The Stone Roses/Turns Into Stone

Turns Into Stone

The Stone Roses were an English Alternative rock[2] band formed in Manchester in 1984. They were one of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement that was active during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band’s most notable lineup consisted of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Gary “Mani” Mounfield, and drummer Alan “Reni” Wren.

The band released their début album, The Stone Roses, in 1989. The album was a breakthrough success for the band. At this time the Stone Roses decided to capitalise on their success by signing to a major label; however, their current record label Silvertone would not let them out of their contract, which led to a long legal battle that culminated with the band signing with Geffen Records in 1991, and then finally releasing their second album Second Coming in 1994. The group soon disbanded after several lineup changes throughout the supporting tour, which began with Reni first departing, followed by Squire.

Turns Into Stone is a compilation album by The Stone Roses released in 1992. It consists of early singles and B-sides that did not feature on their self-titled debut album. The compilation reached number 32 on the UK album chart.

The album’s release was surrounded by controversy, as the Roses were in the middle of a legal battle with their then-record label, Silvertone. An injunction prevented the band from releasing any new material for several years afterward, during which Silvertone re-released many singles, including two separate versions of “Fools Gold”, and releasing stand-alone singles from the first album that were not intended to be singles (such as the edited version of “I Am the Resurrection” featuring a drum machine instead of Reni’s distinctive drumming).

Despite this, the album is seen in a positive light by Roses fans because it collects some of their best-known songs onto one CD, before a best-of compilation was even viable.

The title of the album is taken from the final lines of One Love: “What goes up must come down/Turns into dust or turns into stone”. [Wikipedia]

Elephant Stone—-This extended version of one of the best known and loved singles from this band is full of added synth rhythms and given a dance floor groove that surprisingly does nothing to take away from the mastery of the single. When the trademark guitar of Squire enters, you are taken to a warm place that settles comfortably in your soul. It is quite some time before Ian enters with his vocal, but when he does, memories flood back and you remember why this was the most important band of the late 80’s an early 90’s. This is as brilliant as it ever was and you only gain a bit more time to enjoy the mastery thanks to this extended version. God…I miss this band everyday!

The Hardest Thing—-This has always been a favorite Roses song of mine…simply because Brown sounds so damn good with his vocal. The band chimes in on the chorus and makes this a mop-top style retro song that  captured my heart from the first listen. There is a arkable slight accent when Brown sings and although live he really does not deliver, on CD he is the consummate singer. This is a  classic that has never sounded better to me.

Going Down—-With a nice gentle guitar and a throwback sound that is more than 60’s inspired, the song swirls around your head with a sweet melody and a classic band vocal that rounds out the track and makes you want to reach for The Byrds or The Association. This is wonderfully preformed and sadly ignored by many people…you are truly missing out!

Mersey Paradise—-Again, this reeks of the late 60’s more than some of the music actually produced in the late 60’s. Squire delivers a jangly guitar that is irresistable….Reni delivers a drum track that is stellar and Brown..when he sings the words Mersey Paradise…..I just smile from ear to ear.

Standing Here—-With a much more psychedelic guitar sound from Squire, and that distinctive drumming from Reni, this song is huge and layered with throw back auras. Brown sings ike the mop-top that he was and seems to meld his voice with the psychedelic, jangly guitar perfectly. The double tacking on the vocal gives the song a nice full-bodied sound..this is brilliant!

Where Angels Play—-Beginning gentle and building very little from the quiet guitar sound, this is a nice swirling track that is almost a lullaby thanks to the quieter delivery and the subtle vocal of Brown. These so-called B-sides are the very reason why this band was as huge and important as they were. This is wonderful.

Simone—-Beginning with some nice backward guitar tracking, this song begins with atmosphere that only grows as the song continues. In fact, it would seem to me that this whole song is a backward guitar track with very odd vocals….this is masterful and typical of The Roses….it is not the first time they have done this….Brilliant!

Fools Gold—-This is an almost 1o minute extended version of this song. For me, this was never a really GREAT song…but it is the one that first gor The Roses attention overseas, so I try to like it anyways. This extended version is pleasant enough…some nice bass and added synth lines bolster the track…Brown has a rather untouched vocal and it is as subtle as ever on this track. There is a nice slight echo to the whole thing that makes it a bit larger, but 10 minutes is a bit long…even for a psychedelic jam.

What The World Is Waiting For—-This is classic Roses….the guitar s strong, the overlayed vocal gives Brown a bigger and better voice…the percussion is masterful and the vibe is right ut of 1968. This is brilliant shoe gaze, mop-top rock from the early 90’s that helped shape a generation of today’s 30 somethings. Fantastic!!! When Brown sings “….Stop the world, I’m getting off..”…I’m so there!!

One Love—-This is also given the extended treatment….clocking in at almost 8 minutes. This has a nice noisy guitar sound from Squire, giving the song that classic Roses feel while Brown delivers a trademark vocal that parlay his accent into a charming delivery tat just makes me fall in love all over again. When he REALLY sings on the chorus, it is just brilliant….as for the extended version…it s mostly a drum machine that pretends to be Reni.

Something’s Burning—-Also coming in at 8 minutes in length, this begins rather odd with some eerie atmosphere. The rum beats are machine made…you can obviously tell. The guitar is very subtle and Brown delivers a vocal that is almost a whisper…it is funny when he references Monkeys….this has been a recurring theme with Brown, who I think strongly resembles a chimpanzee…and I mean that is an affectionate and loving way. This is nice…quiet and full of long extended instrumental interludes…really wonderful!

**** out of 5


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