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The Stone Roses - April 1989


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The Stone Roses - Silvertone

Released April 1989 | UK Chart: 19 (plus re-entries) / US Charts: 86

1. "I Wanna Be Adored" (4:52)
2. "She Bangs The Drums" (3:42)
3. "Waterfall" (4:37)
4. "Don't Stop" (5:17)
5. "Bye Bye Badman" (4:00)
6. "Elizabeth My Dear" (0:59)
7. "(Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister" (3:25)
8. "Made Of Stone" (4:10)
9. "Shoot You Down" (4:10)
10. "This Is the One" (4:58)
11. "I Am The Resurrection" (8:12)

Released March 1989
Version with bonus track, "Elephant Stone"
Released November 1989

Reissued August 1991
Version with bonus track, "Elephant Stone", "Fools Gold"

Version included in 12" Singles Collection Boxset
Released February 1993

Released March 1989

Version with bonus tracks, "Elephant Stone", "Fools Gold"
Released August 1991
Reissued March 1997

Released March 1989

Version with bonus tracks, "Elephant Stone", "Fools Gold"
Released August 1991

Cover Image

The Stone Roses


Quite simply, their debut album is a superlative record. A Byrds-like listlessness caused listeners to swoon in wonder and slip quietly beneath the surface. 'Waterfall' and 'She Bangs The Drums' were sublime and quietly brilliant, 'I Wanna Be Adored' teased with its epic intro, and, of course, created incredible and impossible pressure for that all-important second album. A classic album, already seen as one of the finest records of the past thirty years.

New Musical Express (25/09/93, p.18)
- Ranked #1 among the 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s - "...a shining embodiment of everything rock music should be: arrogant, elegantly crafted and imbued with a rare ability to make its listener feel mighty..."

New Musical Express (02/10/93, p.29)
- Ranked #5 in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'

Q - February 1998 - Best 100 Albums Of All Time
Number 4: The Stone Roses

UK Top 20 Peak: Number 19, estimated sales: 600,000 (UK), 800,000 (Worldwide)

With a swagger not lost on anyone with the ears to hear it, Manchester's Stone Roses created a debut album that worked on every possible level. Hindsight only confirmed what first listening suggested; that the band had re-defined the landscape of British rock and set a template for the 1990s. Drawing on the ecstatic energy of the late-80s, dance culture and the classic song based traditions of UK pop, they revitalised the whole scene from both ends of the spectrum simultaneously. Says their former guitarist John Squire; "There is no light so full of hope as that of the dawn." The Stone Roses is a record that begins with a statement of intent (I Wanna Be Adored) and ends with a near religious power (I Am The Resurrection). And in between are compositions that still stand out as the most memorable of their era: She Bangs The Drums, Bye Bye Badman and the rest are testimony to a group who turned the future into something to be embraced. From the certifiably lazy mumble of vocalist Ian Brown to Squire's dazzling jangle and the Roses irresistable beat, the sound evinced an utter conviction that rubbed off on audiences and fellow musicians alike, and by pulling together so many strands of inspiration that the music spoke to everyone from rave kids to psychedelic rock nostalgists. Even eight years on, it remains a unique work.

Q - Online, October 2000
They began as leather-trousered Mancunian goths, and their barren name always seemed inappropriate for leaders of the loved-up chemical generation. They ended, after a daft five-year hiatus, in a welter of disagreements, accusations and the humiliating revelation that singer Ian Brown couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. But for a brief spell in-between, though, the Stone Roses seemed to rule the world. It remains one of modern pop's more curious stories. Four dour lads, grinding out sub-Spear Of Destiny, clodhopping indie-rock, fall in love with MDMA and get fluid, funky and fantastic. They write these mercurial, timeless anthems and become spokesmen for their generation along the way. Could it really have have been so easy? It could, it was, and 10 years after its initial release, The Stone Roses' eponymous debut album still sounds tremendous. These febrile, spectral songs have aged well. I Wanna Be Adored remains nigh-on perfect, its petulant lyrical demand for adulation lifted by Gary "Mani" Mounfield's portentous bassline, John Squire's golden guitar shimmer and Alan "Reni" Wren's - groundbreaking, back then - funky drummer shuffle. Waterfall remains iridescent, Squire pulling off inspired arabesque solos, and This Is The One is the best song The Byrds never wrote. Tellingly, Bye Bye Badman and Elizabeth My Dear prove that the Roses weren't too lazy and blissed-out to formulate their own idiosyncratic but laudably radical political agenda. This was pure pop alchemy indeed. There are bonus singles, oddities and videos thrown into this reissue package, but it's the original disc which still fascinates. The Stone Roses couldn't hope to top this debut, and of course they never did. Looking back a decade on, it remains clear that here was a band - and an album - in a million. 5 stars.
Reviewed by Ian Gittins

Melody Maker, April 29 1989
THE STONE ROSES - The Stone Roses (Silvertone)

It began as infatuation with the "Elephant Stone" single at the end of last year. The love affair blossomed at a Middlesex Poly gig in February. Now it's become a religion. I'm obsessed. This record is godlike. "I am the resurrection and I am the life," sings Ian Brown and it may well be true. Sheesh.

My tape of this LP has been played constantly since I got it six weeks ago - these songs are now part of my life. Let me try to explain. "Adored" leads you into this house of delights, gently at first as it fades in with a throbbing bassline, through corridors of harmonics. Then suddenly you're in the main hall - its vast, oak-panelled, chandeliers hang from the ceiling and right in the centre there's something dazzling, blinding, loud and intense, and it's dragging you closer. You're in. It's a drug and you're hooked. "Adored" swaggers and sways, sure of its own greatness, with this monstrous guitar figure at its heart, Ian Brown pleading "I wanna be adored" over and over (when I first heard it I thought he was singing "I wanna be your dog" which makes a spooky kinda sense). That's the first song.

After such high drama, "She Bangs The Drums" is pure release. It forms part of a pure pop trilogy on this LP along with "Bye Bye Badman" and a pressed flower of a song, "Sugar Spun Sister". All three can follow a line from The Beatles to The Smiths to prime Primal Scream (dream no more about what that last group might have achieved, this is the promise made real), and yet this is one step on, quite definitely. Exhuming the past to create the future.

The spine of the LP is John Squire's guitar playing. Beautifully flowing, certainly psychedelic, there are elements of Hendrix (especially on "Shoot You Down") and Marr (check out the fade to "Bye Bye Badman"), but the rest is the lad's own work. "Waterfall" is a showcase switching from acoustic to wah-wah to funk without once sounding clumsy. It metamorphoses into "Don't Stop", essentially the same song backwards with wacko forward lyrics. This is a trip. It could have been the weak link, but instead is put across with so much invention that it works perfectly. Words and phrases are half-heard, half-drowning under waves of psychotic psychedelics. "Ah so much waste, how we'll be teased." Well, it sounds like that. "If you ask me you're imbecile." Then the voice goes under for the third time and it's over. Wow.

The centrepiece of the record is "This Is The One". An ebbing and flowing masterpiece, it builds, for once, not around Squire's guitar but on splashing cymbals, honeyed, layered harmonies and moments of virtual silence. It's extravagant and ornate, full of menacing canyons. It will take your head off.

By the time "Resurrection" (love the pilfered Status Quo line, Ian) has taken off for Cloud Nine and you go to put side one on again, the feeling is who wouldn't like this record? A song-psychle that even allows room for the relatively trad rock "Made Of Stone", this is simply the best debut LP I've heard in my record buying lifetime. Forgot everybody else. Forget work tomorrow. Forget the football on telly. Leave it all behind and listen to "The Stone Roses". Once. Twice. Then you'll know why I've made such a fuss. You'll understand. This is the one, this is the one, this is one (Bob Stanley)

NME, May 1989
Rock Follies
THE STONE ROSES - The Stone Roses
(Silvertone LP/Cassette/CD)

This is Rain Parade at ease after the storm. This is Dream Syndicate going through a recurring nightmare. This is an aural Bic Mac laced with psychedelic dill. This comes from Manchester and is made by people who think Levenshulme is a suburb of San Francisco. This is The Bryds after they've flown the coop. This is living proof that acid is good for you. This is quite good. Just.

There are plenty of people who would differ about this. Take the chap who, after chomping a hit of LSD-impregnated graph paper at a party last weekend, solemnly told me that this eponymous album was "The greatest record ever made". There again he thought he was having a conversation with Bugs Bunny at the time and I definitely don't have a tail.

There is, it must be admitted, something that elevates The Stone Roses above simple retro-guitar blasts. Maybe it's the humour. You can't fail to clock the latter - it's apparent straight after the first song is ushered in by a noise which sounds like a dozen fish-heads being digested. The guitars reach for the clouds while Ian, with Beelzebub's bloodshot eye staring out of his naval, moans "I don't have to sell my soul / He's already in me / I wanna be adored". The Stone Roses are not modest.

It's not all choppy riffola though, unfortunately. There are tunes, for example, "Waterfall", where the band try so studiously to be blissed out that they are as inviting as a bathtub of purple jelly left over from the S*x*I*s. The latter's coda of backwards noises merely reinforces the feeling that The Stone Roses are occasionally stuck in a time and mindwarp.

Even so, despite the fact that they cant be bothered or can't afford to explore the possibilities for psychic disintegration made available by new technology, there is still something charming about The Stone Roses - their complete obnoxiousness. Anybody who can rhyme "imbecile" with "feel" and do a cover of 'Scarborough Fair' and change the lyrics to "Tear me apart and boil my bones / And her breast till she's lost her throne / My aim is true and my message is clear / It's curtains for you Elizabeth my dear" can't be all bad.

(7) Jack Barron

Related Links

Made Of Stone Single Release
She Bangs The Drums Single Release
I Wanna Be Adored Single Release
Waterfall Single Release
I Am The Resurrection Single Release
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