Don’t fall in love cause we hate you still
The quintessential Generation Terrorists track in some respect. I mean sure, You Love Us is a classic and Motorcycle Emptiness is golden (and they’re both better songs than this), but for some reason Stay Beautiful has managed to become some sort of a legend amongst the fanbase, a song that nutshells the band’s early days to a t. Probably because it was the first Generation Terrorists single. And the lyrics + title.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a really fun track and for an early Manics song the lyrics are actually somewhat readable – arrogant youth without political idiocy (most of the time). The production saps it all down though, it would really raise to be a big classic if it sounded better but the flaccid and weak production Generation Terrorists suffers in the first place really bites Stay Beautiful and cripples it. It’s still fun and good, just a bit… lacking in the drive.
The song was originally called Generation Terrorists and the original demo contains the swear in the “why don’t you just -” chorus peak (a song moment inspired by Guns n Roses’ It’s So Easy). The album version has the ‘fuck off’ replaced with a cheeky guitar lick for whatever reason, but the live version of this song is always miles of fun considering how the audience has taken shouting the said two words from the top of their lungs with this song.
The video sees the band play the song in a weird house, first covered by paint and later on bothered by earthquakes and a giant spider. It’s a pretty daft mess of ideas and the ending result is slightly cringy. It’s not on Youtube so this article will be followed by a hyperspeed live version from 1994.
One of my favourite misheard Manics moments comes from this song (not by the courtesy of yours truly though): the closing “destroyed by madness” misheard as “destroyed by Manics”. You gotta admit, it fits with the song and the band at the time.