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The Stone Roses [VINYL]
Format: Vinyl|Change
Price:£15.85+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 6 May 2009
Make no bones about it - The Stone Roses is one of the finest albums ever made. Virtually every track is a classic and the album is a production masterpiece (if only for what they managed to achieve with Brown's legendarily weak vocals!). If this was a £10 remaster it would have 5 stars!

However Silvertone have now spent 20 years milking the masterpiece to death with 6 more albums from the band including:

- A collection of B-sides and singles (well worth the purchase to be fair)
- A collection of remixes (a few gems, a lot of filler)
- A collection of demos (no redeeming features)
- A "complete" collection (mostly compiled from the above with one or two additions)
- A 10th anniverary reissue (4 tracks off Turns of Stone making up the "bonus disc"
- An even more "complete" collection with some tracks from the Geffen years

I suppose a pedant could argue that a decent remaster of The Stone Roses and an expanded remaster of Turns into Stone with all the non-album tracks may be due but a £99 box set is taking the mickey!

Do we need six more backwards tracks? The ones such as Don't Stop with forward vocals work well but the others such as Full Fathom Five and are pretty pointless additions to their canon. Anyone who had heard the bonus disc of Complete Stone Roses (try You Tube) will know that there can't be anything decent left or we would have heard it by now.

We certaintly don't need any more demos - Garage Flower grates on the ears and highlights what a genius John Leckie must have been to hear the potential and get it to vinyl.

Anyone with £99 to spare could surely find something better from the last 20 years to blow it on?
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VINE VOICETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 July 2009
Silvertone records have a lot to answer for. It's possible you could argue that The Stone Roses debut album is now an art project in itself, a exploration of the different mediums, formats, and content that something as relatively simple as a 11 song record could become. There's already been a multitude of releases : with differing bonus songs (a combination of "Elephant Stone", "Fools Gold", and others), as well as a remix album, a concert video/DVD, a compilation of B-sides, a demos CD - the unimpressive 'Garage Flower' from 1996 - as well as a tenth anniversary box set (with the same, recycled extra songs), reissued singles, a 7" box set, a best of, and a second best of.

Geffen meanwhile, owners of the superior - yes, superior - "Second Coming" have released half a compilation ; the back half of the second Best Of above.

"The Stone Roses" is a grand record. It captures a snapshot of a band at a unique fraction of their history, marking the bridge between independent guitar music, the harder edge of traditional rock, and on the cusp of Acid House. Think of the 6 minute freakout finale of "I Am The Resurrection", and you cannot help but connect the dots between that and the rising/falling experimentalism of a bonkers rave track covered by a guitar act, replete with breakdowns, shifting tempos, and lots of melodic stabs desined for a Friday Night. The album is, deservedly, at the head of the list of great debut albums of all time. As debuts go, possibly only "Never Mind The Bollocks", "Appetite For Destruction" and "Dubnobasswithmyheadman" can compare. Possibly. It's a glorious 49 minutes oif four musicians at the height of creativity and ambition : few can match the potency of that exact chemistry.

"The Second Coming" is better ; in terms of denser, more rewarding songs that I hear new depths and textures to with every listen and a warmer, more able songwriting, but that is a completely different review. "The Stone Roses", as an 11 track record, is by itself, a complete and rewarding experience without a wasted second or a dull filler song. Only say something when you have something to say.

This then, the Super Deluxe Mega 20th Anniversary Edition is possibly the most lavish, and decadent release a single album will ever have. Considering the list price is probably more money than a member of the band made the week the record came out, it's practically obscene. I'd far rather spend my money on a new record by a member of the band and a live show than this improbable combination of items.

What this is is a lavish, deluxe, near pornographic exploration of one moment in time. A moment that nobody understood the significance or importance of, made in restricted finances by a struggling and largely ignored band that were so desperate for a deal they signed the first thing they were offered. Well, it's better that than nothing?

This deluxe version does not make the record any better. If you don't already own it, you probably should give up having much interest in music. By an absolute standard it is one the best debuts there is. If it were all hype, nobody would be proclaiming the Roses greatness now, but shuffling quietly the old vinyl LP to the back room to be played when everyone's out. Yes, I'm looking at you there, The Charlatans.

Spread over 3CD's, 3 vinyl discs, a DVD, and a pointless lemon-shaped USB stick, as well as a book and a set of 12"x12" art prints comes this frankly indulgent, overblown, and pointless release. If you have £80 you must spend, sure, it will make a wonderful coffeetable release to sit as part fo a collection. But the release adds nothing to the Roses immense legacy.

The CD's contain, respectively, the fabulous debut album, and a set of additional tracks - including 15 previously unreleased demos. (How these differ from the "Garage Flower" demos I don't know). A lot of these songs have been circulating on bootleg LP's since the late Eighties, so in all probability a large portion of this disc is remastered versions of those cheaply and quickly-made but passionate recordings.

There's also the "Live In Blackpool" DVD. Quite why this isn't on an audio CD as well I don't know - presumably licencing rights. Nonetheless, the live DVD is a competent example of The Roses in concert - not their best show by any means, but certainly the best recording that exists of their initial era. (Geffen, why haven't you released a Roses 1995 concert album yet? We know you have it!)

The rest of the set is packaging. Vinyl discs, USB sticks, and fancy bits of paper. If the label cared half as much as they pretended to, they wouldn't've ruthlessly exploited - and devalued the body of work. (After all, "Fools Gold" was reissued in remixed form three times in 1992, 1995 and 1999). It's a great record, and the music is beyond words, but this package is merely a decadent, excessive, and fetishistic maximisation of a slender harvest that shows the large imagination of a marketing man and not really much of a musical experience. The Stone Roses has become a work of art to be appreciated in a gallery and this is not the record that changed your life.

Buying this will not make the music sound better.
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on 18 June 2014
First, the good stuff. The music on this album is still first rate, a 6-star album without a doubt. The cover artwork is also faithfully reproduced.

Everything else is terrible. The sound, What did they do to make this so flat sounding. No more punch in the guitars, "She Bangs The Drums" merely whimpers onto the speakers, instead of crashing guitars.

The mix here sounds totally different to what I grew up listening to. It has been remastered completely flat, no bite, no dymanics, its weak and completely changes your engagement with the music.

It is also cut very very quiet indeed, which means to get any sort of sonics out of it you really have to ramp up the volume, which means more surface noise. I was close to 0db on my amp and beyond to get anything out it, whereas my normal listening is around -11db.

This really cannot be recommended. The 1989 CD is much better than this. Do yourself a favour, track down a 1989/1990 Silvertone original vinyl pressing. Yes, it will cost you about £10-15 more, but its miles better than this very weak effort.

Money should be no object in enjoying this, one of the best albums of all time, so don't baulk at the price of a 2nd hand original, as it will pay you back time and again over this charlatan.
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on 14 February 2012
An album that flows superbly, once you hear the eerie introduction of "I Wanna Be Adored" you will not be able to stop listening until the quaint acoustic finale of "I Am The Reserrection" has finished.
Utterly mind blowing, blows bands such as Oasis and Coldplay out of the water, and even as a 60's music enthusiast i have to say this album is better than anything produced by The Byrds, The Rolling Stones and even The Kinks!
It runs anything from The Small Faces close.
Trully Ingenious, incredible album and does not get the praise it should.
5 STARS all day every day.
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on 5 May 2009
I first listned to this masterpiece in 2008. Shame on me for not buying it sooner.

This album is dear to my heart as it was released the day I was born - May 6, 1989.

I bear in mind that I first discovered the roses whilst I was watching the film 'Green Street' which featured 'Adored & Waterfall'. As being an Oasis fan I heard of this band in the grapevine so I finally gave in and brought the debut album for a fiver last year... and my life changed forever. 49 minutes of pure madchester indulgance.

Only really perchasing this for the 180gsm Vinyl ..(not a CD or Mp3 buyer, I'm afraid). I am currently on a mission to perchase every 7" & 12" Stone Roses record out there! And this one I'm writing about will be the goldust of all records I currently own.

Everytime the needle hits the first beat on 'I wanna be adored', it's impossible for me to turn the record player off until the end of John Squire's strumming on 'I am the Resurrection'.

Also looking forward to the Demo's and 'lost track'.
Live at Blackpool DVD is superb, would do anything to of been there.

I'd of like to have seen 'Elephant Stone' or even 'Sally Cinnamon' added to the track listing, neither has been on a studio album and Silvertone had a golden chance to do that this year to make this album complete. But still, the album has 11 fantasic tracks that sounds unbeilevable today!

If you haven't already brought the album, I would now hold on to August for this re-mastered release, we must make this the #1 album spot it was destined to have.

Long live the Roses. 1984-1996..?
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VINE VOICEon 10 August 2009
Given that this album is 20 years old and has been subject to no small amount of discussion regarding its status as "the best album ever" and whether it deserves that title (it doesn't; what does?), it would seem churlish to talk about the subjective quality of the songs on it. You probably know them, and know whether you love them or not. I loved them passionately 15 years ago, as a 15 year old. But there's been a lot of records between then and now, and I'd never presume to know what my favourite record is these days, let alone the best ever.

So what I will talk about is the remastering. Silvertone & Sony have repackaged the scant amount of material that The Stone Roses produced between 1988 and 1990 in so many ways that many fans of this music quite rightly feel taken advantage of; singles & b-sides compilations (some of them very shoddy), 10th anniversary editions, remix compilations, demo compilations, a version in an eco-friendly recycled card sleeve... but until The Very Best Of in 2002 they never bothered remastering any Stone Roses material.

The remastering on that compilation was good; it added some weight and impact to (early) material that was a little lightweight on CD, that first album floating in a reverb haze with little bass or clarity to anchor it in the real world. Maybe that was part of the appeal of the debut album; on CD at least, it almost seemed like a dream.

The remastering on this edition is, if anything, even better; John Leckie and Ian Brown have talked about putting the bass back in to the CD release that was always on the vinyl, and they've certainly done that; Reni's kickdrum in the opening to I Wanna Be Adored now has some serious impact on your solar plexus if you turn it right up on a good pair of speakers, and Mani's bassline opening to She Bangs The Drums doesn't vanish when the guitars drop in.

But there's also more definition; you can hear the detail of the strings & fingers in that same bassline better, too. Even Ian's vocals are improved; when he sings "I'd love to do it and you know you've always had it coming" unaccompanied in Shoot You Down (possibly the most sonically improved track) he actually does sound angelic, his voice recorded and presented with an exquisitely natural tone. The stop/start guitars at the end of that tune also sound irresistible.

Other moments I've enjoyed more than on the initial CD release include the chugging guitar riff that starts Bye Bye Badman, which now slowly moves across the soundstage from one side to another and back, something I'd never noticed before. Don't Stop has gone from being a backwards indulgence to a truly awesome moment, the added physicality of it suggesting that dub was as much an influence as 60s psychedelia.

People who worry about this kind of thing (I'm one) will be pleased to know that the album hasn't just been brickwalled in terms of dynamic range either; thought it is louder than it was, the songs still have contours - This Is The One is particularly awesome, especially when it gets into its swirling climax.

I doubt the remastering here will be as revelatory as that on the forthcoming Beatles re-releases (the Beatles' master tapes almost certainly sound better than the Roses', and the Roses' initial CD release sounds better than the Beatles', if that make sense), but it's made me enjoy this album more than I have done for probably a decade. Hopefully the b-sides and non-album singles will soon get released on a single CD so they're affordable - as much as I love them, I'm not spending £80-£100 on the deluxe whistles & bells box set.
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on 22 April 2014
One of my favourite albums of all time so naturally i was looking forward to listening to it on vinyl.When I opened it up the record was covered in dust, so i cleaned it before playing it, it sounded like it was a second hand record skipping throughout and crackling (which i know can be appealing when the album is old or second hand but not when its brand new). Extremely disappointed.
My rating is because of the condition of the "brand new" album not the album itself, as i said its one of my favourites of all time.
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on 12 August 2009
This album is alright but the current hysteria "best British album ever" nonsense really gets my goat. It might scrape into the top 50 in a truly objective list, if it was compiled by someone from Manchester but otherwise it is nowhere near ans is hugely over rated here. Believe the hype if you like but you are just betraying something rather embarrassing about yourself.
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on 14 May 2014
Great price for quality Vinyl music from a Band I knew a little about from a documentary I saw here in the United States.
I didn't have the ability prior to technology such as ITunes , etc....
I've since ordered an amazing USB briefcase style turntable from the UK, and can't wait for my pre order purchase of The The box set to arrive. Matt has been a favorite since 1983 , graduating from high school " Soul Mining " simply changed my life ! The way I viewed music and opened my mind and even made me realize that I don't care if others "approve "of my taste in music , it's personal and Matt spoke what I was thinking loud n clear !
I can't wait to visit England. Plan to travel there with my 9 year old daughter in the next 2 years. Waiting until we can afford to fly Virgin First Class and stay 3 or 4 weeks.
I want to really experience London and the music and art scene as well as meet as many people as I can. I think people in England are simply nicest people I've ever been around. Gorgeous ladies with brilliant minds as well , and the guys are easy going and easy to share a pint with and I love hearing talk of life there , makes me wish I could live there ! It would be a dream come true. I'm a single Dad , 49 years old , soccer fan and Osborne being surname I'm sure my roots are there. I'll pray about it , save money and further education in hopes of landing possibly a position for a few years and work , travel and afford my daughter the chance to see the world and not just South Carolina. If it's God's plan , we will achieve our goal , prayer and hard work us the key.

Best wishes to all who read this in UK. Look out Punk Rogers ( my nickname ) is coming to town. Have a pint and billiard table ready and let's all have a great time !

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on 14 August 2009
There's a lot of negative noise about this product here, and I can understand people's gripes: there are a great number of excellent `Collector's Editions' or `Special Editions' that aren't bloated to the extent that this is and, more's to the point, don't come with a similarly bloated price tag. The Collector's Edition of Happy Mondays' `Bummed' is a particularly fine (and appropriate) example. But that said, I've bought this 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition of The Stone Roses debut and do love it - and would highly recommend it to you. It is however most definitely a luxury purchase: what you effectively get is the same content three times - on CD/DVD, vinyl and USB - along with a commemorative book and prints of John Squire's cover art, all wrapped up in a beautifully presented package. It is excessive, and if such excess turns you off then you should opt for one of the other, cheaper editions - or head to your preferred download site and pick off the tracks you want individually.

The album itself is of course a masterwork and doesn't need any further eulogising here. I first bought it on the day it was originally released back in May 1989, along with The Cure's `Disintegration' which was released the same week. I remember going home and listening to `Disintegration' first which, although good, is heavy going to say the least. I then put the Roses' album on and - BAM! - it was like throwing open the windows and letting the sunshine flood in. I was in love from that point on - a love that endures to this day.

The re-master by John Leckie and Ian Brown is the biggest reason to buy this: it's superb. Totally respectful of the original production, it just beefs it up and cleans it up so that the album and collected b-sides and singles sound as fresh as if they were recorded yesterday. If you love these songs, then you should get your hands on these re-mastered versions, whether you choose to buy this or one of the other editions, or download them. (It is a shame that it's only on this premium-priced Collector's Edition that you can get your hands on both the original album and collected B-sides and singles on CD - quite deliberate no doubt, because I'm sure many would have settled for this if it had been available as a discreet package.)

The demos are an interesting curiosity, but in all likelihood you'll listen to them once and then pop them back in the box never to re-emerge. `Pearl Bastard' - the previously unreleased song available here for the first time albeit in demo form - is okay but does sound a bit like `Sugar Spun Sister' which might suggest why it never saw the light of day.

The DVD is a nice addition to the overall package but doesn't offer anything new. You'll probably have seen the Empress Ballroom gig - you get this and a selection of promo videos which are frankly unremarkable. A `nice to have', but you can live without it.

You also get the album, extras and demos on heavy-duty vinyl - and they're also on the lemon-shaped USB along with some of the video content and a selection of ringtones. The main benefit of the USB is that it offers convenience - you don't have to rip the tracks off of the CDs in order to listen to them on your MP3 player - but that's pretty much it. One interesting point to note however: the `Extras' (b-sides/singles) CD contains the 12 inch version of `Elephant Stone', but on the USB you get the 7 inch version. I'm guessing this was a mistake - but I'm quite glad of it, because both versions have their separate merits.

The book that comes as part of the package is very good, but doesn't offer any particularly fresh insight. The contribution from John Leckie is the most interesting because his story isn't as oft told as those of the other contributors. John Robb's intro is fairly typical of these kind of things, and you get the usual stuff from Ian Brown and Mani, whilst Reni provides a poem and some art. John Squire is painfully conspicuous by his absence. The book also includes contributions from 'famous' names such as Noel Gallagher etc talking about their love of the Roses and how they were influenced by them. Some of these appear to be new, whilst some old, but all quite interesting.

So, overall I would say that whilst the constituent elements of the package don't individually offer anything particularly new/desirable (the re-master aside), the whole package does amount to more than the sum of its parts and provides a monolithic and suitably respectful monument to what is one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It is a luxury though, so I would suggest to anyone who doesn't want to part with the cash to buy the standard edition of the re-mastered album and download the singles/b-sides. However if you're as daft as me and have a deep and abiding love for the Stone Roses, then I would heartily recommend this to you.

Right, I'd better start saving now for whatever Silvertone are planning for the 25th anniversary...
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