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The Stone Roses (20th Anniversary Collectors Edition)

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iTunes Review

Few debuts have the consistency, surety and bewitching melody of this indie landmark. The Stone Roses’ fierce self-belief is well noted but it never descends into ugly hubris on a record that restored colour and swagger to late ’80s guitar music. In fact, the album’s great strength is its humanity as it portrays love (“She Bangs the Drums”), empathy (“Waterfall”), isolation (“Made of Stone”) and retribution (“Shoot You Down”). The music’s rooted in ’60s psychedelia but contemporary club culture and an ear for a groove synthesise spectacularly into beatific funk epic “Fools Gold”.

Customer Reviews

Silvertone should be ashamed

This is not a review of the original lp, which is amongst the best ever. These re-releases are shameful. I hope John Leckie was paid a great sum to get involved. £35 on itunes for a re-mastered version with no new extras. Hideous. Please do not buy. Find an original copy of the CD in a charity shop for 50p instead.

Made my lunch go cold...

Greatest album ever made? Certainly. Just listened to this while typing and ended up letting my lunch go cold while I closed my eyes and belted out This Is The One, covered with goose-bumps and if I'm honest, a massive lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. I wore out two tapes listening to this over and over between 1989 and 1998, then replaced it with a CD. Wasn't overly impressed with the sound quality on the CD - I'd become used to the tinny sound of the tapes and to be honest I've always shied away from playing this album on home stereos for fear of losing that feel. To me, it's about getting it on your walkman and caning it on your bike on endless summer days or taking long train journeys staring out the window wondering if your walkman batteries will last enough to do I Am The Resurrection before you get back to uni. I've been meaning to dig the CD out to transfer it onto my Mac and iPhone for a while but now this 'remastered' version is available I've taken the chance to get the original eleven songs in a better format. How much 'better' is debatable. It depends what this album means to you - if you remember listening to it on vinyl or on tape in the park with your mates (or on a tape player on the beach as I do), then I don't think it really matters how good the remastering is as the songs stand up so well on their own it really doesn't make any difference if they've been sampled through Icelandic rainwater poured by Scandinavian blondes and filtered through a million computers. The music is that good that it has the same effect whether it's coming out of a paint-splattered Matsui radio in a garage somewhere in Birmingham or a soundproof studio in the Dolby labs. In fact, I think it has more life and poignance coming from the former. I've never been a fan of 'remastering' albums. Sure, in some cases the recordings are cleaned up or translated into stereo (a la Beatles releases and Zepellin sets), but usually it's either hard to tell the difference or makes the album too 'clean' sounding. In these cases the rhythm section has indeed been improved - the drum and bass lines are clearer and form a much more emphatic base to the whole album, something I've not really heard before with my beloved tapes. The remastering makes much more of the 'sonic' feel too - the subtle reverb and layered vocals are truly beautiful and with enough tweaks to the EQ it sounds like you're in the studio with them. I'm not sure whether Brown's voice has been tweaked, I certainly can't tell, but if it has then my hat goes off to Leckie as unlike other remasters it doesn't dominate or sound like it's been added back in on top of a badly mastered sound. I agree with other comments about the price of the download, but it's quite a bit cheaper than surfing around for the tracks and videos individually. If you take the stance that it doesn't matter how you're listening to this album, as long as you're listening to it, then whether you pay £100 for the box set or £35 for the download is a moot point. In my case I downloaded the original eleven songs, plus the others that are special to me. I'm disappointed that the Garage Flower stuff's not here (guess it was too early) but you can't have it all. Buy it if you want to, it's special. If not, play the tape you copied off your mate in 1989 and had to record some radio on the end to fill the tape up!

A new coat of paint

I bought this on vinyl when it first came out, and it blew me away. But when I upgraded to CD I felt really let down that the mastering didn't take it to the next level. Now FINALLY John Leckie and Ian Brown have given us what the world was waiting for. There's so much more drum and bass, the guitars jump out of the speakers and the vocals grab you as never before. There are loads of playful touches, like the extended elephant fanfare into Elephant Stone... even more godlike genius than on the first time around. If you can't hear the difference between this and the original release there's no hope for you... compared to this, it's a photocopy, while this is the Jackson Pollocks! Thanks for letting us have it all... the all-killer no-filler album tracks, the not-off-any-album singles, the trippy backwards B-sides and the often radically-different demos. Plus, if you're a bit mean, you can cherry-pick. Anyone with the original album, this is the upgrade. Anyone without the original album, what are you waiting for?


Formed: 1985 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

Meshing '60s-styled guitar pop with an understated '80s dance beat, the Stone Roses defined the British guitar pop scene of the late '80s and early '90s. After their eponymous 1989 debut album became an English sensation, countless other groups in the same vein became popular, including the Charlatans UK, Inspiral Carpets, and Happy Mondays. However, the Stone Roses were never able to capitalize on the promise of their first album, waiting five years before they released their second record and slowly...
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