The Stone Roses/The Complete Stone Roses

The Complete Stone Roses is a 1995 compilation of singles and B-sides by British indie band The Stone Roses. It was released without the band’s input by their record company Silvertone, with whom they were embroiled in a protracted legal battle to terminate their five-year contract.

The album features an almost complete collection of the band’s Madchester heyday recordings for the label, as well as prior releases for other labels. However, many tracks are substantially different in quality from their original release, having been re-engineered by Silvertone, with the results garnering criticism from music journalists and fans alike. [Wikipedia]

So Young—-From the onset, the vocal of Ian is so warming and comfortable, you almost ignore the rather abrasive guitar songs of a band just finding its foothold. Squire still had his hands in the sound, the jangly guitar however is almost drowned by the too forward drum mix. Still…this was the emergence of brilliance and I’m glad to have it.

Tell Me—-Beginning with a smooth and subtle drum intro, the trademark sound of the Roses’s guitar is firmly in place on this track. Although the track is not nearly as accessible as later tracks, this again shows that the ideas and concepts of the band were firmly in place at this time. Brown sounds wonderfully off-key and is his usual quaint self. Wonderful.

Sally Cinnamon—-Perhaps my favorite Roses song next to ‘I Am The Resurrection’, this is definitely the future sound of the Roses. I was late coming to this single and remember falling in love with it..playing it over and over hundreds of times until my brain recoiled from it. Now as I listen back to it for the first time in a long time, it is fresh, romantic and almost heartbreaking. This remains…genius and really marked the firm foothold of the Roses sound.

Here It Comes—-With the most retro sound to date, this B-side allowed the Manchester group to really gain their foothold in the world of 90’s music. the critics were taking note at this point and the band was gaining a huge UK following. The track has some brilliant Squire guitars and a really relaxed and accessible vocal from Brown. When Brown sings “…I’d rather be no-one than someone with no-one to love…” my heart just bleeds. This is brilliance!!!

All Across The Sands—-Agin, the introduction of the song allows Brown to exercise his tracks as a nice retro almost 50’s pop backdrop accompanies his vocal. The jangly pop the Roses were managing at this point would influence a generation and the decade that followed was full of impersonators and expansion on this particular shiny sound.

Elephant Stone—-From the first proper debut from the band, this single marked the madness that was to follow. This is truly a brilliant piece of music…the sound so fully ensconced in the 60’s revival of Manchester. Brown and his slight off kilter vocal goes through studio magic and allows it to become a layered and pleasant excursion in the sand while the sunshine falls upon your shoulders and turns you a golden brown. The track manages to bring about elation and joy regardless of the mood you are in…this is a masterpiece…I never tire of this.

Full Fathom Five—-Left without a proper B-side for this single, The Roses embarked on a trip of brilliance and simply put Elephant Stone on the flip side of this release…..BACKWARDS!!! The result is a classic E-inspired trip that still manages to make you smile from the simple brilliance of the whole idea. GENIUS!!!

The Hardest Thing In The World—-The remarkable thing is how cemented The Roses became in their particular sound so quickly. This is masterful…Brown has rarely sounded better and the one thing you notice is the heavier than usual bass tone of the song. The jangly sounds of Squire are alive and well and still come to the front of the mix from time to time. This is fantastic….the retro sound will warm you from your toes to the top of your head. Remarkable.

Made Of Stone—-This is the classic epitome of the Roses sound…the backbone of the song shines of that retro 60’s pop that allowed harmonies and bright guitars to control the entire scope of a song. This is so bright and melancholy that it has the ability to devastate¬† or elate depending on the mood of the listener. Brown sings at times in almost a whisper through the verses, but as the chorus continues and becomes larger and larger, you reach for you pipe and wallow in the gentle haze of smoke and memories.

Going Down—-Smooth and full of delicious melodies, the simple fact that this band was the lovechild of every media outlet in Europe is of no surprise. This is classic and wondeful….the vocal melodies are warm and inviting, the drums are wonderfully delivered and the poppy 60’s guitar of Squire will only elicit a smile.

She Bangs The Drum—-With a simple almost undetectable guitar propulsion, the band managed to craft yet another pop masterpiece on a debut release that was masterful and laden with hit after hit in the European continent. The gentle yet tuneful vocal of Brown was of course a letdown on stage, but it cames across so well on record. This is a piece of history…music that helped to shape the landscape of music that was to come after this. This is a moment caught in time when music was real…full of emotion and a classic example of the Brits always being ahead of the curve. Brilliant!!!

Mersey Paradise—-Full of that retro guitar plentiful of jangly, sunshiny pop, the song turns into the best song that was never written in the 60’s!!! This is so warm and accessible, you wonder how this ended up as a B-side…remarkable…..Brown is on edge and sings with a bit on anger in his voice…the drums lead the song and the guitars lay back and provide the warm glow that is needed. This is genius!!!

Standing Here—-With a slight lean to the blues, this track instead of having a forward propulsion seems to have a more laid back and reverse progression. Of course the drums and the bass guitars shine with that poppy sound, but the vocal is lazier and the leads are not as in your face as before. This is so nice…I have to listen to it again.

Standing Here—-Full of bright and mellow guitar sounds, the band felt its full glory during this time. the guitar lines and the drums are masterful. This remains…brilliant.

I Wanna Be Adored—-Perhaps one of the most brilliant and experimental of the Roses catalog, this song seems to be a favorite the world over. Full of lavish and textured guitars and an almost lazy drum, this song remains a centerpiece in the bands catalog and never fails to produce a relaxed and mellow feeling in my brain.

Waterfall—-awash with vivid musical colors and tones, this is indeed a Waterfall. Brown delivers a vocal that is so damn pleasant you almost forget that he cannot really sing…the studio mastery remains just that. The bright and jangly pop sounds are masterful, you cannot get this simple guitar and bass line out of your head…when the voices combine for the chorus you are magically transported back to 1960 something when harmonies and glitter mattered in pop music. This is fantastic.

I Am the Resurrection—-Simply my favorite roses song of all time, this is an anthem sized song for the ages. The guitar and bass line sets up the song and allows it to grow to the epic proportions that it does. The chorus is a goosebump inspiring string of voices that brings about elation and a magical sense of well-being. This is The Roses at their best…never a disappointment.

Where Angels Play—-From the onset, this track is full of gentleness and a shiny psychedelic pop sound. The voice is damn near magical as it delivers line after line of pure pop perfection. This remains marvelous…even after all the time and controversies that have passed. A band that provokes a piece of mind and lots of wonderful memories.

Fools Gold—-A huge club track for the band, this beefed up song features some of the sounds that helped propel the E-nation of the early 90’s. This was not your typical Roses track, but was a holdover between record negotiations and provided the fans a taste of what the long-awaited second release would sound like. a bit of a let down for me, the shining point is the laid back and breezy vocal.

What The World Is Waiting For—-With a bit more 90’s inspired guitar lead, the jangly shiny pop sound is still there but seems to be almost buried underneath the prominent bass line. Brown seems even more sedate than usual…providing a vocal that is pushed way to the back of the mix, but masterful none the less…I love it when he begs to stop the world he’s getting off…my sentiments exactly after the past few weeks I have had.

Something Burning—-With a really laid back and psychedelic feel, this is a track that never really went anywhere for me. I love the vocal and the prominent bass line, but the guitar seems muddy and polluted. Not a favorite, but still retaining some of the classic sound of the band.

One Love—-Much noisier, the song still has that psychedelic flair that would lead the sound of the second release that took 6 years to get here. This is remarkable…the groovy bass line…the relaxed vocal and the experimental guitar leads into a chorus that sticks not only in your brain but to you very bones…this is fantastic.

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]


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