Over the last 30 years there have been some great albums released. Albums that have bookmarked a moment in time, that have characterized the zeitgeist. But only one album can claim, in those 30 years, to have created a genre, a new style, to be completely and utterly unique and to be truly revolutionary. To be as important, in the history of popular music culture, as Ziggy Stardust, Sgt.Pepper’s or Never Mind The Bollocks. An album, about which it can be said, that if it hadn’t existed much music that followed may not have ever been heard.
That album was released 30 years ago today by the originators of the baggy Madchester scene, The Stone Roses. Eponymously named, this album, despite a lack of critical acclaim and huge sales, became the release that paved the way for much of the great music that came in the following decade, the era of Britpop. The album that helped pave the way for the likes of Oasis and Blur.
What makes this album so ground breaking? For me, it is so much more than just a genre creating album. This album took so many myriad influences and crafted them into a brilliant work that was not only of the future but referenced the past expertly. With all the elements of psychedelia, acid, house, rock ‘n’ roll and blues this is an album that introduced people to the music that influenced the band, and in doing so took the music that had come before in a new, fresh and vibrant direction.
However, for the album to be great, it has to have great songs and this album has them in spades. For me, to have an album frontloaded with singles is, normally, a big no-no, but in the case of this album the first three tracks, I Wanna Be Adored – She Bangs The Drums – Waterfall, set the tone for the whole record with every tune being a masterpiece of tripped out, psych blues, funk rock that not only created a decade of music but defined it whilst joining together disparate groups of music fans underneath one banner of great music.
The Stone Roses may have burned briefly and brightly in their initial incarnation, but also so importantly. With Ian Brown’s skills as a singer and frontman, the funked up rhythm section of Remi and Mani driving the beat that appealed to the ravers and the exemplary, but often underrated, guitar of John Squires, The Stone Roses were able to create beautifully layered and atmospheric tracks that went to make one of the most accomplished and fabulous debut albums of all time. An album that celebrates it’s 30th birthday whilst still sounding as fresh as if it had been recorded yesterday. The last truly exceptional and ground breaking albums of our times.