We’re all free to choose
The first Manics hidden track, stacked cunningly right at the end of Know Your Enemy. Also one of those cases where you really wish the song was an original by the band because it’s that damn awesome.
We Are All Bourgeois Now doesn’t actually differ much at all from the original. The original version was written and performed by the 80’s British political rockers McCarthy who the band openly worships as stated by many, many interviews and the sheer fact that they’ve covered and recorded more than one McCarthy song during their career. Unlike most McCarthy songs where the lyrics were intentionally provocative and extremist in views (whether they were frontman Malcolm Eden’s own or not), Bourgeois goes on about rather calmly and idealistically, sung atop of a wonderful jangle anthem.
The main differences between the Manics and McCarthy versions are the singing and the production – musically they’re completely identical. The McCarthy version has the usual flat and weak 80’s production and Gann’s singing doesn’t exactly ring the bells of yours truly. On the other hand Bradfield’s soaring and the stronger, beefed-up production really squeezes the anthem like quality of the music into fruition. When the final chorus and the song’s soaring ending blast out, it’s sheer rock heaven. The vocal melody in the verses is absolutely fantastic as well.
Essentially, due to the similarity between the two versions, the whole thing boils down to which band you prefer. This is a Manics blog so we’ll go with our heroes.