Oh the road is beautiful
The b-side to Motown Junk strongly rivals the key track in being the best song of the disc.
Much like Motown Junk, Sorrow 16 condenses teenage existentialism and arrogance in such a grandiose form that it overshadows most of the similar Manics songs. Both have a gigantic drive and immense passion in the sound. Just listen to the sheer vitriol in the song!
So many glorious moments. The choruses are brilliant and show how well-made some simple line repetition can be. Nicky’s fantastic “in hate!” cameo at the end of the second chorus is amazing – he sure loved doing those little vocal cameos at the start of the band. And the climax! The beautiful road part is pure genius, the way it just rises and finally ends in James’ spelling lesson is unbridled perfection.
It’s easy to say that the start of the band was somewhat embarrasing because, well, it was, but they really did know how to already write a song by then.