CD/DVD Review: The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses—Legacy Edition
Silvertone/Legacy
By David Chiu

With the release of their self-titled debut album in 1989, Manchester’s Stones Roses defined the ‘Madchester’ sound of the late ‘80s-early ‘90s and paved a path for ‘Brit pop groups like Oasis. The timing of the group’s arrival onto the scene was perfect as their music, along with the Happy Mondays’ was the soundtrack for young Brits who were into trippy ‘60s/dance pop and drug-induced euphoria (See the movie 24 Hour Party People to get an idea of the Manchester scene).

Upon listening to The Stone Roses album in this special 20th anniversary 2 CD/1 DVD edition, it’s easy to see why the self-titled debut was voted in best albums poll. Though the record has is grounded in hazy and psychedelic atmospherics, The Stone is also very varied musically and not one-dimensional of the album. There also some really strong and driving rock numbers like “(Song for My) Sugar Spun Sister” and “I Wanna Be Adored,” and funk with the bonus track “Fools Gold”; they’re offset by mood pieces like “Don’t Stop” and “Shoot You Down,” Even the album’s closing song “I Am the Resurrection” is a bit of an intriguing puzzle: starting off as a Phil Spector homage before morphing into a progressive funk workout.

As evident from a DVD of a terrific live performance at Blackpool Empress Ballroom from 1989 that graces this set, it is clear that the members of the band brought something so unique and distinctive to the proceedings: from the driving rhythms of bassist Mani and drummer Reni to John Squire’s versatile guitar playing and Ian Brown’s charismatic and delicate vocals. In addition to the original album and DVD, this special edition of the album also contains a bonus disc of demo recordings.

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