The Stone Roses: Coming of age.
Thirty years ago this week one of the most important records of my generation was released. Not only did this album sound fresh and like nothing else in the charts at the time it also had a retro vibe about it, a sound similar to the records my mum owned and played on a Saturday morning whilst cleaning the house. The album I’m referring to is the debut album by The Stone Roses titled simply enough ‘The Stone Roses’.
I had heard of the band, I think it was on Radio One where I first heard ‘Sally Cinnamon’ and was intrigued but couldn’t find anything else by them in my local Our Price. Living on the south coast it felt like we were always the last to know about new music. Like every other music mad lad back in the pre-internet days, I listened to Jo Wiley and Steve Lamacq on the radio in order to find out about new indie bands and when I heard them announcing the release of this mystical band's album I couldn’t wait to buy it. To say it changed my life is truly an understatement. I can honestly say I listened to and have listened to that album in its entirety more times than any other album I own. When myself and my mate Chris would indulge in various substances, that was our comedown album. It would be playing night and day in my flat. Right from the first track, I Wanna Be Adored’, you are taken on a trip, no pun intended, a spiritual journey like no other. The incessant beat of ‘She Bangs The Drums’ grabs out of your slumber and let’s you know you are listening to something truly special. ‘Waterfall’ comes along with its jangly guitars and suddenly it’s turned on its head, flipped upside down and reinvented as ‘Don’t Stop’. What am I listening to? Where has this band been all my life? Who am I? That is answered in ‘Bye-Bye Badman’, sounding like The Byrd’s and The Beatles all mixed into one. Put the needle down on the second side and ‘Elizabeth My Dear’ transports into a medieval plot to dethrone the monarchy. The jangly guitars suddenly return with ‘(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister’ before ‘Made Of Stone’, a homage to The Smiths crashes in.
By the time ‘Shoot You Down’ floats in you are under no illusion that this album is the greatest album you’ve ever heard. Those jangly guitars kick back in with ‘This Is The One’ and they are right, this is the one, the only one and the one that you’ll never forget. They saved the best until the end, ‘I Am The Resurrection’ has to go down as the best ending to an album ever. It sums up the album and indeed the band, they have saved us from bland chart music and invented something that will not only change the music you buy but changed the way you dress, the way you think and the way you live your life. Long live The Stone Roses.