The Complete Stone Roses
The Complete Stone Roses collects most of the group’s non-album material between 1985 and 1990. I’ve heard that buying the deluxe version of their debut album is the best way to hear this material, but I’ve always owned this configuration. While a chunk of space is taken up by alternate versions of songs that are featured on the debut, the collection’s most interesting material is the singles.
The Stone Roses’ 1985 debut single ‘So Young’/’Tell Me’ has an aggressive post-punk feel that’s not apparent in their later work, but second single, 1987’s ‘Sally Cinnamon’, points the way clearly to the group’s debut album with its jangly guitars and pretty melody. There are more pretty b-sides like 1989’s ‘Going Down’ and ‘Where Angels Play’. The remainder of the most interesting material are the singles that followed the 1989 debut – ‘Fools Gold’ is the group’s most successful use of dance rhythms, released on a double a-side with the excellent ‘What The World Is Waiting For’. The final single from the era, ‘One Love’/’Something Burning’, continues the dance sound, but with less memorable results.
Among the 21 tracks of The Complete Stone Roses there are plenty of remixes and unmemorable b-sides that will only interest hard core fans. But The Stone Roses’ discography is skimpy enough that it’s worth digging through for treasures.