Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Never Better than the first time - part 1

Latest theme that may last a while is simply bands/singers who peaked with their first release. They may have produced other stuff that is good or have had other moments of inspiration that touch dizzy heights , but basically nothing stands up to their debut.

I'm going to start with the Stone Roses. I was at college when the debut was released (scarily this was 20years ago) and the first I heard about it was when the brother of one of the girls who lived in the house put it on side 2 of a tape he did for me. (I remember side 1 was the woodentops who i thought would be massive and promptly disappeared!)

I new nothing of the band and I think outside of Manchester where Ian was from not many other people had either. He just said it was the best debut since the Bunnymen's.

I loved it and I think time has been kind to it mainly because as its basis it had strong melodies coupled with guitar playing that seemed to propel each of the songs along with real energy.

Then Madchester happened and they released Fools Gold which I thought was okay but went on too long , suddenly they were creators along with the Happy Monday's of the baggy sound. Years came and went until Second Coming came out and sounded like a 70s Led Zep throwback. Where as on the debut the guitars sparkled , here they just sounded self indulgent, drowning out melody. The whole thing sounded stale.

John Squire left to form the Seahorses and then pursue his art, leaving Ian Brown to find a successful niche producing his own unique solo releases. Nothing however comes close to the heady freshness of that debut lp and the thrill of the opening bars of the opening track. Am I being harsh?

You can buy this classic here (20th Anniversary edition)


  1. Prediction for 2010.

    Stone Roses will reform and make barrowloas of money. But it will be with Noel Gallagher on guitar instead of John Squire.......

  2. wonder what the odds are - that may be worth a bet


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