Wednesday, August 11, 2004

I'll not rest 'til you've lost your throne

I didn't think I could care less about the Stone Roses anymore, so comprehensively has their memory been sullied by second albums, solo careers and the fact that the likes of the brothers Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft have stolen wholesale the reference points of what used to be my music, leaving one to remember the Roses as, depending on your time scale, mop-headed 60s revivalists or hoary 70s rock merchants.

It takes time to remember that the Roses were better than this: in the early days Brown and Squire were thoughtful, fiercely intelligent young men, not scallies, and half of their debut album and the couple of singles which followed it were quite exceptional. Fool's Gold, in particular, is pretty much unequalled. Nevertheless, I don't think I've listened to a Roses record since 1996 or so, and Ian Brown's solo stuff, with it's invocations of reggae, funk and hip-hop is of far more interest to me.

So I was surprised to feel strangely stirred when Ian Brown played a set of early Roses tracks last week, and reading the setlist was like being transported back in time. Songs I'd completely forgotten about spring back to me; Sally Cinnamon, Mersey Paradise, Standing Here...

And now Brown has spoken to the NME about it and I find myself wondering where my Roses CDs got to - back in London with my parents, I suppose. Me and V are going to stay in Barnet for a few days next week while my parents are out of the country, so perhaps I'll have to dig my copy of Elephant Stone out while I'm there.

Ian Brown talks to the enemy


BB said...

I was really into them from about '95 to '96 and bought one of their (inevitably) much-maligned compilations as well as "Second Coming". Played both a few times recently too and still really liked them, though as I managed to avoid the whole indie scene for about the next 9 years, they ought to still sound fresh :-)

"Fool's Gold" is good, but I don't really know what the fuss is about. I suppose it's an 'anthem'. Much prefer "She Bangs The Drums" and "Mersey Paradise".

Got into Joy Division around about that time, with The Fall following a few years later, and that was about it with me and indie/rock. Until Assistant came along :-)

jonathan said...

The thing about Fools Gold was that indie bands had been trying to write a song which was basically dance music for years, but most hadn't realised that it wasn't enough just to put a funk loop under a song. With Fool's Gold the Roses did it properly - it's a groove, really, ever growing. Also, it references Hallelujah by Can which is about my favourite song ever.