I’ve always had an interesting relationship with the Stone Roses. Not that there was any snuggle time with Messrs. Brown and Squire; no, this was purely based on sonic love and lust.
The band’s 1989 debut is looked at – rightfully so – as their one-off masterpiece. Due to a much publicized court battle with their UK record label, the Roses didn’t release another record for five years, by which time their initial draw had passed with the entire genre of Britpop pouncing on that one album influence.
Second Coming, released in December of 1994, has been looked at as one of the biggest disappointments of any legendary outfit. It’s the true definition of a sophomore slump; that follow-up to a stellar debut which just doesn’t serve the prior justice. Think the Strokes, the Killers, Weezer (itself worthy of a whole other post) and Portishead. For some reason though, I gravitated toward Second Coming.
From the four and a half minute spacey lead-in to the album kick off “Breaking Into Heaven” to the super catchy “Ten Storey Love Song” to the Beatle-esque “Your Star Will Shine” to the menacing closer “Love Spreads,” it stirred something within me. Were there clunkers? Oh yeah. But driving around with Second Coming on repeat at the time was a great joy I fondly recall to this day.
The Stone Roses never broke big in the States – like most quality Brit acts who cause a mad sensation in their home country – and didn’t make it out of the mid-90s alive. The legend remained intact, while the bandmembers had varying degrees of success in and out of music. Frontman Ian Brown was the most high-profile in music, releasing a string of solo albums, which is where our paths crossed again.