Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Stone Roses
'The Stone Roses'

With the continuing, and inexplicable, rise of the Seahorses, and the re-emergence of Ian Brown, it’s time to remind us how great the Stone Roses once were. Their debut album is one of the few of our time to truly deserve its place among the greatest records ever. From John Squire's artwork to the dying reprise of the epochal 'I Am The Resurrection', the Stone Roses redefined music and, unusually for an album that reflected and influenced a time to such an extent, the brilliance has not been diminished over the passing years.

This is an album without tarnish, and it is still possible to listen to these songs and feel like you've just discovered them for the first time, such is the awe-inspiring nature of the genius contained within. The opening salvo of 'I Wanna Be Adored', 'She Bangs The Drums' and 'Waterfall' remains the most perfect introduction to an album ever recorded, with Ian Brown's distinctive vocals (remember, flawed is beautiful) mixing perfectly with John Squire's prodigious guitar playing, and the dynamic, elephantine backbone provided by Mani and Reni. Never before, and certainly not since (no matter who you think you are, xeroxing always degrades the quality), have arrogance, death-threats to the monarchy, and watching car-crashes sounded so sweet, so fulfilling, and so essential.

The Stone Roses followed the great musical tradition of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Burt Bacharach and the Smiths; loaded them up on Ecstasy and PCP, and took them to a rave. By mixing indie and dance, the Stone Roses created their own world, which they then proceeded to joyride out of Manchester and into the mainstream. Without this album, today's music scene would be unrecognisable, even if the originality and insight has been reduced to mediocrity and narrow-mindedness.

For once the hype is justified, this album set the precedent to which everyone strives and so often fail to glimpse, let alone reach. The Stone Roses provided the soundtrack to which our dreams were conceived, realised, and ultimately lost to. I'm not one for reverence, but for once my vocabulary fails me - the way they played, there are no words to describe the way I feel.