There's been numerous collections of the Roses' non-album material over the years; this collection, released in the early 1990s is by far the best. Undminished by the inclusion of frankly unrepresentative pre-Sally Cinnamon era tunes or lazy remixes, this remains a fantastic collection of B-sides and singles that weren't included on THAT classic debut album. Indeed, as the timespan of this collection begins earlier and finishes later than 'The Stone Roses' (begins with Elephant Stone, finishes with One Love/Something's Burning), it provides an essential addition to the debut album in documenting the peak years of this most enigmatic of bands.
Historical value aside, this collection stands up simply because of the greatness of the tracks. From the nascent, sound-finding of 'Elephant Stone' to the trademark, era-defining swagger and shuffle of 'Fools Gold', this represents a band at the peak of their powers. Not only that, there's a diversity of sound here that's quite compelling - the delicate, sensitive jangle of 'Going Down' and 'Where Angels Play', 'What The World Is Waiting For's effortless marrying of baggy beats and 'Let It Bleed' era rootsiness. Also, 'Mersey Paradise' is as vital, vibrant and uplifting as anything from that classic debut, and still sounds as fresh and life-affirming today as it did all of those years ago.
If there's one minor grumble it's the omission of 'Sally Cinnamon', but this aside, this a fantastic collection to complete any Stone Roses collection. Buy it!