The Stone Roses


I bought The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut album the day it came out back in 1989.

I’d been a fan ever since my friend Rich Craven played me Made Of Stone the year before.  A week after he played me that I’d gone on a tedious Business Studies A-level trip up to London, about which the only thing I remember is taking a black cab on a journey of about 200 yards to Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus (because, a young boy from Swindon, I had no idea of London geography then) and buying a 12″ vinyl copy of Made Of Stone there.

A few weeks after that I got my driving licence and was inexplicably given the family car for a day, so Rich Craven and I drove to Oxford (I think), where we found two more Stone Roses 12″s and bought one each.  Rich got Elephant Stone and I got Sally Cinnamon, and my god we thought we were so cool. 🙂

We got lost on the way home unfortunately, resulting in my having to take an unexpected (not to say nerve-racking) first time drive on the motorway.  I remember being terrified – not having a clue about driving on the motorway!

But I digress.

The Stone Roses were our band – we were their biggest fans, and importantly for us, we were there first (things like that are important when you’re a teenager).

Which is why I was there in one of the Swindon branches of Our Price on the morning the album came out with a fiver-and-change in my pocket.

There was no big fuss about the release back then; no advertising in the shop, no prominent display – hell, there didn’t seem to be more than a couple of copies of it in stock!  What they did have was on one of the higher shelves under “S”, and I bought a cassette copy for about eight quid.  The guy at the cash desk didn’t comment on my fantastic good taste, nobody congratulated me: it was almost anti-climactic.

I remember listening to I Wanna Be Adored on my walkman heading into college, thinking “‘I wanna be a dog‘?  Wow, that’s pretty out there, man,” (having not read the track listing and misheard the main lyric).

And, of course, I loved that album.  Not unreservedly, though – I originally thought the reversed tracks were a bit of a lazy cop-out and that I Am The Resurrection went on a bit.  But that album was glued into my walkman for weeks.

Soon enough all the cool kids seemed to be listening to it all over college.  But Rich Craven and I were there first. 😉

The college trip to see them live at Ally Pally that Rich Craven later organised is still, I think, a remarkable feat of cool, and I can dine out that story even today; however, let’s stick with the album, shall we?

When I went to uni it seemed everybody knew and loved that album.  Even today, if you stick The Stone Roses on at a party people instantly know it and no one complains.  It seems to be the one album that people under a certain age can all agree is a genuine classic.

And now it’s 20 years old.

Crikey.

I sold my Stone Roses vinyl collection about 9 years ago – every 12″ single they’d ever released (including a very rare copy of So Young found  in Camden) – for about £50 during a profitable downsizing of my heavy vinyl collection, so today the only Stone Roses we have in the house is on mp3 (my last original Stone Roses t-shirt finally died last year).

Anyway, here’s a great review of the new remastered edition of the album; I’m inherently suspicious of these remasters and repackagings and re-whatevers, but might just have to buy this anyway, so that we can play such an important album to the girls as they grow up…

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2 comments

  1. Good for you guys. You experienced the cool scene first-hand.

    I remember the time when I first heard The Stone Roses. I bought the audio cassette tape edition. I remember sleeping late and waking up early because I spent hours and hours listening to their self-titled album. If my memory serves me right I was the only one who bought the cassette tape. Everyone was buying glam rock albums. Although I still love glam rock. Back then, I was also into a lot of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Jesus Jones, etc.

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