The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses are one of the most influential Britpop bands of the madchester movement during the late 80’s and early 90’s. The band consists of Ian Brown on vocals, John Squire on guitar, Andrew Wren (reni) on drums and Gary Mounfield (mani) on bass. Each member extremely talented and unique with their instrument. They worked together to create decade defining tunes and the new wave sound that made Manchester.
Sadly, the band split in 1996 after members were unhappy and ended up clashing, resulting in Reni’s departure, followed by Squire. Eventually they all went their separate ways and developed solo careers (Ian Brown especially, check it out!). However they reformed again in 2011 and had a world tour in 2012. People wore their bucket hats with pride, or at least I know I did anyway. They brought out a couple of new tunes which did get mixed reactions, but I loved it all the same, the best part is is that they hadn’t changed at all.
So anyway, here is my top 5 Stone Roses songs ever. Do remember, I love all their songs, this is just my own personal list.
#5: All For One
This song was released after 20 years of hearing nothing new from Stone Roses. It was their comeback, and to me it was a fucking great comeback at that. The opening guitar riff by Squire hits you right in the face and Ian Brown’s signature vocals harmonize together as if time hasn’t affected him at all. Reni and Mani work together with bass and drums to keep a rock and roll style beat making the song catchy and upbeat just as before. To be honest this song is hard not to dance to, and you can practice a good solid air guitar as well, what’s not to like?
This song originally got a lot of mixed views despite the hype. People were a bit off about the simplicity of Ian Brown’s lyrics, complaining about them being ‘repetitive’ and simple. The lyrics are repeated that’s true, but that’s how their previous songs were like? Like ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ for example, and everyone still loves that. Regardless of what people say, I adore this song for what it is and it deserves my #5 space.
#4: Mersey Paradise
Another fabulous happy song from Stone Roses. The song is named after a river in Manchester. That’s all we really know about the meaning of the song, perhaps it doesn’t mean anything? Of course everyone has their own individual ideas about it being about Liverpool or even suicide, but the songs itself is great without needing a defining meaning. This is definitely a song that displays the Roses’ talent.
Reni’s quick beat and strong drum playing has control over the feel of the song along with another cleverly crafted guitar riff by Squire, creating this tune. What is noted is that the lyrics don’t make much sense which seems to get to people. But in the end, what does it really matter? The tune is fabulous. Ian Brown’s vocals within the song climb scales and explore various tones which really show off the extent of his awesome voice. To match this you can hear Mani’s bass climbing scales with Ian’s vocals giving the song a lot more power to it. It contrasts the more softer songs the Stone Roses have done, and they did it brilliantly.
#3: I Am The Resurrection
There is literally so much I could say about this song. This 8 minute wonder is filled with skillful playing from all artists and is one of their biggest anthems.
The song begins with a simple, catchy but strong drum beat from Reni which continues throughout the whole 8 minute song, well it gets more jazzy later. I have even tried to learn ‘I Am The Resurrection’ on drums, key word being “tried” here. It just amounted to me hitting the living shit out of the snare drum repeatedly in hopes for even a smidge of Reni’s talent.
Accompanied by Mani’s skillful bass playing, Ian’s vocals and lyrics start to fill the song with power and authority. Which is really what the song is all about, describing yourself as ‘the resurrection’ coming back better than ever, just like they did in 2011. Squire lightly plays in the background of the song giving it a soft melody, while the heavy sounds from the drum and bass take control. However, halfway through the song all this is completely flipped when the improvisation starts. This part of the song gives Squire, Mani and Reni a chance to show off their raw talent with their instruments and the way they all work together to create a symphony of Madchester.
#2: Love Spreads
Can you hear the Jimi Hendrix in this song oh my god. The raw riff from this tune is one of my most favourite riffs of all time. Of course beautifully made by Squire, and Mani’s bass playing is pretty fucking gorgeous too. The way it all works together gives off one of the greatest Rock Britpop sounds ever. This is one of the first songs I ever heard from Stone Roses, so all in all it stuck with me over time.
Similarly to the improvisation style part to ‘I Am The Resurrection’, this song was just displaying pure talent from all members of the band. With various guitar and bass styles being played (Hendrix) and funky drumming from Reni. Let’s of course not forget Ian’s confident vocals in a very typical rock genre style as well which perfectly fits the song. If I could describe this song in one word it would just be badass. Fucking adore it.
#1: Fool’s Gold
Noel Gallagher: “You get records that could have been recorded yesterday and this is one of them. It’s also the sound of the band peaking: they never did anything that matched it. This is 20 years old and it still sounds like the future.”
Timeless. This tune is so unique and fucking flawless. At the time, it was unlike what anyone had heard, and today it’s still that way. That’s what makes this song as successful as it is. Nobody could create or has created anything that could match or come close to this song.
The drums by Reni create such a strong groovy dance-style beat accompanied a clever hammer-on technique from Squire giving the song it’s definitive sound. I managed to learn it on guitar after sitting there ages trying to figure out, I played it over and over for hours after that and still do. Ian’s soft vocals echo throughout the song giving it that extra bit of magic. It’s almost haunting when you listen to the lyrics “I’m watching you sinking”. Although its got a soft delivery, it’s also got a powerful meaning of betrayal and obviously, foolishness.
I literally cannot stop myself from dancing to this classic song. It’s brilliantly catchy and definitely their best hit of all time.