James Dean Bradfield (born 21 February 1969)[1] is a Welsh singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. He is known for being the lead vocalist and guitarist for the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers.

James Dean Bradfield
Bradfield performing with Manic Street Preachers in 2014
Bradfield performing with Manic Street Preachers in 2014
Background information
Born (1969-02-21) 21 February 1969 (age 54)
Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales
GenresAlternative rock, hard rock, post-punk, punk rock, glam punk
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, producer
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, piano, omnichord
Years active1986–present

Biography edit

Early life edit

Born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Bradfield attended the local Oakdale Comprehensive School where he suffered years of cruelty and bullying (he claims he was "a Woody Allen-esque little nerd") for his name (nicknamed Crossfire), lazy eye, musical bent and small size. James formed a close relationship with three friends: his cousin Sean Moore, who lived with James and his family throughout their childhood after his own parents' divorce, and future bandmates Nicky Wire and Richey Edwards.[2]

Bradfield loved to run and was a steeplechaser, and soon grew fond of punk rock band The Clash, although his earliest musical love was ELO.[2] He gave up his dream of "being like Napoleon" and decided that he wanted to be a rock star. He learned to play guitar by learning how to play Guns N' Roses's Appetite for Destruction[2] with the curtains drawn in his parents' front room.

Solo career edit

Bradfield in De Montfort Hall in 2010

In late April 2006, a track from Bradfield's debut solo single entitled "That's No Way to Tell a Lie" premiered on Janice Long's show on BBC Radio 2. It became the first single from the album and was released on 10 July while the album, entitled The Great Western, was released on 24 July. The single debuted at No. 18 in the UK Singles Chart while the album debuted at No. 22 on the album chart. The positions were considered relatively successful considering the lack of promotion.[3]

In support of the album, Bradfield played a series of solo gigs in May 2006 in Manchester, Glasgow, Dundee, Nottingham, Birmingham, and London. The setlists consisted of tracks from The Great Western as well as several Manics tracks including "This Is Yesterday" and "Ocean Spray". He also played one further date at London ULU in June 2006, featuring a similar setlist to the other gigs. Bradfield also performed at the 2006 V Festival in late August. He embarked on his first full UK tour – consisting of 15 dates – in October. A second single, "An English Gentleman", was lifted from The Great Western before the tour and entered the UK chart at No. 31 on 1 October 2006.[3]

The second album by Bradfield, Even in Exile, was confirmed in March 2020 to NME alongside the announcement of a 2021 Manics album.[4] That June, the album was confirmed to be inspired by the life and death of Chilean communist activist Víctor Jara, with lyrics written as unpublished poetry by Patrick Jones. Two tracks, "There'll Come a War" and the instrumental "Seeking the Room With the Three Windows" were released the same day.[5] The next week, the album was given a title and date alongside the launch of its first single, "The Boy From the Plantation", which debuted on Steve Lamacq's show on BBC Radio 6 Music. The album was released on 14 August 2020 on digital, CD, cassette, and vinyl[6] and entered the UK charts at No. 6, giving Bradfield his first solo top 10 album.[7]

Personal life edit

Despite having once said "I always get bored of the company of women really quickly",[8] he married the band's PR agent Mylène Halsall in a ceremony in Florence, Italy on 11 July 2004. The couple have two children.[9] He is a supporter of Cardiff Blues and Nottingham Forest.[3] In 2015, Bradfield and fellow Manic Sean Moore went to Patagonia in aid of the Velindre charity.[10]

Musical equipment edit

Guitars edit

Amplifiers edit

Discography edit

James Dean Bradfield live in London in 2005

With Manic Street Preachers edit

Solo discography edit

Studio albums edit

Singles edit

Collaborations edit

Production discography edit

References edit

  1. ^ Middles, Mick (2000). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press. p. 18. ISBN 9780711977389. OL 7792793M.
  2. ^ a b c "Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield: 'Sometimes You Need Some Creative Failure to Spur You On' | Interviews @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com". Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Power, Martin (17 October 2010). Manic Street Preachers. Omnibus Press.
  4. ^ Trendell, Andrew (12 March 2020). "Manic Street Preachers on their "expansive" new album and James Dean Bradfield's "electric" new solo record". NME. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  5. ^ Trendell, Andrew (26 June 2020). "Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield tells us about his two new solo songs: "One shows joy, the other shows fear"". NME. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  6. ^ "James Dean Bradfield Announces New Solo Album 'Even in Exile'". Manic Street Preachers. 2 July 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Even in Exile: Official Charts". officialcharts.com. 21 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  8. ^ "BBC Wales – Music – Manic Street Preachers – James Dean Bradfield". BBC. 3 December 2008. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  9. ^ Price, Simon. "Manics on New Football Single". The Quietus. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  10. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (19 November 2014). "Manic Street Preachers members to hike through Patagonia for charity". NME.
  11. ^ The Manic Street Preachers Gear Guide dolphinmusic.com Retrieved: 23 December 2009
  12. ^ "James Dean Bradfield – Manic Street Preachers". Manicstreetpreachers.com. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  13. ^ "James Dean Bradfield's guitar collection". musicradar.com. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. ^ "James Dean Bradfield's guitar collection". Musicradar.com. Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2018.

Bibliography edit

External links edit