18 October 2011

Rose-Tinted Glasses

So, it seems, The Stone Roses are re-forming (isn't everyone these days?). The Roses often in feature in lists of my favourite music--top ten songs, favourite album covers, and sometimes even favourite bands. Let's be clear, though, I only started listening to their music a good three years after they broke up and nearly a decade after their eponymous first album, which is also their penultimate album and, let's face it, their only great album. Even then, it was only when The Stone Roses was introduced into the eight-CD rotation at the Sandwich Shop of Dreams for a year or so that I really started to appreciate them. I like every song on The Stone Roses and, unusually for me--a fickle, singles listener--I often listen to it as an album. I Wanna Be Adored is, of course, my favourite song on the album; I'm no music critic and the video clip below, which I must have downloaded years ago and lovingly saved onto my portable hard drive, probably sums it up best. I Am the Resurrection, with its awesome drum solo, comes a close second.

As for The Second Coming, the only stand-out song for me is Ten-Storey Love Song and even that isn't as good as almost all of the songs on The Stone Roses. As for their even earlier work, in early drafts of my novel, one of the characters shows her commitment to another character by tracking down a 12" white label edition of the Roses' first single, So Young (I assume that at the time I wrote this, I researched it adequately and found that such a disc would indeed be hard to acquire). He thinks she wanted to reflect on one of the song's repeated lyrics, "Where there's a will there's a way."

My liking of and emotional history with the band aside, am I glad that they're back together? I'm not sure yet. I love Manchester indie music from the '80s and '90s as much as the next person--more than most, in fact--and yes, they've probably moved on from their last, disastrous performance at the Reading Festival in 1996. But the more albums Oasis pumped out after 1997, the less I liked their music overall, and I worry that the Stone Roses and their debut album could be further tarnished in my mind. For now, though, I'll wait until I hear the re-formed band before passing further judgement.

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