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The Stone Roses burst onto the U.K. indie scene during 1989, with their landmark debut "The Stone Roses", and their blend of dreamy & confident indie Rock, and summertime 60's styled jangle-pop pushed it to top of alot of critics end of year lists. And although the second album "Second Coming" failed to scale the heady heights of the first album, it had it's moments....which begs the question, "Why do you need this??". Well, it's a brilliantly compiled 'Best of', with various excellent B-side track added for inclusion, as well as Singles, that made up the bands brief output. What is fantastic about this album, is that unlike other compilations such as "The Complete Stone Roses", this release doesn't attempt to cram in as much material as possible by 'Editing' down tracks, such as "Fools Gold" which had virtually half its 9:55 running time loobed off. "Elephant Stone" only gets a minor cut, missing around 2 mins in the edited version. "Listen Now" manages to have 4 mins missing on the lesser compilation, and "Something Burning" also manages to lose just over 4 minutes of its 7:51 running time.
Although seemingly a moot point to those that only have a passing interest in the bands music, and will mention that the lesser compilations actually contain more tracks....this is only really of concern for those that truly embraced / enjoy the bands music, and the fact that alot of this revolved around "John Squires" beautiful, melodic gutiar hooks, you'll largely miss the exceptional extented playing on the edited versions, which was a substain part of their 60's Jangle-pop appeal, and not forgetting that full versions were how the band intented them to be (not cut down versions, with huge chunks of instrumental sections missing). And its only when you compare the two versions, you realise just how much your missing.
But not forgetting that this best of, also comprimises of B-Sides / Singles, which have listened to these tracks several times, easily confirms that their debut album wasn't a fluke. Tracks such as "Where Angels Play", "One Love", "What the world is waiting for", "Mersey Paradise", "Going Down", "The Hardest thing in the World", or the backwards spinning fun of "Simone", all brim with that exbuerantly confident swagger that coupled with their catchy neo-psychedelia, was a defing trait of the band. And although the B-Sides themselves probably won't take pride and place over your orginal favourites, there is a great deal to enjoy here, and digest if (like me) you only know the band through their debut album.
Somewhat bizzarely (or not, depending on your stance) their appears to be nothing from their second album ("Second Coming") contained here....but arguably most consider that album to be the band least focused and confused work, and which probably explains their exclusion. Something I am very happy about, is the sound levels on this record sound noticably louder than the debut album, which I found, I had to crank the volume up, to clearly hear, what was going on...(or is it just me??). But before you all start trading in your Stone Roses albums for this compliation, it's important to bear in mind that ultimitely, this release isn't supposed to replace your debut album, it's supposed to sit alongside it (and seeing as it purely focuses on B-Sides, and U.K. Singles....you'll miss most of the best known tracks), instead it's complements the debut perfectly and will please fans no end with its superb compiling and sequencing. This is Probably not suited to those that just want one disk of the bands work, on one tidy disk (for that refer to "The Very Best of the Stone Roses"), but the more committed fan, will absolutely want to add this alongside their other Stone Roses albums.