Manchester – 1989. Club & rave culture was a fire that was rapidly starting to grow bigger flames and was very quickly spreading throughout the land, savaging most other mainstream music in it’s path along the way. Baggy, flared jeans and suede wallabies reigned supreme on the nations dancefloors.
The label ‘Madchester’ was championed by the British music press back then and bands such as Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, Charlatans, Soup Dragons, EMF, The Farm were all born out of this movement. The fusion between alternative, psychedelic rock and the emerging acid house sound was unlike anything i had ever heard and was just so fresh and exciting to me.
No band sums up this particular period, and one of the most important times in 50 years of music more than The Stone Roses. Their 1998 single ‘Elephant Stone’ has always been widely accepted as the track that fired the ‘Madchester’ starting pistol, it only featured on the US version of this album for some reason though, I’ve always believed that it really should have been included on their original UK release, this would have been the absolute icing on the cake in my opinion. Later reissues of the album thankfully did see sense though.
Ian Brown is without doubt one of the greatest underrated songwriters in history. His and John Squire’s connection on the songs throughout this album just scream ANTHEM! around every corner you turn. I’ll be the first to agree with some of the critics that Brown’s vocal performances haven’t always been the most perfect, for me though I would argue that point as being almost irrelevant with this man’s songs. The important parts within his vocal projection and presence on stage are in the mood that he creates and the messages in which he sings of. He is one of a kind.
So, with regards to this self titled album from these seriously cool individuals, you are getting some of the most uplifting, anthemic pieces of feel good music ever, that have stood the test of time brilliantly. ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ ‘She Bangs The Drums’ ‘Waterfall’ ‘Made Of Stone’ ‘I am The Resurrection’ Fools Gold’ ..like come on like!! You don’t get 6 complete bangers like this very often on any album, that’s before you delve into the sublime fillers which in themselves are so far from being actual ‘fillers’ its scary.
I still play this record a LOT and it always gives me that feeling of inner triumphalism, bloke camaraderie and most importantly a teleportation back to an amazing time of discovery as I sing along very loudly with attitude in my tone, while pointing my finger at the thin air ahead of me.
A complete game changing, groundbreaking masterpiece of albums.