Britain, 1989. The concept of leisure activity has been drastically redefined by the onslaught of rave culture. The pleasures of endless, Ecstasy-fueled nights flailing around in barnyards and empty aircraft hangars to music that sounds like a million car alarms unites clubgoers, soccer thugs, and hippies. Across the country, British indie bands used to clanging morosely in piss-filled clubs see their options expand.Cinderellas like the Farm, Primal Scream, the Soup Dragons, and James suddenly go to the ball sporting baggy trousers, bowl haircuts, flowery T-shirts and druggy dance beats.  Manchester, long a headquarters for hedonism due to the Factory Records-run Hacienda club, becomes the locus point for this burgeoning indie rave scene. From these environs stagger the Happy Mondays, the Inspiral Carpets and the group that ends up most successful of all while, ironically, altering its sound the least. The Stone Roses had been making records since 1985. Their hooks and harmonies harked back to the Manchester of two decades previously--beat boom contenders like the Hollies and the Mindbenders. But, just as in 1979 when the Quadrophenia-inspired Mod revival boosted the Jam's audience enough to make it the biggest group in Britain, so the rave audience put the Stone Roses (big Jam fans) over the top. Proponents of rave hailed it as the ultimate British youth culture upheaval, damning punk as negative and exclusionary. But for most of their debut album the Stone Roses sound as urgent, anthemic and arrogant as a vintage Britpunk outfit, albeit one with a spectacularly accomlished guitarist( John Squire ), a dreamboat beanpole frontman enunicating in a shivery whisper( Ian Brown ), and a hit-packed canon.
Stone Roses's highlights included a brilliant trio of singles ( "She Bangs the Drums," "Made of Stone," "Elephant Stone"), the beautifull "Waterfall" and its immediate backwards reprise "Don't Stop," which had fans and detractors searching furiously for distorted drug references. With a one-minute threat to assasinate the monarch set to the tune of " Scarborough Fair" ( "Elizabeth My Dear") and a tune built on the opening chords to "Pretty Flamingo" ("Sugar Spun Sister"), this album so beloved by trance aficionados was entirely dancefree. The subsequent single, the sinister, hypnotic " Fools Gold" (included on the US album) rectified that situation.


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