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CD: The Stone Roses: Legacy Edition

Nobody mixed and matched house-music beats and psychedelic jangle with as much ingenuity as the Stone Roses. The Manchester, England, outfit’s 1989 self-titled debut is still dreamy, driving, and playful.

Maybe it’s because they knew they’d never reach these heights again, but the band members gave that album everything they had, from Beatlesque harmonies and ringing guitars to a hypnotic pulse and backwards tape weirdness.

Like all the best pop music, “The Stone Roses” sounds familiar on first hearing and fresh after 1,000 plays. The songs by singer Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire flow together beautifully, with the shimmering “Waterfall” and the groovetastic “She Bangs the Drums” working the most magic. The CD finishes on a high note with the insinuating “I Am the Resurrection,” a churning number that spotlights the band’s jaw-dropping rhythm section as well as the best instrumental outro this side of “Layla.”

The Stone Roses, circa 1989.The Stone Roses, circa 1989.

The bonus track “Fool’s Gold,” which is awash in wah-wah wonderfulness, is something of a dance-music classic. The song throbs and flows for nearly ten minutes without ever growing boring or repetitive.

The brilliantly packaged “Legacy Edition” set features a disc of “lost” demos which lay bare Brown’s wispy vocals and lyrical inventiveness. The third disc is a DVD that boasts the band’s Empress Ballroom show from 1989 and six bonus videos, including the hallucinatory rave-up “One Love” and the mighty mind-trip “I Want to Be Adored.”

Recently, the British magazine “New Musical Express” declared the Roses’ debut “the greatest album of all time.” That’s an exaggeration. But not by much.

Release date: 9/8/09

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[Amy Longsdorf’s entertainment coverage has appeared in “Blender,” “People,” the “Chicago Tribune,” the “Toronto Star,” and “Newsday.” She doesn’t want to imagine a world without Preston Sturges movies, Stax singles, and the music of Bob Marley.]

About Jenny Peters (167 Articles)
Jet Set Jen is the brainchild of Jenny Peters, a longtime freelance journalist whose career has spanned everything considered "Lifestyle" reporting, from movies and celebrities to fashion and fast cars, with plenty of food, wine and travel thrown in too. She currently contributes regularly to USA Today's,, New York Magazine, Coast Magazine, Bask Magazine and numerous other newspapers, magazines and websites worldwide. She is a founding and voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (, which annually honors the year's top films with the Critics' Choice Awards. Jenny and her crack cadre of reporters at Jet Set Jen offer up opinions, suggestions and insider scoops on the best that the world has to offer, to keep you on the cutting edge of that ever elusive pursuit of life, liberty, happiness – and fun, fun, fun.

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