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Guilty Pleasure: The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

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I have always loved The Stone Roses‘ self-titled debut album from 1989. As far as guilty pleasures go, it’s hardly dancing around the house to Queen in your underpants, but it’s a high.

The humble beginnings of Britpop, before Liam Gallagher anointed himself the rising phoenix from the ashes of John Lennon, can be heard on tracks like “Made Of Stone”, “This Is The One”, and “I Am The Resurrection”. They were influenced by the post-punk scene in Manchester, but their sound isn’t as dark, nor nearly as minimal. If you like Oasis, they liked The Stone Roses. If you hate Oasis, The Stone Roses were much, much better.

I recommend taking this album as an album and listening to it from beginning to end, but that said, almost every track can stand up on its own. I love the bass intro on “I Wanna Be Adored”; “She Bangs The Drums” is a good, solid 80s dance song; and I can’t not sing along to “Made Of Stone”–even though I finally cared to notice what it’s about. Google those lyrics, man, seriously.

I do attribute my extreme fondness for this album partly to the fact that it was the soundtrack to my first real time away from home. I was alone on a long train ride with nothing but a book and a discman. I listened to “Waterfall” with my cheek stuck to the window; I bounced through the traincars to “Fools Gold”. But honestly, years later and sedentary, I can say that it’s one of those “journey” albums whether or not you take it on the road.

Nowadays, the Roses are no more. Ian Brown does his own thing. John Squire has The Seahorses. You might know Mani from Primal Scream. And Reni. . . what’s up with Reni these days? All I know is, nearly 20 years later, The Stone Roses remains a gem.

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