Manics' Hidden Richey Track

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Edwards, 27, from Blackwood in south Wales, vanished eight years ago and has not been seen since.

His car was found abandoned close to the Severn Bridge between England and Wales.

The mystery of his disappearance has never been solved, and there have been several reported sightings none of which have come to anything.

Judge Y'rself

Now the Manics are releasing a compilation of unreleased tracks and b-sides, including Judge Y'rself - the last song written with before Richey disappeared.

It was recorded for the soundtrack to the Sylvester Stallone film Judge Dredd but was never released.

The track will feature on the new album Lipstick Traces - A Secret History of the Manic Street Preachers.

Edwards would now be 34 and entitled to claim £3m in royalties from the album Everything Must Go - largely written by him, but recorded after his disappearance.

Band members James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire, and Sean Moore have continued to pay Richey's share of their royalties into a trust fund for their friend if he returns.

His parents were entitled to claim his estate after seven years - but vowed never to give up hope that Richey may be found one day.

There have been reported sightings of him in India and on the Canary Islands, but they proved to be false alarms.

A band spokesman said it was a very emotional time putting out the track.

"It's the last they wrote as a four-piece band." he said.

"It was a shame it was not released at the time, because it's a fantastic song."

The new album, which is released 14 July 2003, features 20 of the band's B-sides and unreleased tracks, including the Clash classic What's My Name? and Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Andy Williams.

[Originally published: bbc.co.uk/news/wales, 19 May 2003]