Youâ€™d be forgiven for taking the Stone Roses for granted a bit. They only had one remarkable album (their self-titled debut) and it was released in 1989, at the beginning of alternative rockâ€™s heyday, forcing them to compete with everyone from Depeche Mode to Nirvana. But thanks to Legacy Records, the Manchester-based band gets another shot. Because of the infectious, if a bit mopey single â€œI Wanna to Be Adored,â€ the band is technically classified as a one-hit wonder in the U.S. (can you name another Stone Roses song?), but as the 20th anniversary offering proves, the band certainly deserves a second listen. The band blended strong hooks and dance beats, along with psychedelic and often jangly guitars putting them at the forefront of the â€œMadchester Soundâ€ that also carried with it peers like the Happy Mondays, Charlatans UK and the Inspirational Carpets.
Though often overshadowed by the more tabloid-worthy Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses wrote far catchier songs. When the album first came out, Britainâ€™s always bombastic NME magazine declared it â€œThe Greatest Album of All Time,â€ there by handicapping the band from the get-go. The Stone Roses signed to Jive/Silvertone Records (which would eventually become the record label of choice for Boy Bands and pop tarts for most of the 90â€™s) in the U.S., but never really achieved the adulation that came after their first record. Their next proper follow-up (not including some re-released early singles) in 1994, the appropriately-titled Second Coming, was a bit underwhelming in comparisons to the tight, original songs that made up Stone Roses. The band fell apart not too much later. The Legacy collection includes a completely remastered version of the UK version of the bandâ€™s brilliant self-titled CD, a second disc of 15 demos, including a previously unreleased song (â€œPearl Bastardâ€). There is also a DVD of the bandâ€™s music videos and a live show. The album â€“ sounding better than ever before â€“ and the demos are well worth the price and belong in the library of every 30-something. Along with â€œI Wanna to Be Adored,â€ songs like â€œWaterfall,â€ â€œShe Bangs the Drumâ€ and â€œElephant Stoneâ€ have held up remarkably well over the past two decades and the demos sound better than many of the finished albums put out by their peers. The label also putting out three other versions of the 20th anniversary collection: a single disc of the remastered album; a Collectorâ€™s Edition that features 3 CDs, 3 vinyl LPs, a DVD, book and some prints; as well as a Gatefold Vinyl Edition that comes with a vinyl LP and a 7 inch record of â€œPearl Bastard.â€
Top tracks: â€œI Wanna be Adored,â€ â€œWaterfallsâ€.
Rating: 9.1 out of 10
The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses 20th Anniversary (Deluxe Edition) / 2 CDs and 1 DVD / 2009 / 27 Tracks