A new Stone Roses single has inevitably got the Standard Issue team talking about their favourite tracks from the Manchester four-piece.
Five long years we waited for the second Stone Roses album and 21 long years we’ve waited for the third. And ‘waiting’ is the key word here, as no one has forgotten or given up – we’re dutifully sat cross-legged with the same bloody flared jeans, oversized T-shirt and moptop hairdo they left us with. At least spiritually speaking, if not actually.
Loving the Stone Roses is the equivalent of sitting on a wall waiting for your pisshead Dad to collect you: you’re left both hoping that they don’t embarrass you when they get there and wondering where the fuck they’ve been when they do.
All the pacing has made me anxious. Nauseous even. Will my loyalty be worth it? What if the sneerers and the people who moved on or gave up are right? The Roses basically went out for a pint of milk when I was a student and haven’t been back since. Ian Brown’s solo career, Mani’s stint in Primal Scream and a sighting of John Squire outside Woolworths with some busker or other, well, their absence has always felt like a holiday for them while it’s been a far more serious hole in my heart.
I loved the second album. But then I love Led Zeppelin. And I will love the third album, because I love my four Dads.
I Am the Resurrection
I Wanna Be Adored
Sweet Mary, mother of Manc, I Am the Resurrection is a proper blinder. Eight minutes (you can do one with your Complete Stone Roses bastardised radio edit) of halcyon Madchester magic.
Brown is all defiance and trousers, Squires keeps it just the right side of wanky, Mani is, well, Mani, and Reni, working on brilliant instinct and emotion, is the heartbeat. The result is a swaggering behemoth of a tune, perfectly encapsulating the working-class hedonism that made the Roses THE band of the late 80s/early 90 Smiths/clubland crossover.
Play it top volume and, from the bangin’ drum intro to the wah-wah instrumental outro, it can’t fail to make you get baggy in the car/kitchen/bedroom (that closing metronome beat makes for a truly triumphant finish – just saying).
The closing track of the band’s self-titled debut LP (1989), it only reached number 33 in the charts when it was released as a single in 1992. Deeply Dippy by Right Said Fred made it to the top spot the same year. Just think about that and have a word with yourself, 1992.
A hat tip also to I Wanna Be Adored. If ever an excuse were needed to shout-sing (shong?) way too loud and out of tune (like Ian Brown would be bovved/notice), it’s this anthemic blast. The opener on the Roses’ debut album, it’s typically cocky as fuck, with no actual instruments being played until 40 seconds in. What follows is a textbook lesson in how to build to a massive, messy, moshy climax that does wonders for your self-esteem in a shong-along.
Made of Stone
I’m pretty sure there are some compelling technical arguments as to why these aren’t The Stone Roses’ best tracks. But what can I say? You don’t love things because they are perfect.
I’ve written before about the teenage wonder of hearing the debut for the first time though my shitty earphones on the school bus. And, in a year that I seemed to spend most of in the back of my dad’s car, Made of Stone was the perfect accompaniment to staring out the window, scowling and trying not to think about how much you wanted to pee.
“Loving the Stone Roses is the equivalent of sitting on a wall waiting for your pisshead Dad to collect you: you’re left both hoping that they don’t embarrass you when they get there and wondering where the fuck they’ve been when they do.”
I was 21 by the time The Second Coming arrived and was immediately written off as shit. Or worse, some kind of Zeppelin pastiche. Because by then, of course, everybody had started listening to dance music and pretending that they didn’t say they were going to form a band the first time they heard The Stone Roses. Man, I hated university.
Undoubtedly, Tears is the apogee of John Squires’ attempt to create a new track for IV, but, you know what? I like IV. And I love The Second Coming.
She Bangs the Drums
You know when you’re about 12 and you go on a holiday with your parents to a timeshare in Majorca and there are those markets that sold all the dodgy tapes? I bought one called Rocks, a collection of absolute indie smashers including this, which I played to death (cue squeaking Walkman rewind/play/rewind/play and so forth). I didn’t listen to anything else on the tape for two whole weeks which cemented the beginning of my lifelong love affair with the mighty Stone Roses.
This song cannot help but make me happy – it’s euphoric, it’s a cute love story, it has a chorus that makes you sing your heart out. It’s been my soundtrack on many a dance floor and festival tent over the years and, most memorably, when Ian and co played their comeback gig in Manchester a few years ago. When John Squire’s guitar strummed the opening chords my heart soared, tears rolled and socks were danced off. The way I feeeeeeel!
As a child of the 80s and a teen of the 90s, growing up in Manchester, The Stone Roses were the soundtrack to my youth. Particularly, when at uni in the early 2000s, I danced my socks off in smoky, 50p for a bottle of Castlemaine XXXX, weed-tinged nightclubs. In the grungy bars of 42’s and Fifth Avenue, the night would inevitably crescendo to the anthemic I Am the Resurrection, but it was always the gentler lull of Waterfall that I loved.
That jangly repetitive riff gives way to a soft-voiced Brown, complete with that comforting Mancunian accent. As for the lyrics, well, I always thought it was about a woman getting away from a damaging past, however there is apparently a political element about the changing face and modernisation of Britain due to American influences (No, I have no idea either).
Whatever it is about, it’s one of my all-time favourite songs and reminds me of a well spent youth. Bring on the new TUNES!!!
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