I’m With Penny ~ The Stones Rose Debut Album is Vastly Overrated


In the light of the imminent 20th anniversary deluxe reissue of The Stones Roses debut Penny Anderson has seen fit in the Guardian to question its revered status. Well, I’ve gotta say I’m with her all the way.

It has just never struck me as being anything other than okay. It’s not a bad record as such, and god knows, there were no shortage of those in the 1980s (or any other decade come to think of it), but as Penny says, how the hell does it always make the Top 10 of all time?

It is my assertion that it is more Sgt Pepper than Forever Changes or What’s Going On. That I cannot think, to make the analogy stick, of a comparative album to match the other two from the era is more a reflection on the late 1980s/early 90s than my memory. Twenty years after release, Pepper was still regarded as the Greatest Album of All Time. Where is it now? Would it make your Top 3 Beatles’ albums? Love and Marvin Gaye still sound innovative, original and fresh at forty years’ distance.

Why is it so adored? The Stone Roses is revered as a holy relic. A symbol of youth; a shining beacon in an otherwise misty seascape. I am prepared to stick up for Parklife in the same way, well aware though that the mood of the day is agin it. It was okay at the time but it sounds a bit dated now – seems to be the consensus. (I won’t deny the title track falls into that bracket). That fate has not yet befallen the Stone Roses. Maybe the fact that their follow up when it did finally arrive was so bad, such a let down, has helped to fuel its mythic status?

Maybe I’m wrong, and I’m quite prepared to give the disc another listen should someone lend me a copy, I just never got it. The production sounds flat and fuzzy, I Wanna be Adored sounds dreary, always has done to my ears. I did perk up the first time I saw the track listing as I thought there was a song about cricket on it, misreading Bye Bye Badman for Bye Bye <a href="http://content-www.cricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4188.html“>Bradman!

I don’t anticipate that this is necessarily the view of all at Pop Junkie. Ashley may put a little disclaimer against it; but let’s celebrate difference ~ be they freethinker or lunatic; that for every thousand who think Elvis is the King, someone will claim PJ Proby was better; for a thousand Beatles fans there will be one who claims ELO are superior, and, the thousands who cherish the Spike Islanders, please don’t say nasty things to the couple who have just moved in down the street who declare that The Claim are a million times better.


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