Living with…The Stone Roses…for a week


Some albums define a year.  The Stone Roses is one of those.

This year was 1989.

It was the year that we grew up I suppose – we had a house and for the first time both had jobs.  We had a mortgage.  So the property  market went in to a massive slump.

I built my first and only ever wooden fence in the back garden but meanwhile the Berlin wall came down and the Romanians celebrated Christmas by throwing out Ceauşescu.

96 Liverpool football fans die at Hillsborough, sparking one of the most fundamental changes in English football.  And also one of the longest campaigns for justice.

We saw Back to the Future II and still didn’t understand the plot until my daughter explained it to me last year.

We went to Ikea.  All the way up to Warrington and then back with a bootload of Billy book cases.

We had a brilliant Sony record player on which we played The Christians, Fleetwood Mac’s Tango in the Night and (whisper this lightly) Phil Collins.

We had a small 14″ black and white TV screen perched on a small coffee table next to an aspidistra stand in our flat on which I watched one of the most dramatic endings to a football season.  Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield to win the League courtesy of an injury time winner from Michael Thomas.  I remember screaming with excitement even though I support neither team.

Salmun Rushdie goes in to hiding after a bounty is placed on his head for his ‘sacrilegious’ work The Satanic Verses.  He doesn’t really come out of hiding until he appears on stage with U2 at Wembley Stadium during the Zooropa tour three and half years later.  I was there.  And it took three and a half hours to get out of the car park that evening.

But that’s a different story, a different year.


The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

StonerosesI do really like this album but I’m not going to get carried away.  This is isn’t the album of a decade or the greatest of all time.  It defines a moment of time.  It takes the classic English sound of the sixties – The Beatles and the Rolling Stones – and drags in in to late eighties Manchester.

I can remember much of it, and yet I’ve also forgotten it over the years.  It’s like a comfortable friend that I’m glad to catch up with again but, do you know what, we didn’t really miss each other too much.  Life went on.  It’s easy to feel trapped in that moment in time with this album.

But there are Standouts – the brilliant She Bangs The Drum, which has a wonderfully upbeat sound compared to the rest; likewise Shoot You Down with its mumbled chorus; but also the morbid I Am The Resurrection but probably more for the band letting rip at the end – don’t ask me why.  But actually the highlight is the atmosphere of the opening I Wanna Be Adored which promises so much with the teasing electrics and distant vocals.

Nice to see you again.