Manic Street Preachers Ink American Deal With Virgin Records

While former Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey James remains missing in action, all does not appear lost for the revered British group's hopes to (finally) earn widespread recognition here in the U.S.

The Preachers, who have cut a pair of albums since James' mysterious disappearance more than four years ago, just signed a deal with Virgin Records in America to issue the group's most recent studio effort, "This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours," some six months after its release in the U.K.

The Brit-based group has been without an American record deal since Epic Records dropped the Manics after releasing 1996's "Everything Must Go," the band's first without James. "Everything Must Go" and "This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours" earned the Manic Street Preachers Brit Awards for "Best British Album" in 1997 and 1999, respectively, with the latter being awarded just last month.

According to a statement from Virgin, the label plans to issue "If You Tolerate This Your Children

Will Be Next" as the first U.S. single from the new record, which the Manics hope to have in stores by late spring.