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.


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…



  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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