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The Stone Roses' The Stone Roses (33 1/3) Paperback – February 27, 2006
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"'A brilliant series of pocket-sized books focussing on a classic album. Each one a work of real love.' NME"
About the Author
Alex Green's interviews and reviews have appeared in Magnet, Trouser Press, CMJ New Music Monthly, Amplifier, Hits! and SOMA. In addition, he teaches English Composition and Greek and Roman Literature at St. Mary's College of California. He is currently the Editor of the online music magazine www.caughtinthecarousel.com
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Overall, I like this entry in the 33.3 series and I would say is a nice companion for any SR fan. I cannot not fault it for being a personal journey through the record nor can I fault it for the paucity of new info surrounding it. I will take anything I can get and I definitely made me put it on the turntable.
THE STONE ROSES: this was a very fun and personal book by Alex Green. I thought the way he jumped from the "baggy" scene to little instances of his life in which this masterpiece was the backdrop to many events of his life (which the Stone Roses as the soundtrack) was well done. That is exactly what music seems to be, certain songs will bring to my mind events in my past.
Each chapter was a breakdown of each song on the album. There is enough info there to satisfy certain people who want a little bit more about what each song meant. Technical information is very lacking, but I do not care about that omission, why bog down the book with studio tips when you are dealing with a classis fun album that define a scene and generation (an ex-girlfriend of mine grew up during the "baggy" scene and was there at ground zero, I was always jealous about that).
All in all, a good little fun book.
Well done Alex
He basically does all this by writing, in essence, a separate essay with a different theme for each song along with a prologue and epilogue. These sections are complete with fitting epigraphs from various sources (songs by Elvis Costello and The Smiths, literary quotes- from Goethe-Byron-Wilde, sound-bites from The Stones Roses, Noel Gallagher. Furthermore, he provides the history of the Manchester scene and the rise of rave culture which begat and influenced this record. He also gets a variety of musicians to make observations about the band and the record (from obscure bands that I used to listen to like The Woodentops, The MIghty Lemons, and Posies). A very enjoyable and nostalgic read-highly recommended.
The author also succeeds in striking a balance between the equally interesting rise and fall of the Stone Roses that bookend this fantastic album. The meat of the story is the album itself, well placed in the different contexts of the US and English music markets of the late '80's and supported by a great deal of primary source material from those involved with album and those who witnessed it from the outside.
While the inclusion of a member of the Posies or some obscure English band even many indie music nerds will never have heard of may not be as key as say a lifted quote from John Leckie, they do succeed in bringing the author outside of himself and offering different perspective on the art and artists.
A sure hit for fans of the Stone Roses, `90's Britpop and of course those who appreciate brilliance and Spinal Tap-esque drama fit for "Behind the Music," but with actual music.