Donkeys are only left with lies
This one’s got its fame by the band praising it every single time b-sides are mentioned. It’s one of their favourite, if not the favourite b-side. Or at least Nicky’s.
And I gotta admit it’s a great one. For a Gold Against the Soul era track it’s pretty controlled and calm – Gold Against was all about stadium rock and the b-sides for the singles are mainly rock monsters of various kinds, but then there’s this introspective beauty called Donkeys.
Despite its melancholy moodset, dirty beauty or the great instrumental bits throughout, the clear highlight moment of the song is when James rips on one of his solos. Like said before, Manics are one of the few bands that can really make solos something else than just dull guitar wanking and James is one of the best guitarists around, but even so the solo in Donkeys deserves a separate mention because of what it does to the song. After the calm pace the song’s gone through for its duration, the solo just unleashes the bent-up energy of the song and frustration of the lyrics. It’s the emotional climax of the whole drama of the song.
Beautiful little ditty.