey, at least the opening lines work as the opening lines for the entire album full of misery and gloom (verbally).
Andy Weatherall resurrected the fine Manics tradition of offering occasional remixes which had been slumbering ever since 2002. His version of Peeled Apples takes about eight and a half minutes and hilariously turns the song into something almost funky. It’s actually a pretty cool listen and oddly addicting. There’s also the demo on the bonus disc of the special edition of the album, featuring James and his guitar backed by a stomping drum machine. It’s sorta cool, actually.
The chorus for this was written by Nicky. Seems like he’s beginning to become a more permanent fixture in the Manics songwriting scene now.