The Stone Roses: The Stones Roses (Legacy Edition)Music Reviews The Stone Roses
The album that ushered in the spiritual awakening of British music still reminds how dangerous the collision of rock and dance can be
Mentioned in the same breath as The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band and the Sex Pistols’ Nevermind the Bullocks, The Stone Roses’ eponymous 1989 debut managed to demolish the last whispers of the whiny reign of the New Romantics while signaling a global and sonic revolution. The Berlin Wall was falling, China devoured its young on Tiananmen Square and this brash, glamorous quartet from Manchester took it all in, translating roiling change into an epic work of prophesy and danger. On “Elephant Stone,” singer Ian Brown laments that there’s “a hole in my dream,” but these Baggy Princes were dreaming for an entire generation, ushering in a spiritual awakening of British music while demanding “I Wanna Be Adored,” and simultaneously insisting “I Am the Resurrection.” It turned out that they were right and, 20 years later, their ambition, attitude and brooding good looks still set the standard for the rock aesthetic. It’s rare that a document of such import can be improved, but singer Ian Brown and producer John Leckie have remastered the original, giving it more of a nasty, brutish snarl and refining the ascendancy of John Squire’s menacing, hallucinatory guitar playing. The extra tracks and the lost demos are revelations, if only to hear Brown veer off key in “Resurrection,” showing that these rock gods had feet of clay stuck into their Beatle boots.