The single reached number one in the UK charts on January 16, 2000 without any promotion by the band; it was their second #1 single joining "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next" (August 24 1998). It was deleted (removed from wholesale supply) on the day of release.
It knocked Westlife "I Have a Dream/Seasons in the Sun" off the #1 spot after four weeks and claimed the first new #1 of the millennium.
Although "The Masses Against the Classes" was not formerly featured on any album release, it was included on Forever Delayed (October 28, 2002), Manic Street Preachers' Greatest Hits album, as track eleven.
The single begins with a Noam Chomsky quotation and ends with a quotation from Albert Camus. The record sleeve features the Cuban flag, a mark of the band's socialist political ideology. They were to play in Havana in February 2001 to a sold-out Karl Marx theatre with Fidel Castro in the audience, whom they met when he arrived just thirty minutes before they were due to play.
The song appears to be a musical reply to criticism of the band's This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours album, seen by many fans as a shift in style from the usual angry alternative rock produced by the band in the early to mid nineties, as it is noticeably harsher and louder than most of the material the band had recorded in the years leading up to the release of the single, most of the lyrics confirm this.
The title is possibly an allusion to a quote from William Ewart Gladstone: "All the world over, I will back the masses against the classes".
Keeping the Masses Down.(Keeping the Masses Down: How to Escape the Vicious Downward Spiral of Poverty and Tyranny )(Brief article)(Book review)
Jan 01, 2006; Keeping the Masses Down August K. Anderson and Nola L. Kelsey AuthorHouse 1663 Liberty Drive Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403...