Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Lost Art Of The Pop Manifesto

'If you are focused you are harder to reach. If you are distracted you are available.'

I find few ideas as exciting as that of a person or group creating their own system by which to live. The band manifesto is the ultimate statement of intent. In them bands offer up their huge ambitions to the world and potentially expose themselves to great ridicule. Here I have included some of my favourites, which vary from asking you to change your perspective on X Factor to overthrowing capitalism.

I have never heard of 'Lunar Youth' but their manifesto (above) is one of the best I have read, perhaps because it contains the bold intent 'We will construct an urban cityscape with shimmering electric guitar'. The post-punk band Wire had a particularly concise manifesto, including the brilliantly simply 'Keep to the point'.

The recently departed Chapman Family in their manifesto pleaded for us to to 'ignore the glorification of D-list celebrity morons' and 'rethink our priorities' about what art is-

A recent addition to the canon comes from the band Savages, who advise us not be distracted from what is important-

Their frontwoman, Jehnny Beth, explains the importance of manifesto's to her here-

Some bands, however, used the manifesto in a very different way. The Manic Street Preachers, despite never publicly issuing a complete manifesto, offered a series of bulletins by which their guitarist Richey Edwards offered state of the nation addresses on everything from commercialism to Disney Land. So perhaps it is apt to give him the last word-