THE STONE ROSES
RELEASED 1989, SILVERTONE RECORDS
1989 was an EPIC year. The Berlin wall came crashing down. Sky TV was launched in Europe. Bush got in. Tim Burton’s Batman rocked our worlds, and of course, musically, legend was formed that endures to this very day. Michael Jackson was named “King of Pop” after receiving the Soul Train Heritage Award. Only kidding. The Stone Roses by The Stone Roses was released to acclaim, uniting the North and South of England. In fact, the whole world, for a brief moment suddenly becomes mad fer it.
We all know the history: football hooliganism meets drug culture. Indie rock meets ‘dance’. Barriers are literally broken down and eventually shaped into the worldwide behemoth that we call dance music today. Yes, the Stone Roses dabbled in dance, the same way that Weatherall injected the Scream’s blues and rock vibes with ‘dance’. But then? That meant hip-hop, funk, soul and dub with a little electronic influence sneaking in from Chicago and Detroit.
They only made two albums. Yep. Only two. There are rumours of a third, on the back of new dates announced for next year. There’s no consensus yet on the reaction. The 40-somethings are split between, ‘leave the legacy alone’ and ‘bang on, let’s ‘ave it again’. Maybe a whole new generation will clutch them to their collective bosom, or just go, meh, we want more Rudimental. One thing is for sure though, as debuts go, they’re up they’re in the pantheon of The Greats.
The album defined an era, inspired the Gallaghers and probably, inadvertently, helped kick off Britpop, but as we know, one great album doesn’t make a career. Try two albums. They did, but the gap of five years saw them lose momentum, and internally, their spark and creativity with each other. It wouldn’t be too long after Second Coming before Ian Brown would get the F.E.A.R and went solo.
Let’s be reminded what it was actually all about for them: the music. Not the fighting, breaking up, attitude or poor work ethic. It’s about 12 amazingly crafted tunes that are the staple of any eclectic playlist today and inspires a Bez style workout no matter who you are. I Wanna Be Adored is Brown at his arrogant best. It’s got elements of shoegaze and a thumping burst of 4/4, but Squire’s squall has elements of psych and classic rock that turn introspection into an anthem.
She Bangs the Drums sees Reni and Mani lead us in with some tight, rhythmic synchronicity. The bassline could almost have been a sped up Duane Eddy – Peter Gunn. It’s an optimistic tune with a nice fade at the end. Waterfall is classic British Folk given a Manchester makeover. Don’t Stop has that 4//4 thump again with some nice reverb on the vocals. Let us not forget the importance of producer John Leckie, on shaping their distinctive sound. Bye Bye Bad Man has Beatles stamped all over it, but pleasantly veers into a country vibe! Elizabeth My Dear – Scarborough Fair? Spin Spin Sugar? No, Sugar Spun Sister. Squire’s licks have a more restrained 50’s rock sound to it. Made of Stone – anthem. Need we say more? You know it, we love it.
Maybe in the end their impact wasn’t as global as some of this isle’s musical output (Led Zep, The Who…), but with a perfect album to their name, they will live long in the hearts of fans forever. If any new fans commit them to the big screen, like Shane Meadows (The Stone Roses: Made of Stone) and Mat Whitecross (Spike Island) then maybe a new generation will add their take on a moment in musical time that will never die down.
AND here’s some Spotify facts….
Most streamed on Fri 9 Oct 2015
Most streamed in UK
30% female, 70% male
Most popular with 35-44 year olds
“I Wanna Be Adored” has the most streams with 11,426,353
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