The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses


5.0
classic

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (119 Reviews)
July 30th, 2013 | 66 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For Tomorrow: A Guide to Contemporary British Music, 1988-2013 (Part 1)

England spent the ‘80s watching its own legacy crumble. Margret Thatcher had waged a decade long war against unions and miners strikes while the country gathered round the television to watch their own police force brutalize workers preventing other workers from working. A shift of focus from the coal industry to the service industry closed factories all over the country with the working class neighborhoods hit the hardest. The punk movement that galvanized the late 70s and early 80s was receding in favor of increasingly same sounding new wave and pop music. The thrill of money was polluting the airwaves; nothing mainstream had real energy anymore. Slick professionalism was the order of the day; all the exciting music was coming out of America.

The thing about Americans is loads of them just don’t know what happened over there during that decade. They think of grunge and boom bap rap music and sigh with nostalgia. But everyone who knows anything about music from a slightly more xenophobic ‘merican perspective knows that the 90s belonged to the English. The amount of absurdly exciting things that swept the country during that decade changed everything and the USA is still playing catch up.

Local Manchester band The Patrol was about done with doing Clash knock-offs, nobody was saying it but this show was going to be the last one. Just for fun, the group decided to give the bassist a chance at the microphone to sing one last song, a cover of The Sweet’s “Blockbuster” to finish things up. The bassist was Ian Brown and that night he realized that he felt more at home singing in the front than plunking along in the back. That was in 1981 and Ian wouldn’t find himself where he was meant to be until Andy Couzins approached him to share vocal duties in his band, The Waterfront. After The Waterfront split, Andy and Ian linked up with Peter Garner on bass; John Squire was recruited for guitar and Alan Wren joined on the drums. Their name, picked for its contrast, was The Stone Roses.

The key to the Stone Roses’ appeal is that Ian Brown is kind of a sh*t singer. His range was limited to a few octaves at best and he was completely flat. This is extremely important. Because his voice was so limited, everything else had to be strong. The hooks needed to be massive, the melodies always on point, harmonies bewilderingly realized and every single song had to be sweating confidence to such a degree that nobody noticed Ian’s deficiencies. This limited range would prove beneficial to the Stone Roses appeal as well, anyone could sing along with these tunes.

Pause for a moment and think about how many Britpop bands that paragraph applies to. Maybe The Stone Roses wasn’t the beginning of Britpop (Ahem, The Queen is Dead) but it laid down the groundwork for nearly everything that followed it in England during the 90s.

”I wanna be adored.”

Ian Brown and England wanted to be adored. And whether or not you think Britpop began here, musical movements don’t get mission statements as big as this. Everytime I listen to “I Wanna Be Adored” I get that feeling that something huge is beginning. That thick bass line, that atmospheric guitar riff, and the drums hitting with a mighty thwack. It’s a stunningly epic opener; Ian gets away with the hubris of the lyrics because you totally believe him. Its hypnotic the way he beckons and calls to you.

It’s so perfect that the rest of the album may come off as a bit of a disappointment at first. It is a bit of a bummer that the rest of the record isn’t as drivingly atmospheric; instead it’s a pitch perfect collection of pop tunes. The hooks here are things you’re born with, even if you’ve never heard “She Bangs the Drums”, “(Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister”, or “Made of Stone” before; you’re going to feel like you did. They feel ageless, coded into the DNA of pop music. “Waterfall” tumbles and pours forward; “Shoot You Down” injects a bit of variety into the back half of the album with a bassy jazz tune. It’s superb stuff. Things you could base an obsessive fandom around.

And an obsessive fandom soon followed. Hundreds of thousands of working class nobodies (Noel Gallagher included) found themselves looking at these lads on stage making this great music without looking or sounding much different than they did. Anyone can close their eyes and croon along to anything on here and imagine the spotlights beating down, if lowly bassist Ian Brown can shaggy his way on stage, anyone could do it. The Stone Roses kicked off the 90s with a concert at Spike Island in front of 27,000 drug wallowed Brits. It was the Sermon on the Mount for the coming decade.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2013


1633 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm posting these on a one week delay, read the full series here: http://badgersenate.com/category/a-guide-to-contemporary-
british-music-1988-2013/

Thanks for reading, suggest edits below.

Oh, and if this reads like intro its cause it is.

New review every Tuesday and Thursday

YoYoMancuso
July 30th 2013


11149 Comments


Never even heard this but now i want to. Fantastic review.

KILL
July 30th 2013


71957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nah

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2013


1633 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've always gone by the subtitle and it's definitely a classic.

wacknizzle
July 30th 2013


13464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I Wanna Be Adored is like the best song ever

Digging: This Gift Is A Curse - I, Gvilt Bearer

newjunk2
July 30th 2013


232 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If it wasn't for "Don't Stop" this album would be completely flawless.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

CK
July 30th 2013


4928 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Don't Stop rules. This rules. You rule. Rules

Digging: Death - Human

Janezberi
August 17th 2013


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Art..no doubt

EddieMarais
November 22nd 2013


111 Comments


Working my way through all 34 reviews... Dude, one thing's for sure, you're an insanely good reviewer.

AgainAnd
November 22nd 2013


267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I Wanna Be Adored is perfect. It's perfect. Perfect.

Digging: GoGo Penguin - v2.0

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2013


1633 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Hey thanks Eddie, hope you find some new music you like.

EaglesBecomeVultures
November 22nd 2013


5253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dang killuminati why don't you dig this more?

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

KILL
November 22nd 2013


71957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

my dad overplayed this so much as a kid i cant even listen to it anymore ugh!

fools gold is forever sweet tho

Emyay
February 25th 2014


5964 Comments


fools gold is awesome agreed

Pheromone
March 3rd 2014


3631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sometimes I fantasize
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me

A True banger of an album

Digging: Squirrel Bait - Skag Heaven

conesmoke
March 3rd 2014


5240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules bigtime.

Pheromone
March 6th 2014


3631 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I adore the album but it's weird seeing this having less than 15% the amount of votes that Brand New's The Devil And God on this site.

EddieMarais
March 15th 2014


111 Comments


Congrats (belatedly) on the promotion to Contributor, fully deserve it!

And Pheromone: I don't think the two albums can really be compared... TDAG just means a lot more to people than this.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


21453 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

album is zzzzz

Digging: Aspherium - The Fall of Therenia

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2014


1633 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

You know. I'm actually not the biggest fan of this record as a whole either. I like a lot of songs off it but I'm not listening to it front to back or anything. It earns the "Classic" nod based off reputation and influence but if I'm being perfectly honest...

Eh.



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