[6] The Stone Roses, ‘Love Spreads’

We tried a new experiment this morning – well, we were pushed for time and it would’ve been a pity to mess up this tune-a-weekday thing we’ve got going on – and listened to the song on the bus to nursery, like teenage rapscallions playing tinny bassline house on the backseat. Don’t worry; we were at the front, listening through sound-isolating earphones at a responsible volume. Junior showed fierce concentration all the way through the lengthy John Squire Led Zep-a-thon, breaking off only to declare that her arms ached from holding the earpieces in place. Afterwards she said that she liked the song and it had “lots of guitars”.

I think Squire would have been pleased with the assessment. That’s why he kept the band holed up in Wales for four years, wasn’t it? To lay down “lots of guitars”.

Anticipation had reached Chinese Democracy levels by the time this surfaced in November 1994, and it was only ever going to be an anticlimax. It’s a pretty solid rocker with a bit of swagger, but last time we’d seen The Stone Roses they looked as if they might Change The World with large jeans and half-inched James Brown beats. This plodded in comparison. Still, with a sense of relief at any kind of output, I loved it for a few months, and Paddy and I particularly enjoyed making Neil and Kate sing “The Messiah is my sister” over and over in the backseat as we drove up to Edinburgh that New Year’s Eve.

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[1] The Stone Roses, ‘Fools Gold 9.53’

The Stone Roses

The last couple of minutes of ‘I Am The Resurrection’ gave us a clue, ‘Fools Gold’ rammed it home with wah-wah to spare. British rock had found the funk, and we tripped over our unfeasible trousers to show that we’d had it all along. The beat is still aggressive enough to startle Junior into involuntary bouncing, and she’s right into it in seconds. A bit of rock, a bit of groove, mix them together and it’s a nine-month-old’s nirvana.

Heaven knows what Ian Brown’s on about, mind. Something about his mate shopping at Mr Pyrite. Soz. It didn’t matter, it was all about the Funky Drummer and John Squire putting his guitar to good, economical use – possibly for the last time. Everyone was waiting for this single – me, I bought it on the day it came out, in Replay in Bristol. I was there on a university open day, clearly more concerned about red hot new tunes than whether the Classics department was the place for me.

1990 went rock-dance crossover crazy, but nothing had this record’s brass balls, and Northside never blew The Late Show’s sound system. Fookin’ amateurs. The Stone Roses, of course, hoovered up Colombia’s gross national product and went on to release records that actually sounded like expanding paunches.

‘Fools Gold’ is still lithe.