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The Stone Roses: The Remixes

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Album Review

Since the Stone Roses were the nominal leaders of Britain's "Madchester" scene — an indie rock phenomenon that fused guitar pop with drug-fueled rave and dance culture — it's rather ironic that their eponymous debut only hints at dance music. What made the Stone Roses important was how they welcomed dance and pop together, treating them as if they were the same beast. Equally important was the Roses' cool, detached arrogance, which was personified by Ian Brown's nonchalant vocals. Brown's effortless malevolence is brought to life with songs that equal both his sentiments and his voice — "I Wanna Be Adored," with its creeping bassline and waves of cool guitar hooks, doesn't demand adoration, it just expects it. Similarly, Brown can claim "I Am the Resurrection" and lie back, as if there were no room for debate. But the key to The Stone Roses is John Squire's layers of simple, exceedingly catchy hooks and how the rhythm section of Reni and Mani always imply dance rhythms without overtly going into the disco. On "She Bangs the Drums" and "Elephant Stone," the hooks wind into the rhythm inseparably — the '60s hooks and the rolling beats manage to convey the colorful, neo-psychedelic world of acid house. Squire's riffs are bright and catchy, recalling the British Invasion while suggesting the future with their phased, echoey effects. The Stone Roses was a two-fold revolution — it brought dance music to an audience that was previously obsessed with droning guitars, while it revived the concept of classic pop songwriting, and the repercussions of its achievement could be heard throughout the '90s, even if the Stone Roses could never achieve this level of achievement again.


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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