The Stone Roses
When I first heard “Fool’s Gold way back in late ’89 (or was it early ’90?), it blew my brain pan all over the wall. I had not heard anything like it; Bootsy Collins meets Simon and Garfunkel. Funky Britannia, man. Yes indeed.
Of course I bought the debut album, which in the States and Canada contained this track as a ‘bonus’ (the original British version did not), and was equally enamored by I Am The Resurrection, I Wanna Be Adored, She Bangs The Drums, Bye Bye Badman and…pretty much everything on the whole disk . It really was all killer. History tells us it opened the doors for the Madchester movement, where the more traditional merged with the more transitional, classic Brit-pop with dance music. My opinion? Nobody did this better than the Happy Mondays… but that’s another story altogether.
Anyway, does The Stone Roses hold up, or was it an overrated nostalgia trip from the get go? It depends on who you ask. I think it holds up pretty damn well myself. It doesn’t have the impact that it did back in 1989, of course. No album, upon revisiting, does. Decades passing and technological advancements in the way folks make, play and listen to music have a way of demystifying an album, and The Stone Roses is no exception. Yet this album still manages to place high on “Best Albums Of All Time” lists, albeit mostly those from the UK, which consistently rank it in the top 5…which is a bit of a stretch, to say the very least.
The grouches over at Pitchfork rate it a perfect 10/10, and say this: “The Stone Roses made a stunning debut, then bled out in a slow agony of contractual disputes, internal discord, and, eventually, public indifference (though their sophomore release and swan song, Second Coming, is nowhere near as bad as people say). More prosaic than drugs or young death, this trifecta killed a career that now essentially consists of just one great record that deserves classic status.”
It’s not a record I throw on all too often, but when I do I always enjoy it. But top 10 of all time? I don’t think so. Top 50-100 would be more realistic.