What do you need to know about them?
The Stone Roses formed in Manchester (England) in 1983 and finally released their debut album in 1989 a trend that would continue for future releases, and reformations. After splitting up in 1996, they have recently reformed for some summer concerts with the original line up of singer Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield (fresh from bass duties with Primal Scream), and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren.
They only recorded two proper albums, although claimed at the press conference for the recent reformation, that there would be a new one. The debut album was released on Silvertone and soon regarded as a British Classic. Unfortunately the band then disliked the amount of moolah that Silvertone were paying them and perhaps had some other issues. They attempted to leave for Geffen but the resulting legal dispute meant it was four years before the appearance of any new material. The second album “The Second coming” was regarded as a disappointment after the wait and the critical acclaim the first album had garnered. For whatever reason, the band grew apart, with Reni leaving, only to be followed a year later by John Squire. After this the band limped along for a few more months before being put out of it’s misery, and calling it a day.
Where did I first become acquainted?
I cannot say for sure but probably when I was getting into music. It was likely around 1992 or 1993 when I picked up a copy of the first album after reading of the critical acclaim. I liked it, although I would argue that the original cd issue sounds a tad flat on the mastering (not that I’ve heard the new remastered copy). It has sometimes been regarded as the best British album of all time which I would disagree with. Is it really better than “The Queen is dead” by The Smiths, or “The White album” by the Beatles? I think not. It is good though. As I was a bit late getting into them, I didn’t have to wait too long for the follow up.
What to buy:
I realise that Ian Brown’s voice live might be a bit, errrr, out of tune for some people , but most of the recorded material is good. Unfortunately there isn’t that much of it:
- The Stone Roses – The debut, best album (of the two) and a genuine classic. You ought to own this album even if you get nothing else by the band. It’s an “album you must own” type thing. Not the best British album ever, no, but still a classic. A part of this might come down to the producer John Leckie. It is reported (See the recent Mojo special on The Smiths and Indie music), that the sessions he did with the La’s for their album (and not released) sound very similar. It sounds “baggy” which is to say, a mix of pop, dance, and rock via the classic guitar, bass, drums lineup.
- The Second coming – Was more “rocked up” than its predecessor and didn’t do as well critically. It is not as good as the debut, no, but if anything is underrated, there is good stuff on there.
- Look also for the compilation “Turns into Stone”, which contains some decent singles “Elephant stone”, “One Love” and “Fools Gold”
Some key tracks to listen to:
Well there is not a huge catalogue to try from so if you want to give them a go, check out these tracks:
- I wanna be adored
- She bangs the drums
- I am the resurrection
- Elephant Stone
- Fools Gold
- Ten Storey love song
- Begging you
- Good times
Anything to avoid?
Theres not enough material there to avoid anything really, so you’re safe on that one.
Lexicon word of the day: foretoken.